This important part of Auckland has a unique heritage of history, culture and architecture. Once neglected, it has emerged as a vibrant mixed-use community – and a legacy for the city.
Lying between the Waitemata Harbour and Auckland’s lower CBD, Britomart is a 6.5-hectare waterfront precinct of heritage buildings, new developments and open and intimate public spaces. It is immediately adjacent to Auckland’s main transport hub, Britomart Transport Centre.
The area has a rich history as Auckland’s first mercantile centre and is home to one of the largest concentrations of heritage buildings in the city. After a long period of neglect in the 1980s and 90s, Britomart has been given a new lease of life by its long-term owners, the Britomart Group of companies.
Eighteen historic buildings are being restored here and seven state-of-the-art new buildings developed. It’s all part of a long-term project that’s transforming Britomart into one of the most exciting places in New Zealand: a 24/7 community where people live, work, shop and play
A bit of History
Former headland Point Britomart was once the site of Fort Britomart, an active base for British colonial troops in the 1860s. Its name was taken from a Royal Navy gunship, HMS Britomart, which carried out the first detailed survey of the Waitemata Harbour in 1841.
Before the arrival of Europeans, this headland is thought to have been the site of at least one Māori pā, or fortified village. The Ngāti Whātua people trace ancestral ties to this area, including sites of ancient historical significance.
In 1840 Ngāti Whātua gifted 3000 acres of land to Governor Hobson for the building of a new capital city. It was on the headland at the centre of this land, soon to be named Point Britomart, that Auckland’s first Union Jack flew, marking the site of New Zealand’s first colonial capital.
Britomart continues to grow and evolve as more and more people and companies join the community.
By 2015, there will be close to 200 businesses based here, with hotels and apartments contributing to the 24/7 buzz of Britomart