Auckland Heritage Tours focuses on Journeys – the stories of how our people travelled to Tamaki Makaurau

Sep 10, 2019

Purewa Cemetery is taking part in the Auckland Council’s Auckland Heritage Festival next month.

Purewa will host four separate guided tours led by historians, mostly focusing on some of the early citizens of Auckland from many different walks of life, who helped found and shape this city. Their contributions to its heritage are many and varied.

Research undertaken by Massey University senior history students has revealed about 260 “notable” names and the Friends of Purewa is continuing to research and compile additional names.

Some of the well-known names include Sir Robert Kerridge (Kerridge Odeon theatres) Maurice Paykel (Fisher and Paykel), Sir Henry Horton (NZ Herald), Marianne Caughey (Smith and Caughey), Sir Denis Blundell (Governor General), Sir William Fox (early Premier of New Zealand) and Charles Goldie (artist).

The tours will focus on these categories: Business/Entrepreneurs, Education/Arts, Church/Medical/Military and Civic/Politics/Sport. Each tour will feature ten graves and take about an hour to complete.

Purewa is participating in the festival for the first time and this year’s theme is Journeys – the stories of how our people travelled to Tamaki Makaurau by sea, air or land, to create a shared future together.

As well as the tours, Purewa offers a video presentation of its history and some of the ‘notable’ names, and afternoon tea in the St John’s Lounge from 2pm – 3.30pm. It is also producing a small booklet containing short biographies of the 40 notables which the public can keep. The event starts at 1pm on Sunday October 6 in the St John’s Lounge and finishes at 4pm. If the weather is too wet to conduct tours, the video presentation and talks on the ‘notables’ will be held in the lounge.

This year Purewa celebrates 130 years since it was established in 1889 by the Anglican Church. Originally founded as an Anglican cemetery, Purewa has for many years been open to everyone.

For more information contact Friends of Purewa at or Kathy Goodwin at

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