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Owner Stories

The Wild Bunch:  Pick of the Bunch

The Wild Bunch: Pick of the Bunch

It's turned into a very good thing that Jo Mann found herself in a floristry job over a Christmas br...

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Mikko Shoes:  If the Shoe Fits

Mikko Shoes: If the Shoe Fits

Marilyn Monroe famously said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. In Micha...

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Browns Eatery & Store:  Great Food, Great Style

Browns Eatery & Store: Great Food, …

Now under new ownership, Browns Eatery & Store (formerly Browns Espresso) is undergoing some big...

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Life Pharmacy:  The Right Medicine

Life Pharmacy: The Right Medicine

Jonathan Macdonald and Hayley Tapp are – excuse the pun – making the most of Life. They recently bec...

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Thinking2Morrow:  Schooling for success

Thinking2Morrow: Schooling for success

If x equals y and b is the square root of 4ac, how many apples does Little Johnny have to give the t...

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Maman: The Sister Act

Maman: The Sister Act

History has a funny habit of repeating itself.  Just ask the sister duo at the helm of Remuera ...

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Acoustix Hearing:  Now Hear This

Acoustix Hearing: Now Hear This

The greatest technology in the world is useless without an expert to understand it, and that's where...

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Poppies Books:  A Passion for Print

Poppies Books: A Passion for Print

When Tony Moores and Tara Jahn-Werner took over Poppies Bookshop they had exciting plans for the ico...

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Colestown:  A sweet sensation

Colestown: A sweet sensation

Sally Meikle and the team at Colestown Chocolates have Easter all wrapped up.  Their shelves ar...

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New World:  The Green Grocer

New World: The Green Grocer

Adrian Barkla, owner of New World Remuera, is not a greengrocer in the traditional sense.  Howe...

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Remuera Local:  A new brew

Remuera Local: A new brew

Sukh and Aji Basra are keen foodies but didn't have commercial hospitality experience before they bo...

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Living at Home:  At Home in Remuera

Living at Home: At Home in Remuera

On the move after nearly 10 years in the same location, Living at Home's Lindsay Chemaly is moving t...

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Hot off the Press

Remuera Pharmacy

Created: Monday, 13 June 2016 13:14

Heritage plaque Remuera Pharmacy Bruce Culpan inside

Bruce Culpan inside Remuera Pharmacy c1960.  Photo courtesy of Remuera Pharmacy

The building occupied by Remuera Pharmacy was constructed in 1909, and has been a pharmacy continuously for 100 years since that date.  Fred Blott opened as the local chemist in 1909; Frank Sanft carried on from 1944 until 1953 when Bruce Culpan took over, retiring after 50 years in 2003.  Remuera Pharmacy has been owned by David Gaseltine since then.

Fred worked very long hours in his early days, his shop open every week night until 9 o'clock, except on Saturday when it shut at 10pm.  On Sundays it opened in the mornings and evenings.  Fred was one of the foundation subscribers of The Auckland All Night Dispensary.  In 1916 the first All Night Pharmacy opened in Khyber Pass Road.

Frank Sanft had two brothers who were pharmacists in Auckland City but never qualified as a pharmacist himself.  He had to employ a qualified pharmacist, the longest serving being Samuel Henry Kerr.

Heritage plaque bruce culpan

Bruce Culpan

Bruce Culpan was Frank Sanft's relieving pharmacist and bought the business from his estate after Frank was killed in a car crash on Grafton Bridge aged 47.  Bruce won 2 silver medals for New Zealand in rowing at the Commonwealth Games, in 1950 and 1954.  Bruce sold the business to one of his former apprentices, David Gaseltine, in 2003.  David continues to own and manage Remuera Pharmacy.


Remuera heritage logo

 Information supplied by Remuera Heritage Inc.


LJ Keys and the Clonbern Store

Created: Monday, 13 June 2016 13:05

 Heritage plaque LJ Keys SGGSC Auckland Libraries 7 A11228

LJ Keys Clonbern Store c1912.  Photo courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7-A11228

Leonard Keys' Clonbern Store is one of the oldest local commercial buildings still standing in Remuera.  It was operated by LJ Keys for only 7 years, but continued as a grocery store until the mid-1960s, with the 30 year period from teh mid-1930s being as Marriott's.

The well-known photographs of c1910 and c1912 show a striking similarity to the present day streetscape.  While extensive modifications have altered the original building interior and the exterior cladding is largely replaced or altered, the original shape is retained, particularly that of the roof structure.  A side access door on the Clonbern Road frontage, probably a loading point, can still be seen.

Heritage plaque LJ Keys SGGSC Auckland Libraries 7 A571

LJ Keys Clonbern Store c1910.  Photo courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7-A571.

Leonard John Keys (1880 - 1958) was born in Patea, brought up in the Thames district and then served an apprenticeship in the grocery trade in Auckland.  In 1903 he married Sarah Marjory McMaster; the Keys had 3 children, Stan, Basil and Alison.

Mr Keys is remembered particularly for his development of early passenger transport in Auckland's eastern suburbs.  The initiative to move into passenger transport may have evolved from the necessity to deliver goods as part of his grocery business.  Oral tradition says that as a grocer Mr Keys had adapted his delivery vehicle to accommodate both goods and passengers.  By installing removable seats, he could ferry passengers going to work in the morning and coming home in the evening, but still use the van for delivering goods during the day.

heritage plaque lj keys headshot

Leonard John Keys. Photo courtesy of Remuera Heritage

In 1915, having moved to St Helier's Bay, he established a bus service, the first vehicle being a Chase.  Known as the "K" buses, they served Auckland's eastern suburbs, Remuera and Newmarket.  The business later become LJ Keys Ltd and eventually expanded to a fleet of about 40 buses, which was bought 34 years later in 1949, by the Auckland Transport Board.

