Otekaieke Station Cookshop and Men’s Quarters

468-488 Special School Road, Otekaieke

  • Otekaieke Station Cookshop and Men’s Quarters. April 1979. Original image from NZHPT Print Collection .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: E Hanson.
  • Otekaieke Station Cookshop and Men’s Quarters. April 1979. Original image from NZHPT Print Collection .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: E Hanson.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2426 Date Entered 7th April 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Sec 117A Otekaieke Settlement (CT OT8A/800) Otago Land District, and the building known as the Otekaike Station Cookshop and Men’s Quarters, thereon, as shown in the extent map tabled at the Rarangi Korero Committee meeting on 9 March 2017.

City/District Council

Waitaki District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Sec 117A Otekaieke Settlement (CT OT8A/800), Otago Land District


This stone men’s quarters/cookshop, was built by the early 1860s and provided staff accommodation for the vast Otekaike pastoral run. The building has historical, architectural, and archaeological significance.

Run 28 in the Waitaki Valley was leased to Samuel Pike in 1854, its original boundaries being Kurow and Otekaike Creek as far back as the Saint Mary Range. By 1855 Pike had transferred the run to John Parkin Taylor (1812-1875). Taylor sold the run to William Dansey. William Henry Dansey, youngest son of a scholarly rector, was educated at Exeter College, Oxford. He arrived in Port Chalmers in December 1854 and after visiting Port Nicholson and Nelson came to the Waitaki valley. Dansey had a house on Run 28 by early 1859. An 1861 survey plan shows a 92 acre block with house, stable and futtah, and an adjacent 11 acre block with ‘men’s house’ and woolshed.’ An 1865 sale notice provides more detail about the buildings: stone house, separate servants’ quarters, stone stable, carriage house, gardener’s cottage, two acres of garden, store, stockyards and next door a further 11 acres pre-emptive right with ‘a large well-built men’s stone HUT, with good dairy and coal-sheds’ and a ‘WEATHERBOARD WOOL-SHED, about 45 x 40 feet, with iron roof, and yards to work 10,000 sheep.’ Dansey’s efforts laid the foundation for the next runholder who would make the property one of the most significant in New Zealand.

The descriptions match the existing building – so we presume that the ‘men’s house’ is that described in 1861, and that it is the same building as the ‘large well-built men’s stone HUT.’ Architect and historian Geoffrey Thornton describes the building as a ‘most pleasing example’ of the early use of limestone. The elongated single storey structure is built with locally quarried stone, and has a corrugated iron roof.

The property was sold to Robert Campbell in March 1865. Campbell was the Eton-educated son of a wealthy gentleman. Campbell also owned Galloway Station in Central Otago, Benmore Station near Omarama, and three Southland runs, and was a member of the House of Representatives. Campbell employed managers to look after the daily running of the station. W.H. Ostler was probably the first manager. Ostler was replaced by William Gilbert Rees at the end of 1868. Rees is a significant figure in Otago’s pastoral history, earlier being a partner of a huge station near what would become Queenstown, a large part of which was declared a Goldfield, to Rees’ disadvantage. Rees became a manager, first at Otekaieke and then across the Waitaki River at Station Peak. Malcolm McKellar became manager at Otekaieke in 1871.

In the early years of the twentieth century Otekaieke Station was subdivided into seven small grazing runs, thirty seven farms and twelve smallholdings. Four properties were allocated as ‘preferential blocks’ and allocated to former employees of Robert Campbell and Sons Limited. Dickson (Dick) Jardine (the Company’s manager) was granted the homestead block – with the ‘large stone house, woolshed, scouring shed, blacksmith’s shop, men’s hut, cook house, two small cottages and a slaughter house. The adjoining grand homestead, stables and other buildings along with 342 acres of land was handed over the Education Department as a special school for boys.

Jardine sold the 5008 hectare property to William Munro in 1913. When Munro died in 1922 Otekaieke was run by his widow Jeannie and her foster son J. George McDonald, whose descendants still own the station. The lease specified the improvements – a dwelling, shearers’ quarters, tool shed; men’s quarters, woolshed, stable and barn, old shed, huts, yards, sheep-dip and fencing. In 2016, the Cookshop and Men’s Quarters remain a significant building on this historic pastoral property.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1860 -

Completion Date

13th December 2016

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

D. C. McDonald. 'Campbell, Robert', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/2c4/campbell-robert (accessed 13 December 2016)

McDonald, 1962

K C McDonald, 'White Stone Country', Oamaru, 1962

New Zealand Journal of History

New Zealand Journal of History

Bob Hall, ‘Land for the Landless: Settlement of the Otekaike Estate in North Otago 1908’ in New Zealand Journal of History, 19, 1, 1985

Pinney, 1981

R. Pinney, Early Northern Otago Runs, Auckland, 1981

Thornton, 1986

Geoffrey Thornton, The New Zealand Heritage of Farm Buildings, Auckland, 1986

Petchey, 2003

Peter Petchey, ‘Campbell Park Heritage Assessment: History and archaeology of Otekaieke Estate, grounds and gardens’, 2003

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand.