Te Mata Homestead

328 Te Mata Road, Havelock North

  • Te Mata Homestead. Original image submitted at time of registration. Image courtesy of Mrs B Aitken photographed mid 1960's.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Unknown.
  • Te Mata Homestead. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: C Cochran. Date: 1/11/1986.
  • Te Mata Homestead. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Helen Binmore. Date: 1/12/1988.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4409 Date Entered 16th November 1989

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City/District Council

Hastings District

Region

Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Lot 6 DP 23415 (CT 140089), Hawke's Bay Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is from the original Proposal for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:

Te Mata is built on a remnant of Te Mata Station which in the 19th century was a very large landholding belonging to John Chambers, one of the earliest landowners in Hawkes Bay, who took up the first block of land in 1854. Te Mata's significance relates to the dividing up of land within the Chambers family in 1887. Chambers divided his holding of 18,000 acres into three stations. Te Mata went to Bernard Chambers, Tauroa to Thomas Mason Chambers and Mokopeka to John Chambers (Jnr).

The earlier house on this site was also called Te Mata. Built in 1921 it was designed by W J Rush, a local architect.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is from the original Proposal for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY:

Te Mata is one of four large country houses designed by Gummer in the Havelock North area over a period of twenty years from 1916. These houses, collectively and singularly, make a significant contribution to the history of architectural design in New Zealand. Gummer's familiarity with a wide range of styles was exhibited in these houses and they were each quite different.

Te Mata was the last of the Havelock North designs but is much the most restrained. It is a formal Georgian essay but nevertheless the treatment was innovative by comparison with the vogue neo-Georgian style - the design is asymmetrical with an irregular arrangement of windows, porches and balconies.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK SIGNIFICANCE:

Te Mata is well hidden from the road. However, a glimpse of the tiled roof and trees can be seen from quite a distance and it complements the landscape around it. Seen from the distance this large house stands impressively on the lower slopes of Te Mata Peak.

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Construction Professionalsopen/close

Gummer & Ford

The architectural partnership of Gummer and Ford was established in 1923, and became one of national importance.

William Henry Gummer (1884-1966) was articled to W.A. Holman, an Auckland architect, and was elected as an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1910. In the period 1908-1913 he travelled in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. During this time he worked for Sir Edwin Lutyens, leading English architect of the time, and for Daniel Burnham in Chicago. Burnham was a major American architect and one of the founders of the influential Chicago School of Architecture. Gummer joined the firm of Hoggard and Prouse of Auckland and Wellington in 1913. In 1914 he was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, was president of the Institute from 1933-34 and was later elected a life member.

Charles Reginald Ford (1880- 1972) was born in England and served in the Royal Navy. He was later with Captain Scott's 1901-1904 expedition to Antarctica. He trained as an architect working in Wanganui as an engineer. In 1926 he wrote the first treatise on earthquake and

building construction in the English language. Ford was president of the New Zealand Institute of Architects from 1921-22.

Buildings designed by the partnership include the State Insurance Building Wellington, (1940) the Dilworth Building (1926), the Guardian Trust Building and the Domain Wintergardens (1921 and 1928), all in Auckland, and the Dominion Museum (1936) in Wellington. Gummer and Ford were awarded Gold Medals from the New Zealand Institute of Architects for the designs of Auckland Railway Station and Remuera Library.

Gummer was one of the most outstanding architects working in New Zealand in the first half of this century and was responsible for the stylistically and structurally advanced Tauroa (1916), Craggy Range (1919), Arden (1926), and Te Mata (1935) homesteads at Havelock North.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is from the original Proposal for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Date of Building: 1935

Architect/Engineer or Designer:

William Henry GUMMER (1884-1966)

Charles Reginald FORD (1880-1972)

CONSTRUCTION:

Parts of Te Mata are built in existing concrete from the floors of the previous 'Te Mata', destroyed in the 1931 earthquake.

Te Mata is constructed of Oregon and Jarrah framing solid studs extended from floor to attic in Oregon balloon framing. The exterior is stucco plaster, with timber posts in the porch. The roofing is clay tiles.

The original Queensland maple panelling in the dining room and walnut doors, including the large arched door leading into the house from the prominent porch, were salvaged from the 1921 'Te Mata'. The remaining interior is a smooth plaster finish in cream tonings and oiled jarrah floors.

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION (STYLE):

Te Mata is a two-storey Georgian style house with a clay tile roof. There are shutters on some of the windows and a central motif of wooden columns and a centrally placed porch. Apart from a wooden lattice which can be seen on the north balcony and underneath the porch, there is little decoration.

The interior has a large number of walk-in cupboards on the first floor. In four of the six guest bedrooms there are handbasins above which are substantial tile splashbacks. These are repeated throughout the house including the bath surrounds. A feature in the bathroom opposite the master bedroom is the unusual patterning of small tiles. A border of black tiles at floor level provides a skirting. The shower floor is also tiled. Other interesting design elements include the central staircase and its large lead-light windows, and a simplified porte-cochere at the rear echoing the design of the porch at the front.

MODIFICATIONS:

The original French doors have been removed and a ranch slider installed in the ground floor porch by the bedroom.

Notable Features

The Queensland maple panelling in the dining room, salvaged from the earlier Te Mata. This wood is now unobtainable.

The clear lead light windows alongside the staircase.

The tiling in the bathroom opposite the master bedroom.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1935 -

Completion Date

18th April 1991

Report Written By

Mary O'Keeffe

Information Sources

Plans

Architectural Drawings/Plans

Provided by Mrs Aitken (Occupier of Te Mata)

Shanahan, 1983

Kieran J Shanahan, The Work of William H. Gummer, Architect, Thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland, 1983

pp. 135-140

Grant, 1978

SW Grant, Havelock North: From Village to Borough 1860-1952, Central Hawkes Bay Printers/Publishers 1978

Grant, 1980

SW Grant, In Other Days: A History of the Chambers Family of Te Mata, Havelock North, Hawkes Bay Newspapers Limited, 1980

New Zealand Architect

New Zealand Architect

Cochran C. (Heritage Column) No.3 1985

Other Information

A copy of the original 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.