Having a gavel and an auctioneer's license has created a business opportunity for Darry Penrose.

Whangarei's last auction house, Thomson and Bagley, may have closed recently but there's still room for old-fashioned auctions, says Mr Penrose.

He and wife, Paula, were running Thomson and Bagley but owner Dave Hodson became ill and closed the business.

Now they have set up Whangarei Auctions and will auction either on site or in short-term lease buildings. Their first major auction will be the chattels from long-established restaurateur Reva Meredith's Town Basin restaurant and bar Reva's, on April 17. The auction will be at the restaurant.


"Since Thomson and Bagley closed I've had a lot of people ask if we could sell their stuff, especially antiques."

He wishes anyone wanting to set up an auction house in Northland "good luck" because of the pressure from online sites such as Trade Me. However, he said he believes there is room in the marketplace for pop-up auctions on a casual basis.

"We may rent a venue for a month, perhaps only two weeks or even just for one auction then have a break and move on to the next auction."

The Penroses have set up a Facebook page and say they have had more than 7000 "likes" on the Reva auction and they have had thousands of hits on their website, including interest from Auckland, liquidators as well as local interest.

They will also look at auctions outside of Whangarei, saying they are considering an auction in Kerikeri.

And a last word from Mr Penrose on the auction at Reva's at the Waterfront: "If you're late you probably won't get in."

- If you have any business news, tips or ideas contact me at biz@northernadvocate.co.nz or (09) 470 2838.