Hocken Collections archivist Dr David Murray (left) and
Lund South Construction foreman Barry Skudder look through
some of the historical records which were discovered at the
New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company Ltd building
in Thomas Burns St, Dunedin. Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
A glimpse into the early history of Dunedin has been
discovered by the developers of the historic New Zealand Loan
and Mercantile Agency Company Ltd building.
Lund South Construction foreman, and building site manager,
Barry Skudder said a room on the ground floor of the building
which had remained untouched since Russell Lund bought the
building in mid-'90s was ''floor to ceiling full'' of records
in boxes and crates.
As the construction crew cleaned out the building for the
development of its second floor - which it is hoped will be
redeveloped into a 24-unit apartment complex - some of the
boxes were opened and found to contain records dating back to
the early days of the building's use.
''It's a lot of history,'' Mr Skudder said.
''I just love the history of it.''
Hocken Collections archivist Dr David Murray said the library
would take away the records and sort through it to add
historical documents to its collections.
''It was quite a surprise how much early history there was,''
The account books, share registers and records could provide
many uses for researchers.
An account book from the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile
Agency Company Ltd dated to 1886.
''Dunedin was the industrial and commercial capital of
New Zealand at the time and these [the building's tenants] were
a couple of the most prominent companies in Dunedin,'' Dr
''These records can tell you quite a bit about society [at
''It can be quite time consuming but very rewarding.''
Mr Skudder said he was pleased Hocken Collections would take
the records and hoped it would contribute to the history of
The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company Ltd
building, originally known as the Otago Wool Stores, was
built in 1872 for stock and station agents Driver Stewart and
The New Zealand Loan & Mercantile Agency Company Ltd took
over Otago Wool Stores in 1874 and made additions to the
building in 1885, 1915 and 1929, before selling it to
Stewart's Transport in the 1960s.
The building has been untenanted since 1999.