The Kerikeri mission was set up by the Church Missionary Society in the early 1820s under the protection of the powerful Bay of Islands chief Hongi Hika. In 1821–22 missionary carpenters and Māori sawyers built this house for the Reverend John Butler. The symmetrical timber building was in the fashionable Georgian style and showcased European civilisation to Māori. When Butler left in 1823, the building was occupied by the other missionaries and then by mission storekeeper James Kemp. Kemp's family lived in the dwelling until 1974, when it was gifted to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. It is New Zealand's oldest surviving European building.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips
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