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Peter Laurent was a major player in the construction of many of Northland's Highways. Photo / Supplied

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The new building allows people to move around and have a good look at the vintage bulldozers and other machinery. Photo / Supplied
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President Dick Thorburn during the opening of the Laurent Display Room at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.


Some of Northland's oldest pieces of machinery are now housed in one of the region's newest buildings.

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The Laurent Display Room at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club at Maunu has been officially opened with about 15 bulldozers being moved into place with still room for a few more pieces of Northland's machinery history.

According to the team of hardworking club members the first part of the project had been completed and now fundraising will start again so a top story can be built.

Work on the ground floor part of the building began in August last year and about 80 people were at the opening on March 31.

Current club president and life member Dick Thorburn said the shed was a major achievement for the club members who were focused on restoring and displaying vintage machinery.

President Dick Thorburn during the opening of the Laurent Display Room at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.
President Dick Thorburn during the opening of the Laurent Display Room at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.

The club formed in 1991 with an extension built in 2005 as the club's collection grew. It soon became evident more room was needed as more machinery was collected.

"It's no good having a collection if you can't share it with other people," Thorburn said.

He said club members got behind the project as did local companies and contractors to ensure it was a success.

But Thorburn assured those at the opening there was more to come.

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The project was given a big boost with a Lotto grant along with a significant donation from former club president Peter Laurent, who the building was named after.

Peter Laurent takes a look round the new display room, named after him, at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.
Peter Laurent takes a look round the new display room, named after him, at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.

Laurent, who established two road construction companies in the Far North and was responsible for constructing long sections of State Highways 1, 10 and 12, said it was an honour to have the building named after him.

"It's important that we keep these old machines for the future generations," Laurent said.

His wife Jacqui cut the ribbon and the shed was officially opened.

President Dick Thorburn with Jacqui Laurent, who cut the ribbon at the official opening.
President Dick Thorburn with Jacqui Laurent, who cut the ribbon at the official opening.

In February about 600 people got to see some of the machinery that made modern New Zealand what it is at the clubs annual "Crank Up" display.

More than 70 pieces of machinery, including tractors, bulldozers, hay making equipment and log splitters, were on display at the event to the delight of the children, who could sit on the tractors.

An impressive turnout for the official opening.
An impressive turnout for the official opening.
The Laurent Display Room at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.
The Laurent Display Room at the Northland Vintage Machinery Club.