Heard House (Former)

9 Awatea Road, Parnell, Auckland

  • Heard House (Former), Auckland 2015.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Robin Byron.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4930 Date Entered 26th November 1981


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 38, Pt Lot 39 DP 21631 (CT NA660/196), North Auckland Land District, and the buildings and structures known as Heard House (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 38, Pt Lot 39 DP 21631 (CT NA660/196), North Auckland Land District


Heard House (Former) is a visually striking Arts and Crafts residence, created by the significant Auckland architectural partnership of George Tole and Horace Massey. Erected in 1928 in the fashionable inner-city Auckland suburb of Parnell, the two-storey, timber-and-shingle house was built for woolbroker Edwin Heselden Binney and his wife Mary - immediate relatives of another important architect and early associate of Massey’s, Roy Binney. The house is notable for its strong connections with the wealthy Binney family, who had a significant influence on the domestic architecture of Remuera and Parnell: together with an adjoining dwelling, also erected for Edwin and Mary Binney, in 1935 (Binney House; List No. 595, Category 2 historic place), it particularly demonstrates the family’s support of the Arts and Crafts architectural style. The place is also significant for its subsequent associations with the Heard family, beginning with Parnell confectionery manufacturer Leonard Heard and continuing for more than six decades.

The early 1920s were a time of expansion in the Auckland suburbs; favourable business conditions combined with a rapid increased in the ownership of motor cars led to a building boom. In 1928, Mary Binney purchased a section of land that had been subdivided in Parnell. Her husband, Edwin, was an auctioneer, wool broker and company director who had earlier chaired the Auckland Woolbrokers’ Association. The couple obtained plans for a new residence from architect Horace Lovell Massey (1895-1978), who had recently entered into partnership with George Edmund Tole (1898-1972). Tole and Massey were later to gain national prominence for their design and construction of St Michael’s Catholic Church in nearby Remuera (List No. 118, Category 1 historic place), which was awarded a gold medal by the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) in 1933. Massey, in particular, was considered a progressive architect, subsequently gaining three NZIA gold medals on his own account, and another in partnership with A.F. Morgan.

The most distinctive feature of Massey’s bold design for the Awatea Road residence is a prominent Marseille tile roof, which oversails to form a verandah supported by classical columns on the ground floor main facade. Inset into the roof is a long dormer incorporating a balcony and French doors at first floor level. As built, the two-storey house had a large music room and study at the front, with three sets of doors in round arches opening onto the verandah, stretching across the front of the house. Behind the front rooms were a dining room and kitchen, with three bedrooms on the first floor. Along with a porte cochere on the east side of the house, brick chimneys on the side elevations were a notable visual feature of the design.

In 1933, a small addition was made when Massey added a protruding window for an upstairs bedroom. Two years later Edwin and Mary Binney subdivided their property, moving to a new house erected on the eastern half of the original section, which they commissioned another Auckland architect, William Bloomfield, to design.

The initial residence was immediately purchased by Leonard Heard, founder of a well-known confectionery company - Heards Limited - whose products included liquorice all-sorts, toffees and chocolates. Since referred to as ‘an iconic Kiwi brand’, Heards owned a large sweet factory in Parnell, which was at least partly built to a design by Tole and Massey in early 1930. The Heard family owned the house at Awatea Road for more than 65 years during which time few alterations were made. After the family sold the home in the 2000s, a long dormer window was added in the rear sloping roof, the large porte cochere was replaced with a more modest entry porch and internal changes were made. A new garage was also erected, the original having been converted into a pavilion.

In 2015, the property remained in private residential use.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Tole & Massey

An Architectural Partnership which spanned the years 1928 to 1935. George Edmund Tole (1898-1972) and Horace Lovell Massey (1895-1978).

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1928 -
House and garage

1933 -
Bay window added to first floor

1972 -
Internal alterations

1987 -
Lift (since removed) to outside of the dwelling

Internal alterations; dormer window added in the rear sloping roof; new windows; porte cochere replaced by a more modest entry porch; garage converted into a pavilion

2008 -
New garage

Completion Date

3rd December 2015

Report Written By

Elizabeth Cox

Information Sources

Auckland Star

Auckland Star

17 Sep 1936, p. 8.

New Zealand Herald

11 Nov 1903, p.6.

13 Oct 1928, p. 8; 13 Jul 1929, p. 9.

Massey, 1928

Massey, Horace, ‘Residence Awatea Road Parnell for E. Binney Esq’, n.d. [1928], Massey Collection (MA31), Architecture Archive, University of Auckland Library.

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 Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand