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Hewson Real Estate Ltd has been trading as an iconic Kerikeri real estate company since the early 1950’s. Established by Mr. Don Hewson, the business won international recognition for specialising in coastal property and in the sale of islands. The Hewsons as a family continued involvement with selling real estate in the far north was strengthened in the late 1970’s when Ian Knox became a partner and then owner of the local business.

Ian conducted the first million dollar sale in the bay and was an integral part of the local community, he held various positions of trust and was president of the Justices of the Peace NZ association and was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for community service. The Hewson Real Estate Group joined the Ray White network in 1994 and in more recent times after Ian Knox’s passing the business has continued to be successfully family run with strong values through Beren Knox and daughter Laura Whyte-Knox.

Kerikeri offers a true lifestyle situated approximately three hours North of Auckland and one hour north of Whangarei. While Kerikeri has maintained an area of high-level growth it still manages to attract a growing number of residents through its charm of history and mixture of property lifestyles available.

Laura Whyte-Knox, business owner of Ray White Kerikeri, said that the Bay of Islands and in particular Kerikeri is one of the most beautiful places to visit and live in New Zealand. Our family has been part of the Hewson Real Estate Group for over 35 years and is the longest established real estate group in the area. We pride ourselves on family values and being part of the Ray White Group. This allows us to align the strength and direction of Ray White New Zealand to our own business, to consistently and successfully exceed our client’s expectations through the delivery of outstanding service and technology driven marketing to provide results that see all of our clients achieve the very best outcomes.

Carey Smith, Ray White New Zealand Chief Executive said, Ray White Kerikeri has a wonderful history and an enduring future with the Ray White Group being a member for now over 20 years, the business has continued to evolve and taking on and exceeding the challenges to be able to expand the marketing direction of each property looked after by the agency. Ray White Kerikeri is part of the Ray White Northland Group which spans 13 offices across the region. The Kerikeri business, in particular, is a leader in our Northland area, we are proud to share the family values with the Kerikeri team which has seen us further our agreement.

Laura has additional business interests partnering with Gary Steed in three other locations through the Bay of Islands. Ray White Kerikeri has a strong sense of local community supporting various schools, charities and community groups. Some of the long-standing events include The Bay of Islands Waimate Show, Kerikeri Christmas parade, Ronald McDonald House National Appeal Day, Garden Safari and the Ray White Easter Bunny event, giving free easter eggs to the community. Additionally the office supports The Going Bananas Show and New Zealand Riding for the Disabled.

Call in and visit Laura and her team at Ray White Kerikeri, 47 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri or their local website


Following this announcement, we asked Laura Whyte-Knox, Business Owner of Ray White Kerikeri a few questions about her business and career in real estate, here’s what Laura said:

When did you enter the real estate industry? In 1997 when I joined my Father’s real estate company Hewson Real Estate Ltd, who owned the Kerikeri and Paihia offices.

When did you join Ray White? Hewsons were already part of the Ray White Group when I joined in 1997.

When did your office join Ray White? Hewsons first joined United Realty World Limited in August 1994, which later became Ray White United, then Ray White Real Estate.

During those years what have been the major changes you have seen in Ray White NZ? Growth and strength of the Ray White network in New Zealand, an introduction of the collective commitment and development of the Property Management division (thanks, Zac Snelling).  

How has your business changed over that time? We are still in the same building, and have a strong team environment; our biggest change would be our advancement in technology, structures around compliance, and a much more ‘child-friendly’ atmosphere.

What is the Ray White Group greatest strength or point of difference? Definitely family, after 114 years in business that Ray White is still a family owned and led company is a great achievement.  

What do you enjoy/value most about Ray White? Family values and the close connection we have as a group, particularly in our Northland region.  Consistent and continued technology development and support from Keith Ashkettle, and advancement Zac Snelling has made to Property Management. Overall the support and opportunities we have from the Ray White Corporate team, and other business owners in our group.  And for me personally, the support Carey Smith gave myself and my family, when my father unexpectedly passed away in 2011.

What has been your proudest business moment owning your Ray White office? Seeing my team advance and grow with personal achievements and successes.

What is your average sale price? $460,000

What is a typical sale for your office i.e. type of property? Residential family home or small lifestyle property.

Do you have property management? Yes.

If you have property management, how important is this to your business? Very important, Pauline and Tracy both have high professional standards with the commitment to providing quality service.

What community work do you align to in your market? We have sponsored and supported many organisations, local teams, and community events over the years, as a company and as individuals. Rather than just one event or organisation, we try to help or support as many as we can, to make some difference in our community.

Do you want us to acknowledge any business partner or other significant person in the story? I would like to thank my Mother Beren, for entrusting me with the family business. My husband Damien for his support and encouragement. Allan Sykes from Ray White Whangarei, a fabulous mentor, and Gary Steed, my business partner for Northland Circle Real Estate for his support and making me laugh.


Written by Ray White New Zealand

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