Awatoitoi Homestead

Blairlogie Road, R.D. 12, Blairlogie

  • Awatoitoi Homestead.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Rebecca O'Brien. Date: 3/06/2003.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3956 Date Entered 21st September 1989


City/District Council

Masterton District


Wellington Region

Legal description

Blk 1 Rewa SD Pts sec 521 & 527 Wharema Block

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Awatoitoi is an important building in Wairarapa farming history. The present owner of Awatoitoi is Roger Montgomery Fairbrother, the grandson of Hugh Morrison for whom the homestead was built at the time of his marriage to Murial Stanley. However, the station was first owned by Hugh's father John Morrison. Hugh lived in the house until he died in 1951 and his wife lived on alone at the homestead until 1976 when ill health forced her to move in to town. She died in 1980 aged 99.

Educated at Nelson College and Wanganui Collegiate Morrison began his career on Blairlogie which was also John Morrison's land and of which Awatoitoi is a part. Hugh managed Blairlogie for some 12 years before it was subdivided and he took over Awatoitoi Station, for sheep and cattle farming.

Hugh Morrison was a leader in farming affairs being a founding member of the Wairarapa Farmers' Provincial Executive and of the Wairarapa Federated Farmers. He also was involved in local body parties, being a member of the Wellington Harbour Board.


A well preserved example of Charles Edward Daniell's work, Awatoitoi homestead clearly shows the skills of this early carpenter-designer in both the unusual design and the excellent workmanship.

As a later piece of Daniell's work it shows a progression away from the truer classical style shown in the Masterton Club towards the more flamboyant style of High Victorian Gothic which was more appropriate to native timber.

The choice of a Classical entrance emphasises the importance attached to this feature of the house by the owner.


The house is situated a few hundred metres off Blairlogie Road and originally its position at the top of a small rise meant it could be seen in all its grandeur for some distance, although now it is surrounded by native bush.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Daniell, Charles Edward

Daniell emigrated to New Zealand and settled in the Wairarapa in 1880 at the age of 24. He had learned building skills in England and began constructing bridges in the Wairarapa. Throughout the following years he designed and built many of the Wairarapa's large homesteads and farm buildings. He set up a timber mill for a ready supply of timber and then a hardware store. This store survived as "C.E. Daniell's" until the mid 1980s. Such ventures meant that Daniell was the largest employer in the Wairarapa for many years. In addition to this he worked extensively in the community, chairing several school Boards, an orphanage and the Wellington Harbour Board among other organizations.

He was responsible for Awatoitoi Homestead, Blairlogie (1907-12) and Annandale Station woolshed.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


Designed and built in the eclectic style of the Edwardian Period, Awatoitoi is a single storey building consisting basically of two gables separated by the entrance and originally a tower. The main body of the homestead is High Victorian Gothic in style with fairly restrained exterior decoration, but there is more lavish use of fretwork and carving in the interior. The entrance portico features Tuscan orders and Doric columns on pedestals with very little embellishment. There is also an element of the Tudor style in the half timbering of the gable ends.

Notable Features

Unusual lead light and stained glass windows in the entrance hall

-Rimu dado and fireplace surround in the hall

-Classical entrance portico

-Tudor style half timbered gable ends

-Carved fir surround and arches in the drawing room

-Many early or original fittings and furnishings, such as light fittings, carpet and wallpaper in the drawing room, large furniture and billiard table in the dining room and porcelain 'Johnson Bros' sink in the bathroom.

Construction Dates

1922 -
Extra wing added at rear

1942 -
Octagonal domed tower collapsed by earthquake. Original chimneys replaced

1982 -
Extensive renovations of domestic services

Original Construction
1912 -

Construction Details

Built of native timbers; rusticated weatherboards; fine decorative carving and fretwork; roof of corrugated galvanised iron.

Information Sources

Bagnall, 1976

A. G. Bagnall, Wairarapa; An Historical Excursion, Trentham, 1976

Daniell, 1952

H H Daniell, Historic Families of the Wairarapa. Masterton 1952

Wairarapa Times

Wairarapa Times-Age Weekend


Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.