Currently the LJ Keys building is occupied by Remuera Gallery upstairs, Sierra Cafe at street level and Maman Boutique downstairs.


Remuera heritage logo

 Information supplied by Remuera Heritage Inc.



Remuera Post Office

Created: Monday, 13 June 2016 12:58

Heritage plaque NZ Post office

Remuera Post Office c1914. Photo courtesy of National Bank, Remuera branch.

The original Remuera Post Office was built in 1914.  This landmark corner building is a good example of early 20th century government architecture n the Edwardian Baroque style.

The 1914 two storey brick building with clock tower included accommodation for the postmaster upstairs.  It was designed by Claude Paton in the office of the Government Architect John Campbell.  There were several attempts to have clocks installed in the clock tower and this was finally achieved in 1962 with a gift from NB Spencer, long-time Remuera resident of 70 years and Chairman of the Auckland Transport Board.

Heritage plaque Remuera Post Office

Remuera Post Office c1960.  Photo courtesy of T Sutcliffe.

Further alterations were made in 1973 following the relocation of the Post Office Savings Bank to separate accommodation.  In 1975 the Post Office acquired from M & J Cole for $305,000 additional land, including tenanted shops in Remuera Road adjoining the 1914 building for a future new post office building.

The Post Office rebuilding did not occur but NZ Post undertook a major redeveopment in 1991 to provide more retail outlets, onsite parking for 71 cars and space for its Post Shop/KiwiBank and external tenants, covering more than 2074 square metres.

The developers were Brierley Developments and the architects for the complex were Craig Craig Moller who ensured the original brick building and clock tower were retained as an integral part of the new development.

In 2013 the National Bank, the main tenant in the old building, was replaced by the ANZ Bank which had taken over the National Bank in 2003.  The building was repainted in the ANZ blue colours with heritage tonings in 2014.  Exterior lighting to highlight the clocktower was installed in 2015 by the Orakei Local Board.

 Heritage plaqueANZ Remuera lights

Lighting of clocktower on ANZ Remuera, 2015.  Photo by Ian Kohler.


Remuera heritage logo

 Information supplied by Remuera Heritage Inc.



Bank of New Zealand

Created: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 11:12


BNZ 1948 311 Remuera Rd small

  BNZ, 311 Remuera Rd circa 1948.  Photo courtesy of Bank of New Zealand

The Bank of New Zealand first opened in Remuera in 1929 in Skelton's Building at 339 - 345 Remuera Road as an agency of the Auckland branch.  In 1931 a man entered the Bank of New Zealand premises, showed a demand note and hit the manager with a sandbag on the head.  The dazed manager grabbed a revolver, fired twice and his fleeing assailant fell dead on the pavement outside.

In 1948 the BNZ moved to the corner of Norana Avenue and Remuera Road and became a full branch (see photo above).  This location is now occupied by Banque Restaurant, named after its former occupant.  BNZ then moved to 371-373 Remuera Road until 1988 when it moved across the road to its present location at The Gables, 338 Remuera Road.

Heritage plaque BNZ Remuera building 1977

BNZ, 371 -373 Remuera Road, circa 1977.  Photo courtesy of Bank of New Zealand.

There was another attempted robbery on the BNZ at 371 Remuera Road in 1975 when a stick of gelignite was inserted into the thick brick wall between Anderson's Garage and the Bank of New Zealand and exploded, causing minor damage.  However, the gelignite had been badly packed and backfired on the thieves.  Rubble was scattered over the workshop floor but the hole made was no more than a few inches deep.  A neighbour had seen a red car, possibly a Monaro, in a dirty condition being driven off by two men.  It is unclear whether the police ever found the car and the men.

Policeman at BNZ robbery 1975

Newspapaer clipping of attempted burglary 1975


Remuera heritage logo

Information supplied by Remuera Heritage Inc.


Fire Station

Created: Wednesday, 08 October 2014 17:02

Heritage plaque Remuera Fire Station

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7-A9561

The area currently known as The Village Green was originally a works depot for the Remuera Road Board, and later for the Auckland City Council. The brick buildings were probably constructed around 1902, and are still standing.

By the time the Remuera Road Board amalgamated with Auckland City Council in 1915, there was a fire station occupying the centre building, with a loft above. The Remuera Road Board had purchased a 50 foot tower and fire bell in September 1913 and the Remuera Volunteer Fire Brigade was established, probably in 1914.

The photograph above shows an Auckland Fire Brigade 1914 Kissel Kar in what is now the Village Green. It is likely this photo dates to 1915, given that the Kissel Kar dates to 1914 and Remuera did not join the Auckland Fire Board until 1915.

Heritage plaque Remuera Fire Brigade 1920

Alexander Turnbull Library, Ref: 1/1-001314-G

The same Kissel Kar can be seen in the photo above, taken in the early 1920's outside the new Remuera Fire Brigade Station built at 291 Remuera Road in 1916. This building was demolished in 1926 and another new Remuera Fire Station built in the same location - see photo below.

Heritage plaque Remuera Fire Station 1926

This building was also demolished to make way for a fouth new Remuera Fire Station, which is still in operation today.

While its life as a Fire Station seems to have been short, the buildings in the Village Green continued to be used as an Auckland City Council works depot. By the later part of the 20th century, it was semi-derelict. A proposal in the 1970's to demolish the buildings and construct a shopping mall faced public opposition and was eventually abandoned.

The original Fire Station buildings in the Village Green are now home to Poppies Books and The Sitting Room.

Remuera heritage logo

Information supplied by Remuera Heritage Inc.