A Bricks & Mortar Legacy: Stories of Commercial Buildings in Te Awamutu 1890 – 1957


Image: Regent Theatre, Te Awamutu. Whites Aviation Ltd: Photographs. Ref: WA-22277-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22478806

Pre-order your copy now and secure the special limited price of $75 (each).

Walk down memory lane learning fascinating stories behind some of Te Awamutu's most iconic commercial buildings in this new book, due for publication mid-2024.


The Te Awamutu branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists have been involved in investigating the history of 32 buildings in Te Awamutu, some of which are now more than 100 years old.

The buildings, all constructed between 1890 and 1957, were selected because of their age and architecture – and in the case of the 86-year-old, Hodgson Motors building, because it faced demolition.

Information about each building was gathered from Waipa District Council’s archives, old newspapers, public consultations, and interviews, and images were sourced from photographic collections at Te Awamutu Museum.

Genealogy group members consider the many hours of research have been worth it because they are now able to provide the town with a comprehensive record of the commercial buildings and their history.

Buildings mentioned in this book are:

"The research has given us great insight into the commercial development of our town, and the contribution the businesses made to the local and national economy - it’s information that needs to be preserved and shared."

TA Business Chamber Chief Executive Shane Walsh

Caption: Sloane Street, Te Awamutu, ca 1910s. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-001220-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22763689


The history of the development of the commercial area of Te Awamutu and the stories of these buildings have been compiled by author Alan Hall in association with fellow-genealogist Sandra Metcalfe.

Alan has lived in Pirongia for the last 20 years, having retired from the position of Associate Dean at the University of Waikato School of Education.

During this time, he has investigated aspects of the history of the Waipa district, focusing particularly on Pirongia and Te Awamutu.

He has written a number of publications about the history of the Alexandra / Pirongia district for the Pirongia Heritage Centre and in 2022 compiled a history of the Pirongia Boxing Day Races published by the Alexandra Racing Club.


A working life in the construction industry and an interest in social and family history led Sandra Metcalfe to be involved with the research and creation of the Bricks & Mortar book.

Born and raised in Kihikihi, and a Te Awamutu resident for most of her life, Sandra has been active in the NZ Society of Genealogists and Te Awamutu genealogy group since the late 1980s.

From the 6-person team that began research for this project in 2017, Sandra and Alan, the ones most captivated by the stories about the 32 commercial buildings, are committed to its completion.

While researching family history feeds her soul, Sandra has relished the opportunity to work alongside Alan and observe him in action as a writer. Their complimentary skills have worked well for this publication, in Alan's words "Sandra handles the business side, I handle the writing".

Once this book is published, Sandra's next project is to finalise stories from the Kihikihi Cemetery project started back in 2019 and share them with the community and genealogy society.


Due for publication mid-2024, pre-order your copies below

Pre-order your copy now and secure the special limited price of $75 (each).


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