Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Britomart Precinct has a new bar - [BREW ON QUAY] - and it is Fabulous. The old Wharf Police Building is an important remnant of Auckland's industrial and commercial history, and of the town's role as the only producer of refined sugar in New Zealand. Surviving in a remarkably intact condition, the single-storey structure was erected as the head office of the New Zealand branch of the Colonial Sugar Refining (CSR) Company in 1903, on newly reclaimed land between the docks and railway line. The Australian-based company had established their only industrial works in the country, now known as the Chelsea Sugar Refinery, on the other side of the Waitemata Harbour in 1884. The refinery processed cane sugar from Fiji and elsewhere, producing finished products such as refined sugar, treacle and molasses. Many of these goods were transported across the harbour to Auckland, and stored in the CSR Company Building for further distribution.

The sugar industry had a major impact on nineteenth-century settlement in the Pacific, and formed an important part of colonial trade. The building reflects New Zealand's developing role as a processor of raw materials from other countries, and its connection with Australian industries. The structure is important as part of a wider historic land and water-scape, with the CSR Company refinery and grounds surviving as industrial sites across the Waitemata Harbour. The building interior is extremely significant for its well-preserved nature, offering insights into the organisation and appearance of the early twentieth century workplace. Its use as a wharf police station is of value to the history of law and order, reflecting the continuing use and importance of Auckland as a commercial port.

[EYE] ON AUCKLAND loves the fact that many of the original pieces have been preserved and restored to their former glory. The bar has three distinctive areas i.e. the Quay Street area is mostly intact and served as police front offices, lobby, reception counter and strong room. This area has the original police desk as well as finely detailed mahogany office partitions which forms part of the new bar. The middle section has the original toilet block and a courtyard and the southern section, originally the sugar store and cart dock, is now refurbished in a contemporary style. The ceiling and roof were demolished and a new mezzanine floor with outdoor terrace has been built.

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