The Beginning

Pottery production began on the Temuka site in the 1930’s. Arthur Toplis factory manager for NEECO (National Electric and Engineering Company) started producing small items such as tobacco jars for Christmas presents for New Zealand Insulators’ customers (Temuka Potterys’ parent company) Products made included teapots, vases, tobacco jars and mixing bowls.


Thomas Lovatt

Thomas Lovatt (who had done contract work on electric jug design) was appointed General Manager Production now included mixing bowls.


The War

During World War II production was restricted to electric jugs, mixing bowls,chamber pots, hot water bottle and teapots for the Indian army. Small decorative pieces were still made as gifts for staff at Christmas, or as promotional give-aways.


Work on cups and saucers for New Zealand Railways

The wording in the advert below reads: “The Potters wheel spins .... deft fingers press and mould and shape lifeless clay into articles of beauty and utility. During the war years there was more utility than beauty. Insulators made in our Temuka factory were in use as far afield as India, keeping vital communication links open. Now we are swinging back to peace time-production of lovely Temuka ware giving New Zealand the mixing bowls, basins, teapots, jugs and vases so urgently needed”


Factory fire

After a major factory fire production began on electric jug bodies and tankard jugs for the Union Steam Ship Company


Company purchased

NEECO was bought by Cable Price Downer Limited and Lovatt was replaced as manager. Production of domestic pottery declined


New products

Coffee and tea sets, casseroles and storage jars were introduced. Temuka stoneware dinner sets were added to the range – in varying shades of brown. Due to the increase in demand for Temuka Product a separate pottery manufacturing area was built at the factory 1977.


A change of colour

Temuka ware moved away from plain brown ceramics into other colours such as Alpine Mist , a grey design the borders. Also a greater range of shapes were introduced into the market, expanding both tableware and bakeware.

Product shape became as important as decorations. Sheerline and Kingston, were followed by the Canterbury Collection, Series 2000, Millenium, Classique and Platinum. Colour then became more prevalent, designs such as Wildflower, Spring Bloom and Forest Green came into being. These hand painted designs complimented the spray glazed decorations


Cafés and bars

Temuka Pottery features in the High Country Herald

Bold and attractive colours were established. With the rise of boutique cafés and bars in New Zealand, Temuka ware became popular as a rugged, durable and yet an aesthetically pleasing way to present food. Many hundreds of designs were specifically created for cafes across New Zealand looking for an individual and distinctive ‘look’. New ranges of shapes were added for tableware and bakeware. Temuka Pottery has retail outlets in New Market, Mairangi Bay, Takapuna, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Kilburnie, Riccarton, Temuka and Dunedin.


New releases

“Series 2000” shape range released

Wildflower concept drawing and finished product. “Fierce Ovens”, a monthly newsletter for customers and staff is published. In the March 1994 issue, a new range of platters is launched. The Pacific Blue Design on the series 2000 cookware designed by Royce McGlashen was expanded. The front page also details the purchase of a new bowl rolling machine from Germany. This would be used for Casseroles and Crockpot liners for Sunbeam Corporation. Within were articles on Paul White ( housebrand designer ), and photos of commercial ware for Lone Star restaurants and the Park Royal in Christchurch. Briscoes had just launched “Country Cottage”.



The Temuka Pottery shop moves from it’s site on King Street Temuka to 1995:Mendelson Barn on the Temuka State Highway 1 bypass road .

Temuka Pottery begins making pottery under license for Christopher Vine Design (Australia) Christopher Vine pottery is exported to Australia, and later sold domestically.


The sushi plate

Owen Port, mould maker, creates the Sushi Plate shape. A geometrically complicated shape to create, the sushi goes on to be hugely successful


Promotional give aways

Temuka Pottery makes hundreds of margerine containers for Meadow-lea, to be used for promotional give aways. Later in the same year, thousands of “Purr-sonalised” cat bowls are produced for Chef. Each bowl had the cats (or dogs, in some cases) name hand painted on it..


New shapes

Experimental shapes such as planter pots and umbrella stands carried the Temuka name. The Planter Pots were hand thrown and then hand decorated, producing a glorious terracotta background to the bright foreground colours Whimsical designs such as “House” were well recieved.

In September 1999, Temuka tableware was chosen for the APEC leaders dinner held at the Auckland town hall. The APEC catering team commissioned a specially designed square plate for entrees, as well as using a dinner plate, and triangular plate fo desserts. Four hundred and ten of these specially crafted plates were produced in a matt black colour.


Exporting to the UK

Seven Seas Trading, based in Folkestone Kent, imports and sells Temuka Pottery in England.


A new look

Platinum shape range released

Temuka takes on a new look and a new logo (which represents a stack of plates). Temuka Pottery is also briefly known as Temuka Homeware.


Our own café

“Brix Cafe” opens to compliment the Temuka Pottery Shop. While customers were dining they could view photos showing the production process in the factory


Online store

In March of 2009, the Factory Shop moved temporarily onto the factory site in Thomas Street. A revamped web site gives the ability to purchase the latest designs, and buyers to communicate directly with the factory



In March 2011 the Temuka Pottery range was revamped with 7 designs being retired an new ranges released. Simultaneously with this, the Temuka Pottery Shop reopened in Mendelsons Barn on th SH1 Bypass in Temuka. The shop is operated under license by the successful 100% Homemade Café. To compliment this change a logo reflecting our long history was launched.


The Hobbit

In May of 2012, Temuka celebrated it’s continuing commitment to traditional methods of decorating pottery, with a new “Decorated by Hand” label.

November 2012 : Temuka Pottery joins middle earth, supplying Hobbiton Movie Tours with table ware for their cafe Green Dragon Inn.


Venturing north

The Cambridge Country Store (also known as the “Pink Church” as it is house an old, historic, pink church) stocks Temuka Pottery – marking the return of Temuka Pottery to the North Island

November 2013 : Temuka Pottery teams up with Merge Fashion and Homewares in Newmarket Auckland, 20 years after the original Temuka Pottery shop closed just a few doors down on Broadway.


Birds and dogs

Temuka partners with Forest and Bird, donating 10% of the sale price for items in the Native Birds range to help support and protect New Zealand habitats and species.

Hand painted pizza plates with dog decals were commissioned as trophies for the Tux South Island and New Zealand Dog Trial Championship held at Waihi Station near Geraldine


Our new website!

Temuka launches it's new website, once again providing customers a place to purchase from their entire product range online