Maori University Building (Formerly Maori College Hostel)

Tasman Rd, Otaki

  • Maori University Building (Formerly Maori College Hostel).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Helen McCracken. Date: 2/01/2002.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Helen McCracken. Date: 2/01/2002.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4096 Date Entered 5th September 1985


City/District Council

Kapiti Coast District


Wellington Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 3 8 DP 12156 Lot 6 DP 12156


This hostel, constructed in 1909, has great representative significance for its part in over 150 years of Maori education on this site. It was built by the Otaki and Porirua Trust from an educational endowment set up in 1848 by Maori of the area, in partnership with Governor Sir George Grey and Anglican Bishop, George Selwyn. In 1852-1853 a Maori college and boarding hostel was set up by the Church Missionary Society on this site, and in close association with the Anglican Maori church Te Rangiatea (built 1851, destroyed by fire in 1995). Although the hostel was closed in 1868, the school continued as a day school. In 1903 the hostel and school were burnt down. In 1907 the administration of the endowment was taken from the Church Missionary Society and given to the newly formed Otaki and Porirua Trust Board. The Empowering Act 1907 enabled the trust to build a new hostel and classrooms. The plans for the new facilities were drawn up by architect E. W. G. Coleridge, and the buildings were built by James Craig. When built the two-storey timber hostel provided accommodation for 20 boarders and staff of the college. It was designed to allow for future additions, and over the years a number of structures have been added to the building.

The new facilities were opened by the Governor General Lord Plunket on 4 October 1909. The school operated for a further 30 years before it was closed in 1939. Between 1939 and 1981 the hostel was used for a variety of purposes. In 1981 the hostel became the home of Te Wananga-o-Raukawa, a tertiary educational facility, which offers a range of degree courses including Te Reo (Maori language), developmental studies and administration, art and design, all with a particular focus on Maori issues. In 1985 a meeting-house porchway was built over the main entry, and in the l990s a large additional was built on the south side of the building.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1909 -

1985 -
Porch constructed

Large addition on south side of the building

Completion Date

22nd November 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources



14 August 1909, 5 October 1909

Otaki Historical Society Journal

Otaki Historical Society Journal

Vol. 15, 1992

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.