Kaipara Butchery Project

One of Kaipara Flat’s most enduring icons – and most photographed buildings – is the original Kaipara Butchery at the junction in the middle of the village, near the railway bridge.

Having been closed for many years it is now showing the ravages of time and is in danger of collapse.

Although of no value as a building, we feel it is a benefit to our community to retain this piece of local history – and owner Gail McDowell has agreed to work with a group of locals to fix it up, so that this charming link to the past can survive.



This newspaper cutting from the Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette in 1906 shows an advertisement for Guest & Sons – General Providers & Importers of Warkworth, with a Butchery in Kaipara Flats.

At some point around the time of the 1st World War, Guests amalgamated with another local Butcher – Civil Brothers – to form the Warkworth Meat Company.


In 1927, Local patriarch Harry Mason announced he had taken over the Guest’s Butchery – by then already 20 years old.

‘Nothing but the primest of meat on hand’.


Just before the 2nd World War, which was to see Kaipara Flats fill with Army Camps, the Butchery was taken over by Stan & Iris Phillips.

Over the next 50 years it was run by a number of other locals, including Les Hallam – and Bert and Pearl McMasters, who were the last to run it as a butcher’s shop before they started home-kills.

A slaughterhouse at the top of Thomson Road was used to feed the shop it’s product.

The Butchery was continued by Rupert Berger, then John Fletcher – who was the last person to use the shop for processing meat in the early 1970s.

John still lives in Kaipara Flats, but the Kaipara Butchery hasn’t sold a sausage for the best part of 50 years.


Over a Century since the Butchery sold it’s first Spring Lamb, the Kaipara Butchery remains one of the most identifiable buildings in the whole area. However, it is now in danger of collapse – the floor and timbers are rotting  and the large Wattle tree which has grown up right next to the building is damaging the foundations and making it impossible to repair. The interior retains most of the Butchery fittings, but work is needed to protect this charming old building – and an important link to the past of Kaipara Flats.

Repair & Renovation Project

July 2016

There has been much discussion in the community about saving this lovely old building. It is privately owned and understandably of no great value as a building – but as a piece of local history it is invaluable – so a group of locals led by Sioux Anich and Brett Innes have got together to stop the structure getting any worse.

There is no fixed purpose for the building in mind at this stage – just to retain it for the next generation of residents to appreciate and remind us all of the history of Kaipara Flats.

The community have rallied behind the project and we will be keeping this page updated with progress. You can register your interest in helping or if you can provide materials or sponsorship – please use the form below or contact Brett Innes Email or donations can be sent to Sioux Anich Email.

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Local arborists and tree management specialists  Treescape, who do a lot of the treework around the Kaipara Flats area, removed the large Wattle Tree from next to the building.

12th November

Fundraising for Butchery renovation project at Kaipara Flats Village Fayre with a Sausage Sizzle and Raffle. 

Progress Report – Autumn 2017

Work on the Kaipara Butchery has been going all Summer and the exterior is all but finished. The awning has been replaced along with new fascia and tie-rods, which hold the awning up. It was revealed that the roof and framing were too rotten to withstand the force so many timbers and the roof itself have had to be replaced. The work means that the appearance of the Butchery is protected for the future so future generations of residents and visitors can appreciate the charm of the oldest remaining link to the village shops of the past.

We are very grateful to the following people who have given their time and effort to help with this project and the Companies who have donated materials..

Sioux & Peter Anich

George Wech

Brett Innes

Ros Guy

John Stevens

Wayne Wright

John Gauntlett



Carol & Paul Green

Odette Wech

Katie Boyle

Adrian Hayward

Jules & Warren Palmer

Gail McDowell – for allowing us to make these repairs on the community’s behalf

And the folk of Kaipara Flats who supported it.

Coresteel for Roofing – Andrew & Julie Boyd

Metroscaff for Scaffolding – Steve Murphy

Timberworld – for timber & materials

Guthrie Bowron – for Paint

Treescapes – for Tree removal

Elite Window Solutions – for Glass

Signs by Two Brothers – for signage

Tasty Bytes – for website updates

Please support these local companies when you can.


Contact Us if you would like to help

4 + 8 =

Kaipara Flats Sports Club and the Kaipara Flats Village Fayre committee for their support

+ to all the other people in the community who gave hours of help, encouragement, support… and sausages.

We have started the long process of an application to Auckland Council for a heritage listing – to ensure the building is protected in perpetuity .

Now, about the inside…