Commercial Buildings

6 Tyne Street, Oamaru

  • Commercial Buildings. Original image submitted at time of registration. April 1994.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Debbie Coulter.
  • Commercial Buildings. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Google Maps 2012.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2280 Date Entered 25th September 1986 Date of Effect 25th September 1986


City/District Council

Waitaki District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 3 DP 5750 (RT OT316/69), Otago Land District


The summary below is from the Upgrade report for Commercial Buildings, completed in 2012.

Constructed in the later 1860s as retail premises, these two buildings have been combined to house the Easy Made Marmalade company, and are among the early commercial premises built on Tyne Street, the centre of Oamaru’s commerce in the 1860s.

Grain and wool production on the pastoral estates boosted the development of Oamaru as a port town. The early 1870s saw the town transformed from an ‘insignificant collection of stone and wooden buildings’ along the west side of Tyne Street to an ebullient show of Victorian architecture. Architect Thomas Glass appears to have designed the building on the right which originally comprised two separate shops. One was occupied by the Bank of Otago and then by Glass himself, with the other built for Robert Lang Livingston, a bookseller and stationer. The first occupant of the building on the left appears to have been wine and general merchant James Finch and Co.

Architecturally these two small buildings represent the early stirrings of Oamaru’s commercial heart. They are among the first generation of stone buildings marking the move from the temporary timber and iron buildings of the early 1860s. Their scale is modest, though both were carefully detailed. Some of this detail has been lost however. Their survival tells the story of Oamaru before the prosperity and grand architecture of the 1870s.

The stories of the changing tenancies of the buildings are complex – one writer remembered that south of the right of way (which runs between 6 Tyne Street and 1 Itchen Street), the shop ‘changed its tenants as often as the flowers bloom.’ The main occupants of the Finch and Co building were William Bee’s Oamaru Bond (1891-1908), various motor garages, and the North Otago Cool Store and Oamaru Ice Cream Company, in the twentieth century. Livingston’s building had two sailmakers (Anderson and Dimick) as long-standing tenants. The buildings have been occupied by the Easy Made Marmalade Company for some years, and they continue to operate from the premises in 2012.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Glass, Thomas

Thomas Glass was born in Alloa, Scotland, in February 1834. He emigrated to Otago aboard the Storm Cloud in 1860. He married Margaret Eadie in Dunedin in 1861. Directories note that he was trading as an architect, builder and stone mason in Ōamaru in the 1860s. He is responsible for many commercial buildings including the Ōamaru cool store (List No. 9935), hospital and additions to a number of buildings and hotels. In the mid-1880s, his offices were in Tees Street, and between 1889, and his death in 1898, in Humber Street. He is described as a master mason in Falconer’s History of Ōamaru in 1889.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1868 -
Original construction of the Bank of Otago building, R.L. Livingston building and the Finch and Co building

Completion Date

19th October 2012

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

McCarthy, 2002

Conal McCarthy, Forrester and Lemon of Oamaru, architects, Oamaru, 2002

Roberts, 1934

Beginnings: Early History of North Otago [a reprint of 'History of North Otago' published in 1934], The Oamaru Mail Co. Ltd, Oamaru, 1978

Other Information

A fully referenced Upgrade Report is available from the Otago/Southland Area office of NZHPT.

This building is part of the Harbour conservation area registered as the "Harbour/Tyne Street Historic Area" (7064) which was initially listed as the Harbour Street Conservation Area 2/7/82, BCC paper 65/1982.

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.