Local Focus: First live art auction this weekend at Whanganuis Heritage Art Auctions

It’s the circle of life for Henry Newrick, returning to Whanganui and starting Heritage Art Auctions.

He grew up in Aramoho, and his grandfather was the director of the Sarjeant Gallery for 25 years, and says his love of art most likely came from growing up surrounded by European paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Newrick started dealing art at university to help fund his way through. He bought at auctions and sold privately and says “one thing led to another”.

Heritage Art Auctions holds regular online auctions as well as live auctions.

The live auctions are reserved for valuable and rare works.

The first live auction is at Heritage House this weekend.

Actor Patrick McKenna will be auctioning the paintings, prints and photographs.

Prices are expected to range from $1000 to $75,000.

Newrick says the quarterly auctions will always be held on a Saturday at 2pm.

“That’s set in stone. That means people can leave home anywhere in the lower North Island by 8am or 9am and be here by midday.”

The art will be ready for viewing the day before (Friday), right up until the auction.

Heritage Art Auction offices are upstairs in Heritage House, the auction itself will take place in the main ballroom downstairs. The auctions will run from 2pm to 5pm.

Newrick expects the auctions to attract buyers from around the lower North Island and says there has already been a lot of interest nationally and internationally.

Heritage Art Auctions will accept a limited number of internet bidders for this weekend’s live auction, but those attending in real life will appreciate the full experience.

“In terms of dedicated art auction houses, there’s none outside of Auckland currently,” Newrick says.

“Others will have art one week, estate sales the next week, that could incorporate fridges and washing machines.”

He returned to Whanganui in 2016 and brings a lot of business experience with him, including the establishment of business magazine the National Business Review.

The start-up history of National Business Review (NBR) is as practical as many of the publications he has produced over the years.

“In 1969 I launched a publication called Property News which I kept an eye on the property market and to get information.

“I was subscribing to the Australian Financial Review which came on every Friday from Australia and so I thought, what New Zealand needs is a good business newspaper.”

“There was nothing like it on the market at the time. Most publications traded their editorial for advertising. They were cutting deals with the advertisers and I wanted something independent like the Financial Review or the Financial Times in the UK or the Wall Street Journal, that the journalism is quite independent of the advertisers, and that was so how NBR started [on] August 26, 1970.”

• For more information about Heritage Art Auctions or to register, visit

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