Dodgshun House

32 Score Road, Kaiti, Gisborne

  • Dodgshun House, Score Rd, Gisborne. Map from QuickMap®.
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List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3514 Date Entered 5th April 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 32 DP 1480 (CT GS3B/235) and Lot 33 DP 1480 (CT GS3B/103) Gisborne Land District, and the building known as Dodgshun House thereon.

City/District Council

Gisborne District


Gisborne Region

Legal description

Lot 32 DP 1480 (CT GS3B/235) and Lot 33 DP 1480 (CT GS3B/103), Gisborne Land District


Dodgshun House in Gisborne is a middle-class residence, constructed just before the First World War as the first marital home of a young couple – Gordon and Freda Dodgshun. Erected in 1912, the single-storey residence was probably purpose-designed by the notable architect C.T. Natusch, who created a number of other significant dwellings in the lower North Island. Of Tudor-influenced Old English design, the house was lived in by the same occupants for the next 50 years, over which period it was modified by the same architect to accommodate changing requirements at different stages of family life. The residence is one of several notable dwellings in its immediate neighbourhood that reflect architectural and social variation in the development of Gisborne’s early twentieth-century suburbs.

Tūranganui-a-kiwa, now known as Gisborne, has a long history of Māori occupation. The earliest European settlers moved to the area in the 1830s and the government laid out the town of Gisborne in 1870. With the establishment of new industries in the region at the end of the nineteenth century, the population of Gisborne grew and there was increased suburbanisation of the land around the early town. Located to the east of the township, the Kaiti Block remained in Maori ownership before it was partitioned in 1888. After further subdivision in 1897 and 1907, Gordon Mawley Dodgshun and Freda Lilian Davies purchased neighbouring quarter acre sections in 1911. The couple were married the following year, at which time Dodgshun House was constructed across both lots.

Dodgshun House was erected in a Tudor-influenced, Old English style, probably by Charles Tilleard Natusch (1859-1951). Based in Napier and Wellington, Natusch frequently used Tudor influences in his designs and is best remembered for his ‘legacy of fine houses’ in the lower North Island. Prominent Old English features in the design of Dodgshun House included the use imitation half timbering in the gables, rough stucco cladding and a tiled roof. The interior of the house also contained an asymmetrical floorplan and a large impressive staircase to the upper level. Old English architecture conveyed notions of close connections with England as part of the British Empire and also became increasingly popular in middle-class circles during the early twentieth century due to its associations with economic prosperity and respectability.

At the time of initial construction the Dodgshuns were a young middle-class family with existing social links to other residents in the immediate neighbourhood. Their acquaintances included Geoffrey Willock, whose parents had constructed a grander, Tudor-influenced residence nearby, also designed by Natusch in 1906 (List No.3510, Category 2 historic place). Gordon Dodgshun worked as a dentist, a career that was becoming more professionalised from the early 1900s. He was also a champion golf player at the prestigious Poverty Bay Club. Freda Dodgshun was involved with local performance groups and played piano accompaniments for productions. In 1917 Gordon enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the First World War (1914-18), serving in his capacity as a dentist along with a number of other members of the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA). The Dental Corps was established to provide dental treatment to troops at the front after the association had also provided free dental work to men who would have otherwise have been unable to enlist. Dodgshun was invalided home when he contracted influenza in England during the 1918 flu pandemic.

After the war Gordon continued to work as a dentist in Gisborne. A Natusch-designed two-storey wing was added to the rear of the house in 1923 after the birth of the couple’s second child in 1922. In 1933 another room was added to the west side of the house to be used as a bicycle room and workshop. The Dodgshuns continued to live at the property until 1964 and the place has since been subject to several transfers of ownership. In 1981 a garage was added to the west side of the property and earthquake damage to the chimneys was repaired in 1993. In 2018 Dodgshun House remained in private ownership. It forms one a group of residences in close proximity within the same neighbourhood, which reflect architectural and social variation in the development of Gisborne’s early twentieth-century suburbs through the construction of homes of differing styles for owners of varying status.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Natusch, C.T. & Sons

Charles Tilleard Natusch (1859-1951) completed his architectural studies in England in 1882, after which he travelled in the United States and Canada. He returned to England in 1883 to become involved in the town planning and development of Southend-on-Sea. He immigrated to New Zealand in 1886 and after a short collaboration with Atkins & Clere, established a practice in Wellington as an architect and quantity surveyor. He then moved to Masterton, Pahiatua and finally to Napier, where he bought the architectural practice of Robert Lamb. From 1908 Natusch worked with his three sons, Aleck, Rene and Stanley. The firm received many domestic commissions from the farming community. Its well known houses include Bushy Park (Kai Iwi), Gwavas (Tikokino), Matapiro (Napier), Maungaraupi (Marton) and Wharerata (Massey University). Following several changes of name and three generations of Natusch architects, the family practice continues today as Natusch Partnership in Napier.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1912 -

1923 -
Addition– rear wing

1933 -
Addition – Bicycle room and work shop

Additional building added to site
1981 -
Construction of garage

Completion Date

29th June 2018

Report Written By

Alexandra Foster

Information Sources

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Natusch, Guy K., 'Natusch, Charles Tilleard', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1996. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Monty Soutar, “East Coast places – Gisborne”, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,, [accessed 5 January 2018].

Auckland War Memorial Museum, Online Cenotaph

Auckland War Memorial Museum, Online Cenotaph, ‘Gordon Mawley Dodgshun’, URL:

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 Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.