State Highway 56 And Karere Road, Karere

  • House, (Voss House, Karere). Image courtesy of the Palmerston North City Council.
    Copyright: Palmerston North City Council. Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2815 Date Entered 20th October 2011


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Pt Sec 30 Karere Blk (CT WN20D/885), Wellington Land District and the building known as House thereon, and its fittings and fixtures. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).

City/District Council

Manawatu District


Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 30 Karere Blk (CT WN20D/885), Wellington Land District


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Voss, Mark

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

House, Karere, is located to the north of the farm it services. The residential section of the property contains several buildings associated with the farmhouse. However, aside from an old watertank stand which has been relocated from its original position and is used as a shed, no others are contemporary with the main construction periods at the house.

The original circa 1875 farmhouse was a characteristically simple Victorian cottage, the type of building commonly constructed by the family for whom the house was intended, and using materials locally and cheaply accessible. The late Victorian/Georgian additions to the building added complexity to its form, and some decorative elements that elevated it above the purely utilitarian, but the house still retained the feeling of a modest farmhouse. A second storey with central dormer window and corbel course was added, as well as extra width, to the original farmhouse prior to the turn of the twentieth century. Much of the original cottage was altered at this point however, the window of the south front bedroom appears to be that of the circa 1875 building.

It is thought that between 1910 and 1920 the house was again extended with a perpendicular gable onto which the sunroom adjunct was added. When viewed from the main road the house would have looked symmetrical at this time due to the creation of a gabled section parallel to the main gable. However, this was not the same width as the front gable and at the intersection of this rear gable and the middle gable was a lean-to containing the kitchen. It was during this period that the house received the third version of its verandah with the construction of the bull-nosed verandah across the front of the house and wrapping around the north side, connecting to the sunroom and shading the bay window to its east. Other features of this north side of the building include a large box bay window in what is now a bathroom. The finials on the front dormer and the apexes of the existing gables were also constructed during this period and extend from robust simply shaped pedimental bargeboards.

In recent years the kitchen lean-to has been altered with an extension of the rear gable along the entire width of the building, so that the house now has an overriding symmetrical appearance on the south side also. The bargeboards of this section are consequently replicas of those on the late Victorian and Georgian extensions. Other changes to the house in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries include: the removal of all of the early brick chimneys; the addition of the kitchen gable, dormer, and upper gable room; and the widening of the central gable section in order to achieve a more uniform southeast wall line. Some of the internal changes include the insertion of a set of French doors between two living spaces on the north side of the house, as well as the creation of built-in wardrobes in most of the bedrooms, and modern joinery in the kitchen and bathroom.

The main entrance of the house is from the centre front of the building and is flanked by a bedroom to the south, and to the north is a morning room that links via French doors into the living room and sunroom. The central passageway is the length of these front rooms and joins a lengthwise passageway that houses the stairway to the front upper storey bedrooms. The base of the stair is just in front of the south/side entrance to the house. On the southwest side of the lengthwise passageway is a door which leads into a dining room, and subsequently into the kitchen and other household work spaces of the house through as an opposing door, and into the living room and its sunroom from a northwest door. Behind the living room is the master bedroom, as well as a separate bathroom and laundry. Since the front and rear gable upper levels of the Voss home are not connected this rear section of the house has another staircase. The laundry has a small lean-to at its southern corner which contains the access point to the house.

Most of the rooms have exposed timber floorboards and several double-hung windows each. Aside from use of French doors in the living spaces, and the southwest gable room, none of the interior spaces are open plan and are not overly large, which reflects the cosy atmosphere one usually associates with farmhouses. Some notable interior features are the green and pink panels of glazing around the borders of the sunroom windows and the impressive wood panelled ceiling of the living room.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1875 -
Original farmhouse constructed

- 1900
Farmhouse width extended and second storey added

1910 - 1912
Additional gables constructed and sunroom

2001 -
Lean-to converted to a gable

Other Information

A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Central Region Office

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.