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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, is a small seaport at the head of a tidal river, ten miles from Waimate North and sixteen miles from Kaeo. Steamers drawing twelve and fourteen feet of water can berth at the wharf at low tide. The oldest wooden building in New Zealand, erected in 1815, is at Kerikeri, and also the oldest stone building in the colony. This was erected by the Church Missionary Society of England in 1833, and was used originally by the missionaries as a store depot. It was strongly built to resist any hostile attack from natives, and it was there that Bishop Selwyn had a fine library. Before Heke's war there was a fairly large number of settlers in the locality, but Kerikeri is now sparsely populated, and the inhabitants gain a livelihood by fishing and gum-digging. Illustrations of both the old buildings spoken of are given on page 63 of this volume.