Tutira Station Homestead

State Highway 2, Tutira

  • Tutira Station Homestead.
    Copyright: Guthrie-Smith Trust. Taken By: Guthrie-Smith Trust. Date: 14/06/2010.
  • Tutira Station Homestead.
    Copyright: Guthrie-Smith Trust. Taken By: Guthrie-Smith Trust. Date: 14/06/2010.
  • Tutira Station Homestead.
    Copyright: Guthrie-Smith Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4419 Date Entered 28th June 1990

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Hastings District

Region

Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Secs 5 10 pt 11 Blk XII Maungaharuru SD sec 14Pt lot 1 3 DP 6866 Blk X Moeangiangi

Summaryopen/close

DESCRIPTION:

About 1860 the government purchased large tracts of Maori land in Hawkes Bay for sale to European settlers. Areas which the Maori declined to sell were leased from them. Tutira was one such run.

It was first leased in 1873 and the following years saw several short-lived and unsuccessful attempts to farm the property. In 1882 the lease was sold to W. Cuningham Smith who purchased on behalf of William Herbert Guthrie-Smith (1861-1940) and Arthur M'Tier Cuningham who were both minors. Their partnership lasted about three years when Guthrie-Smith began a twenty year partnership with Thomas J Stuart.

When Guthrie-Smith took up the lease of the property a small cottage was in place at Piraunui Flat at the southern end of Lake Waikopiro. Guthrie-Smith and Cuningham built a homestead at Otutepiriao Flat on the west shore of Lake Tutira in 1883. Near its site was the easiest access route between Napier and Wairoa and construction of a road began in 1890.

The original horse track thus became a main highway and to get away from this the partners took possession of the manager's house sited on a hillside west of Otutepiriao, the present Tutira Station Homestead. The site of this combined an unobstructed view with privacy from the road.

The station at one time occupied 64,000 acres of land but when the lease expired in 1936 Guthrie-Smith was able to freehold only 2000 acres which included the homestead.

In addition to his life as a farmer Guthrie-Smith became known as a naturalist and author. He has been described as 'not a scientist but an imaginative observer with scientific leanings'. As his books 'Birds of Water, Wood and Waste', first published in 1910 and 'Mutton Birds and Other Birds', 1914, began to sell, he was able to devote more time to his writing. His best known and most detailed study is 'Tutira: The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station', first published 1921. He then went on to write 'Bird Life on Island and Shore', 1925, and 'Sorrows and Joys of a New Zealand Naturalist', 1936. A member of the Royal Society of New Zealand he was elected a fellow in 1924.

Following Guthrie-Smith's death in 1940 and in accordance with his wishes, Tutira station was transferred to the Guthrie-Smith Trust in 1942. Today the Trust employs a manager to run the station. Parties of school children visit it regularly using a school camp known as the Guthrie-Smith Outdoor Education Centre.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Tutira Station Homestead has historical associations with Herbert Guthrie-Smith, well known New Zealand naturalist and author, whose most popular book, 'Tutira: The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station', describes in detail the day to day life of the station.

ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY:

Tutira Station Homestead has a superb setting but is architecturally unpretentious.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK VALUE:

While it can be glimpsed from State Highway 2 and seen from the surrounding hills, its unpretentious character means that it does not possess significant landmark quality.

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Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

Tutira Station Homestead is a single storey building with three gables giving character to an otherwise unpretentious design. Attention has been paid to the south and east facades to enhance the formal entry and optimum view respectively, while the north and west facades are purely utilitarian. The south facade has a gabled entry leading to a wood panelled foyer-cum-study. The east facade has a gable at either end, the left one with a square bay window. There are decorative vertical battens in the gable ends flush with the barge boards.

Verandahs on the south and east facades each have a lean-to roof and diagonal braced or 'Union Jack' verandah balustrading.

Living areas are located in the east end of the house to take advantage of the view, while the west end has been extended to contain service areas. The interior displays some wood panelling in the central hall which leads from the foyer-cum-study.

MODIFICATIONS:

Between 1914 and 1939 (probably following the 1931 Napier earthquake) the house was substantially modified:

- South gable end converted to formal entry.

- South-east corner gable demolished Gable added to both ends of east facade.

- Service wing alterations, including removal of south portion.

- Chimneys replaced and relocated.

Notable Features

Wood panelled entry-cum-study.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
-
Not Known - pre-1914

Modification
1914 - 1939
Between 1914 and 1939 (probably following the 1931 Napier earthquake) the house was substantially modified: South gable end converted to formal entry.

Modification
1914 - 1939
South-east corner gable demolished Gable added to both ends of east facade. Service wing alterations, including removal of south portion. Chimneys replaced and relocated.

Construction Details

Timber frame with shiplap weatherboards. Corrugated galvanised iron roof.

Information Sources

Alexander Turnbull Library

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

NZ Biographies, Vol. 3, 1952, p 161

Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph

'Death of Naturalist, Mr W.H. Guthrie-Smith', 5 July 1940

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Land Information New Zealand

Certificates of Title F4/513, 98/40, 104/12

MacGregor, 1970

Miriam MacGregor, Early Stations of Hawkes Bay. A.H. & A.W. Reed. Wellington. 1970

McLintock, 1966

An Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Government Printer, Wellington, 1966

Guthrie-Smith, 1969 (4th ed)

H Guthrie-Smith. Tutira: The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station, fourth edition, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington and Auckland, 1969.

Woodhouse, 1959

A E Woodhouse, Guthrie-Smith of Tutira, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, Wellington, 1959

Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute

Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute

'Obituary, William Herbert Guthrie-Smith, 1861-1940', Vol. 70 (1940).

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.