Andrewes’ Store (Former)

1 Parnell Street And Russell Esplanade, Rawene

  • Andrewes' Store (Former), Rawene.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Bill Edwards.
  • Andrewes’ Store (Former), Rawene.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Stuart Park.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3873 Date Entered 6th September 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Sec 247C Town of Rawene (CT NA485/256), North Auckland Land District, and the building known as Andrewes’ Store (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Far North District


Northland Region

Legal description

Sec 247C Town of Rawene (CT NA485/256), North Auckland Land District


Occupying a prominent position beside Rawene’s wharf, Andrewes’ Store (Former) reflects the importance of general stores to small towns in the Hokianga. Probably erected or remodelled in the early 1900s, the distinctive corner shop particularly demonstrates the role of the Hokianga firm A.S. Andrewes and Sons, which owned similar businesses in other small townships in the region, and Rawene's function as a centre for trade in the harbour. In its function as a general store selling a wide range of goods, the building was an important part of the social fabric of the town until the 1970s, and mirrors, on a small scale, the development of general stores as small-town equivalents of urban department stores from the turn of the century. Subsequently used for other commercial purposes, it remains an important part of Rawene’s visual landscape and historic centre.

The first store on the site, one of the first buildings in Rawene after the latter’s formal establishment as an administrative centre in the 1860s, was built by Robert Cochrane, or possibly his father Dennis. Beside it was also a smaller shed, apparently used as a gum store, and as Rawene’s first school building. Some years after a new wharf servicing the town was built directly in front of the property in 1881, Cochrane’s store was sold to the Lester Brothers who owned a range of businesses in the Hokianga, including a cooperative store in Kohukohu, a ferry business and accommodation house. They appear to have built a new store on the site in 1894, and by 1900 the site also contained a home for one of the Lester brothers. In circa 1910, the general store was obtained by A.S. Andrewes and Sons, whose founder - Alfred Spry Andrewes - had built up the the largest trading concern in Hokianga County in partnership with A.C. Yarborough prior to 1891, before setting up on his own account in hotel and storekeeping, land agency and general business. A.S. Andrewes and Sons operated a wider network of stores in the Hokianga, including at Opononi, Whakarapa, Waimamaku, Koutu and Taheke.

The current building appears to have been constructed or extensively modified in circa 1910, forming a single-storey timber building with horizontal weatherboards, hipped roofing, low parapets and a verandah. Taking full advantage of its corner location at the foot of Rawene’s main street, the building reflects the settlement’s role as a major service centre in the Hokianga as the latter began to shift its economic reliance from timber-milling to dairy farming. The store may have had an early focus on selling drapery. By the 1920s, A. and S. Andrewes was advertising itself as ‘universal providers’, selling ‘groceries, drapery, boots and shoes, crockery and glassware, and hardware including all farm implements’. One of the building’s early storekeepers was A. E. Andrewes, who later became a long-serving Justice of the Peace and District Coroner.

The store serviced the local community for many decades. Over the years, verandahs, windows, doors and pediments were altered, and an upstairs store and show room was added. In the 1940s, the building was referred to as a large country store and as A. and S. Andrewes’ head office. The store was sold by the Andrewes family in 1971, and has since had a number of owners, including businesswoman Catherine Donaldson who operated it as a grocery and haberdashery store; later owners used it as a tearoom, gallery and as a residence. In the 2010s, new owners carried out a significant restoration to the property when many later accretions were removed. The building now (2018) houses an art gallery.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1894 -
Store erected

1910 -
Store rebuilt or extensively remodelled

Changes to verandahs, windows, doors and pediments

Modifications, including removal of later accretions

Completion Date

15th May 2018

Report Written By

Elizabeth Cox

Information Sources

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1902

Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol.2, Christchurch, 1902

Lee, 1987

Jack Lee, Hokianga, Auckland, 1987

Irvine, 1976

Irvine, Jean, Township of Rawene, Kaikohe, 1976.

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Northland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand