Kemp House

Celebrating 200 years

Step back in time to explore 200 years of history at Kemp House at Kerikeri Mission Station in Northland, Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest  building.

In a picture-perfect setting in the Bay of Islands, Kemp House sits nestled on the riverbank amongst a heritage orchard, cottage garden  flowerbeds and neighbouring Stone Store. Peel back 200 years of history, however, and Kemp House turns out to be anything but tranquil. Kerikeri Mission Station was established in 1819 by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in the shadow of Kororipo Pā, a junction of early  Māori-Pākehā contact, a hotbed of CMS intrigue and politics, and a key site during two decades of rapid-fire societal change leading up to
the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Today you can visit Kemp House at Kerikeri Mission Station to discover the many untold stories of those who made the house a home. Find out where Rongo Hongi’s UNESCO-recognised school slates were hidden, where the very first wine grapes in Aotearoa were planted and how to use a nineteenth century agitator washing machine.

And if a trip to Northland isn’t on the cards for you, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga will be celebrating the bicentennial of Kemp  House online throughout the year. Keep an eye on the website for more info: