The Cottage

100 State Highway 2, Te Aute College, Pukehou

  • The Cottage.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Alison Dangerfield. Date: 17/11/2006.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4846 Date Entered 27th November 1986

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Extent of List Entry

Registration includes the land comprised in Lot 28 and Pt Lot 29 DP 4416 (CT HBJ3/693), Hawkes Bay Land District, The Cottage and its fittings and fixtures thereon and garden. Registration excludes other structures on the land.

City/District Council

Central Hawke's Bay District

Region

Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Lot 28 and Pt Lot 29 DP 4416 (CT HBJ3/693), Hawkes Bay Land District

Location description

'The Cottage' is located to the southwest of the Te Aute College, some several hundred metres off the college entrance drive. The house is approached by a driveway through trees and is set in a small valley with other (inhabited) houses of more recent origin.

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'The Cottage', situated in the grounds of Te Aute College, Pukehou, was once the residence of Allen Williams, the nephew of one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Te Aute College, Samuel Williams. It was part of a larger settlement of houses that once existed to accommodate various members of the Williams family and others who worked on Te Aute College land during Samuel Williams' time at the College (1854-1907).

Samuel Williams came to Pukehou in 1854 after Governor Grey, impressed with Samuel's work setting up schools in Otaki, asked him to found a school in the Hawke's Bay. Samuel faced difficulty keeping the school afloat financially in its initial years and due to these problems, and a devastating fire, it was closed in 1859. From this time Samuel focused his attention on breaking in the school's endowment lands, which had been gifted by the Crown and local Maori. Samuel's management of the endowment lands, while eventually acknowledged as being in the best interests of the school, would be the subject of criticism and a number of high-level inquiries including a 1906 Royal Commission.

The school, now supported by income from the endowment lands, reopened in 1872. It was only after this time that Samuel felt free to provide for his extended family at Pukehou. He purchased and leased additional land, including an area that would become known as Te Aute Estate. Allen Williams was appointed as manager to Te Aute Estate, and assisted Samuel in draining Roto-a-tara lake and surrounding swamp, which made up the large portion of the estate.

'The Cottage' constructed for Allen Williams and his family, was within walking distance of Samuel's home, known then as 'the House'. Edward Marsh Williams, Samuel's brother and Allen Williams' father came, on Samuel's suggestion, to settle in Pukehou in the 1880s. His house, 'Roxton' was also located within walking distance of 'the House' and 'the Cottage'. Many William's family descendants were born, grew up or died in the area as such the site of the three houses was subject to a number of significant events in the William's family's lives.

Allen Williams lived in 'the Cottage' until his death in 1945, at which time it was donated to the Te Aute College Trust Board. It was subsequently used by the College as housing for a number of College Principals, dormitory accommodation and later accommodation for school and teaching staff.

'The Cottage' encountered some changes to its construction during Allen William's time there (1875-1945), with his daughter noting that at some point it was extended into a bungalow. It was also partitioned some time during its time as staff accommodation. In recent years Te Aute Trust Board Incorporated has been considering options for the building, including its demolition or relocation. Today 'the Cottage', has largely been abandoned, and at risk of demolition from neglect but with conservation work it could be retrievable.

'The Cottage' is of special significance as the last remaining house on Te Aute College land associated with the Williams family settlement. Samuel Williams' home, 'the House', was demolished on the death of his daughter Lydia in 1938.

'The Cottage' and the area where it is situated tell of Samuel Williams' involvement with Te Aute College, including the establishment of the school, his work to develop the school's endowment lands, and the reopening of the school in 1872. In its own right 'the Cottage' also tells of Samuel's attempt to provide for his extended family at Te Aute, and the efforts of other Williams family members to break in the surrounding land owned or leased by Samuel. While the Chapel at Te Aute College was built during Samuel Williams' lifetime as a memorial to him 'the Cottage' is the only remaining building within College lands that tells of the wider Williams settlement and activities at Pukehou. It is also largely unchanged since Allen Williams occupied the property, while the Chapel has undergone substantial modification.

'The Cottage' is significant for what it tells of the Williams' family's benevolence, benevolence taught to Samuel by his parents - that manifested itself in Te Aute College, his generosity to his extended family and local community, benevolence that he ensured continued after his death by establishing the Henry and William Williams Memorial Trust Fund.

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Historical Significance or Value

'The Cottage' is historically significant for its relationship to not one but many members of the Williams family, a family of great significance to the early settlement of New Zealand. The place is now considered to have special historic value as the last intact building on College grounds associated with the Williams' family and the College at this time.

While the Williams family settlements in Northland are the best recognised of Williams' family settlements, the settlement in the Hawke's Bay also involved large numbers of Williams' family members. They contributed greatly to the development of Hawke's Bay and their efforts to break in the land are an example of early land development in New Zealand. In addition to Samuel Williams'' involvement breaking in land in the area, Allen Williams played a significant role in the draining of Roto-a-tara lake.

'The Cottage' is also historically significant for its relationship to Samuel Williams and his involvement with Te Aute College and the farming of their endowment lands, lands which were the subject of a number of high-level investigations between 1869 and 1906. 'The Cottage' dates from 1875 by which time Samuel had broken in the school's endowment lands and was able to expand his holdings further and provide jobs and housing for his extended family. 'The Cottage' recalls an era of Te Aute College that produced some of New Zealand's finest leaders in sports, education and politics.

'The Cottage' has value for its architectural and aesthetic qualities. It was constructed, and later modified, to reflect the position and purposes of the inhabitants and owner. As an original small house it housed a family that included 5 grown children within a fairly typical house layout. It was positioned in a valley with other homes to allow the residents a quiet aside to the bustle of the school. The house, even before its extra wing was added, would have been modest in size. With the addition of a long wing of similar rooms the purpose of the home is altered from a domestic family circle to well-apportioned residence of elegant and simple rooms in a dormitory arrangement. It belies its size and has an unpretentious appearance. It encourages an atmosphere of domestic retreat. While the exact number and names of occupants are not recorded, it is clear that the rooms in the added wing are more than family rooms.

The history, nature and age of 'the Cottage' create a sense of understanding the life of the early New Zealand collegial residency while the building's finishes and fittings add to an understanding of the domestic life of college staff.

'The Cottage' has social value reflecting the benevolence of early missionaries. Built by Samuel Williams, as residence for Allen Marsh Williams, the manager of Te Aute Station, 'the Cottage' tells of the generosity of the Williams family, to each other, to Te Aute College and the wider community.

'The Cottage' also has social value as the setting for significant Williams' family events, such as births in the family, the Golden Weddings of Samuel and Mary, and Edward and Jane. It was also the place for the deaths of Samuel, Edward and Allen Williams.

(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:

The site reflects a period of early settlement in New Zealand history, in particular the substantial work needed to break in the land. The efforts of the Williams family in this area paved the way for settlement into the Hawke's Bay region.

Situated on Te Aute College land and built by Samuel Williams, the founder of the College, the building is also closely connected to early Maori education in New Zealand.

(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:

The building and surrounding area have strong associations with Archdeacon Samuel Williams, a prominent figure in the early history of New Zealand, from the Bay of Islands to Hawke's Bay and also Tarawhiti.

'The Young Maori Party' originated from the Te Aute students association and Te Aute College. It was Williams and Thornton at Te Aute College who inspired Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Peter Buck and Sir Maui Pomare to enter politics.

(d) The importance of the place to the tangata whenua:

A proportion of the lands upon which the building is situated were gifted by prominent rangatira of the area. Te Ika Nui o Te Moana (Te Hapuku) gifted the Land for the education of his people, Kaumatua still

take heed to this expectation. It is an example of lands donated for the purpose of an endowment by Maori being ultimately and successfully used for that purpose.

Te Aute College, and the associated estate, are of great significance to the tangata whenua as well as being of importance to Maori nationally. Te Aute was a key provider of secondary education to generations of Maori boys, from whom have emerged many great Maori leaders. Te Aute was particularly important in the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries, when the opportunities for Maori secondary education were very restricted.

The Williams were the pioneers in establishing Pakeha settlement in this area. However Samuel Williams also assisted local Maori in the area, not only through education with the establishment of Te Aute College, but also his work establishing them on farms in the area.

(e) The community association with, or public esteem for, the place:

Te Aute College itself is held in very high esteem by many Maori and Pakeha, as well as by the local community. 'The Cottage', as a part of Te Aute, shares in this association, particularly as it and the Chapel, are the only remaining buildings from the early period of Te Aute College's history. 'The Cottage's' connection to the College is enhanced by its period of use by the school as accommodation.

The community, particularly the Te Aute Old Boys Association, have expressed concern over the condition and possible future of the building as the Te Aute Trust Board put the building up for tender to be removed or demolished.

(f) The potential of the place for public education:

'The Cottage' has significant potential for public education, it has previously been suggested that it be used as a museum or to house the College archives.

'The Cottage' can tell of Samuel Williams' arrival in the area, the school's original opening, the development of the school's endowment lands, the reopening of the school and the subsequent wider Williams family settlement in the area.

(h) The symbolic or commemorative value of the place:

'The Cottage' tells of the benevolence of the Williams family, particularly Samuel Williams. This benevolence continues today with the trust established by him continuing to disperse funds.

(i) The importance of identifying historic places known to date from early periods of New Zealand settlement:

The site reflects a period of early settlement in the Hawke's Bay region, from 1850s-1870s. Of particular interest is Samuel Williams' reference to his delay in purchasing land in the area, which his family came to farm, until the College endowment lands were developed and able to support the College.

(j) The importance of identifying rare types of historic places:

The Cottage' is the last remaining intact building on College land that reflects the Williams family settlement in the Hawke's Bay.

(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape:

'The Cottage' is closely connected to Te Aute College, its endowment lands and other land in the area that was developed by the Williams family either under lease or freehold.

SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANCE:

'The Cottage' is of special significance as the last remaining of a number of houses that once existed to accommodate various members of the Williams family and others who worked on Te Aute College land during Samuel Williams' time at the College (1854-1907). Samuel Williams' home at Pukehou, known as 'the house', was situated in the same vicinity as 'the Cottage' but was demolished on the death of his daughter Lydia in 1938. Allen Williams lived in 'the Cottage' until his death in 1945, at which time it was donated to the Te Aute College Trust Board. It was subsequently used by the College as housing for a number of College Principals, dormitory accommodation and later accommodation for school and teaching staff.

'The Cottage' and the area where it is situated tell of Samuel Williams' involvement with Te Aute College, including the establishment of the school, his work to develop the school's endowment lands, and the reopening of the school in 1872. In its own right 'the Cottage' also tells of Samuel's attempt to provide for his extended family at Te Aute, and the efforts of other Williams family members to break in the surrounding land owned or leased by Samuel. While the Chapel at Te Aute College was built during Samuel Williams' lifetime as a memorial to him 'the Cottage' is the only remaining building within College lands that tells of the wider Williams settlement and activities at Pukehou. It is also largely unchanged since Allen Williams occupied the property, while the Chapel has undergone substantial modification.

'The Cottage' is significant for what it tells of the Williams' family's benevolence, benevolence taught to Samuel by his parents - that manifested itself in Te Aute College, his generosity to his extended family and local community, benevolence that he ensured continued after his death by establishing the Henry and William Williams Memorial Trust Fund.

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Historical Narrative

'The Cottage', situated in the grounds of Te Aute College, Pukehou, was once the residence of Allen Williams (1852-1945), the nephew of one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Te Aute College, Samuel Williams (1822-1907). 'The Cottage' is the last remaining of a number of houses that once existed to accommodate various members of the Williams family and others who worked on Te Aute College land during Samuel Williams' time at the College (1854-1907).

SAMUEL WILLIAMS

Samuel Williams was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England on 17 January 1822. His parents were influential early missionaries to New Zealand Henry (1792-1867) and Marianne Williams (1793-1879).

Educated in New Zealand at mission schools at Paihia and Waimate, Samuel took over his father's farm at Pakaraka in 1836 at the age of 16 in partnership with his brother Edward (1818-1909). In 1844 he entered St John's College, Waimate, as a candidate for holy orders. When the College moved to Tamaki he became senior bursar and assisted Bishop G A Selwyn with the administration of the College farm and finances. He was ordained deacon in 1846, just ten days before he married Mary Williams, his cousin, daughter of William and Jane Williams.

In 1847, during the illness of Octavius Hadfield, Samuel was sent by Bishop Selwyn and the Church Missionary Society to take charge of the Otaki mission. While in Otaki Samuel organised a system of Maori schools including boarding accommodation for 100 Maori boys, and a mission school. Governor George Grey, a guest at the Otaki Mission House during Samuel's time there, was impressed with Samuel's work in Otaki and asked him to found a school in the Hawke's Bay:

If you will consent to go to Hawke's Bay, the Government will give you 4,000 acres as an endowment for educational work and endeavour to induce the Maori people to give the same. I will do my best to help forward your work in every possible way. The condition is that you yourself must take charge of the work and take up your abode amongst the Maoris in the district.

The Education Ordinance Act of 1847 made Government grants to the various missionary denominations to establish, staff and run elementary boarding schools for Maori. As Grey indicated to Samuel, schools could be partly funded by endowments of land with contributions from the Crown and Maori, and be supported by annual government grants.

Thus began the Williams family's involvement with Te Aute College, its endowment lands and the surrounding area.

THE EARLY SCHOOL

Samuel had agreed to found the school if he had the support of Bishop Selwyn and the Church Missionary Society (CMS). Bishop Selwyn and the Central Committee of CMS were supportive and in 1853 Samuel made periodic visits to Pukehou to select appropriate Crown land and hold discussions with local Maori over blocks they would be willing to contribute to the school. In 1854, accompanied by his wife and infant daughter Lydia, Samuel moved to Pukehou to found the school.

The family initially lived in a pataka (storehouse) until a two roomed raupo hut was erected. It would be number of years before the family would have more comfortable accommodation and before other Williams' family members would settle alongside.

Samuel's school, originally called the Ahuriri Native Industrial School, began with 12 pupils who had followed him from Otaki. The students initially stayed in the local Maori settlement until Samuel erected another raupo hut close to his own for them to occupy. A book commemorating 150 years of Te Aute College notes that a Chapel at the local Maori settlement served as classroom and that the first students were 'given instruction in 'the three Rs' and Rev Williams gave religious instruction in Maori'. The students also helped Samuel break in the rough land, planting and harvesting crops such as potato. Samuel's concern that this was to the detriment of students' studies and some parents' objections to this manual work would come to influence the direction Samuel would take the school in the future.

For a time, Samuel managed to run the school at the same time as breaking in the endowment lands that he hoped could become a productive source of income for the school. However it would be a number of years before the lands would serve this purpose and without this source of income he immediately faced difficulty keeping the school afloat financially. Initially promised £300 of Government funding for the school, the funds were subsequently reduced and Samuel found that they were inadequate to meet even the college's basic needs. A large fire destroyed the woolshed and barn, which Samuel had advanced money for, along with many of the farm tools. These factors contributed to the closure of the school in 1859.

While Samuel had made some progress with the endowment lands by the time of the school's closure in 1859 it was after this that he was able to concentrate on the endowment lands and eventually make them a source of income to support the school. Though this meant there was no school for a number of years it is nevertheless a significant period in Te Aute College history, as the author of a 1951 history of Te Aute College notes 'there would possibly have been no Te Aute College today had there not been such a period of consolidation'.

THE ENDOWMENT LANDS

The endowment lands of Te Aute College were originally granted in four parcels:

Crown Grant to Bishop of New Zealand, Granted 10 June 1857, 1745 acres issued under 'The New Zealand Native Reserves Act, 1856'

Crown Grant to Bishop of New Zealand, Granted 10 June 1857, 1408 acres issued under 'The New Zealand Native Reserves Act, 1856'

Crown Grant to Bishop of New Zealand, Granted 7 July 1857, 4244 acres issued under 'The Waste Lands Act, 1856'

Crown Grant to Bishop of New Zealand, Granted 28th November 1866 382 acres issued under 'The Crown Grants Act (No. 2) 1862'.

These grants were made up of land gifted by both the Crown and Maori. Te Ika Nui o Te Moana (Te Hapuku) and other local rangatira gifted 1745 acres (Te Aute No. 1 Block) and 1408 acres (Te Aute No. 2 Block) to the Crown on 31 March 1857 as an endowment for, and site of, a school. The grant of 4244 acres comprised approximately 4000 acres of land donated by the Crown and 244 acres, which was given by the Crown in exchange for 870 acres of the 1408 acres of land gifted by Maori (Te Aute No. 2 Block).

Evidence from Maori indicated that their understanding was that the school would be for the benefit of local Maori children. However, Reverend Octavius Hadfield, in correspondence with Secretary for Crown Lands Alfred Domett, argued that as the bulk of the donated land was derived from the Crown there was a duty to ensure that as wide a proportion of the public benefited from the education trust as possible. Subsequently land donated by the Crown along with the land exchanged with the land donated by Maori was granted for the education of both races (as well as Pacific Island children), rather than for Maori alone. According to the Secretary of Crown Lands this change of purpose was made with the 'cognisance, if not the acquiescence, of the Bishop of Wellington,' in whose trust the grants were held. There was apparently no consultation with the Maori donors before this variation to their gift was made. Similar Maori deeds of gift for education were made in Wairarapa, Otaki, and elsewhere in the 1850s. These gifts were also unilaterally amended by the Crown, so that instead of endowing a school for local Maori, their purpose became far more generalised. The additional grant of 382 acres made in 1866 was also for the education of Maori and Pakeha.

The first trustees to control Native Educational Trusts in the Wellington region, including that for the school at Te Aute, were appointed in 1862. The Te Aute Trust Board had attempted to lease the whole of the endowment lands but they were largely unsuccessful, with only a small portion of the lands farmed for a few months large parts of the estate lay dormant for four years. Subsequently in 1863 they asked Samuel to be trustee for the lands. Preferring to act on behalf of the trustees, with responsibility to report regularly to them, Samuel agreed to accept the position if they gave him a 'free hand' in developing the endowment lands. In December 1863 he was given power of attorney giving him the freedom he needed to develop the lands. Samuel continued to manage the endowment lands for the trustees until 1869 when they decided to lease the land, giving Samuel first right of refusal. Samuel took on the lease and continued to lease the endowment lands for many years, with the final lease expiring several years after his death in 1907. His executors continued to manage the endowment lands under the terms of the lease until it expired. After this, the endowment estate was divided up into 23 farms and offered for tender in January 1916. A 850 acre portion was not leased and was used as a college farm for the education of Te Aute students.

Though later supported by family members such as Allen Williams in his efforts to break in the land he leased or owned, initially Samuel took on the work on the Te Aute endowment lands himself, with James Coleman as overseer (1860-1865). From 1860-1865, they cleared the fern, laid down grass, fenced and increased the stock. By 1869 all the land but a block of 1748 acres had been fenced.

A number of controversies would surround the management of the endowment lands by Samuel Williams. He was criticised for not providing education to the children of the donors of the land, or indeed anyone else, for many years (it being some time before the estate became a productive endowment). The school was also later criticised for providing education for Maori children from outside of the district, rather than for the descendents of the donors. In addition, during the 1890s and early 1900s the Liberal Government and other opponents of large estates believed that the land could have been more beneficially managed for the Te Aute College Trust Board if the endowment lands were broken up and leased in smaller parcels. As a result of the various criticisms levelled over the years, the management of the endowment lands was the subject of a number of high-level inquiries. This included a Royal Commission in 1869, a Select Committee of the Legislative Council in 1875, the Public Petitions Committee of the Legislative Council of 1877, the Native Affairs Committee of 1877, and the Royal Commission on the Te Aute and Wanganui School Trusts of 1906.

Samuel, in his evidence to the 1906 Commission, noted the personal investment he made in the endowment lands was for the College and not for his or his family's financial benefit:

I would like to mention that my rents, you will observe, crept up gradually every seven years upon my own money invested in the property. Now, as a matter of business, I would never dream of taking a place for seven years that required a lot of money spending on it. However, as the school got the benefit, I did not mind. But in the ordinary way I certainly would not take a lease on for seven years, and spend money on the place to improve the property, and then pay for the enhanced value due to my improvements. The Government has some very valuable educational reserves in Dannevirke. They let these reserves on a twenty-one years lease at 1s. per acre, and the tenant is refunded or can claim all he has expended on improvements on a renewal of the lease. Now this is widely different from my position, but I did what I did for the school, and I would not have done it for anybody else, as a matter of business. As I said on one of the previous Commissions, I could have obtained, if such had been my wish, a far more valuable property than the Te Aute Estate for less money than I spent on improving the estate. I could have taken the Te Aute School property for myself for a very small sum of money. To use a colonial phrase, I could have gridironed the place; I could have picked its eyes out and paid ¼d. an acre, which was the Government rental, for the intermediate pieces, and then gradually, as has been done by other people, made it my own property at from 5s. to 10s. per acre. I mention this as I have been charged with acting in a selfish way in the matter; otherwise I would not have alluded to it. Instead of buying when land was cheap - much of my money being locked up in the College estate - I had subsequently to pay many times as much for the land I bought for my family.

Though the Commission made several recommendations, including that in the future the lease of endowment lands be put up for public auction, Samuel's management of the estate and the nature of his tenancy were vindicated. The Report of the 1906 Royal Commission stated that:

The trustees have, in our opinion, had the good fortune to secure in Archdeacon Williams, first a manager, and later a tenant, who has always been deeply interested in the welfare of the school, and pledged to see the objects of the trust fulfilled.

Though Samuel was still alive for the publication of the Commission's report it seems likely that by this time he had met his own measure of success with the endowment lands growing viable, reporting a profit of £600 in 1872, and the school reopening in the same year.

The endowment lands would support the school in a number of ways. John Thornton, Headmaster of Te Aute College between 1878-1912, in his evidence to the Commission noted that Samuel provided the school with free milk and offered reduced prices on meat from the estate. The school was also dependent on rent from the estate which, as Samuel's evidence indicated, went up as he improved the land. In addition to this, Woods, in her biography of Samuel, notes that many of the houses he built for extended family in the future, such as 'the Cottage', were on Te Aute College land and comments that it should be noted that he required the occupants to pay rent to the Te Aute Trust Board.

REOPENING THE SCHOOL

The trustees of the Te Aute Trust Board, not wanting to pass over control to the Minister of Education, did not take advantage of funding available for buildings and teachers' salaries though the Native School Act 1867 and its 1871 amendment. Instead, with the intention that the funds could be repaid now the endowments lands had been made viable, funds were borrowed to erect new school buildings. Designed by Government Architect, Mr Clayton the buildings were erected by R H Holt of Napier and completed in June 1872.

The school re-opened in 1872 under headmaster James Reynolds, the Church Missionary Society having agreed to fund the master's salary. With the students having had little or no prior instruction Reynolds limited his teaching to primary school subjects, in particular the English language. As he had in the early school, Samuel gave religious instruction to students in Maori. The College made good progress, the roll growing from 15 in 1872 to 39 by 1878. At this time John Thornton took over as headmaster.

In close consultation with Samuel, Thornton decided to give the College an academic focus. In 1863, Henry Taylor, the first full-time inspector of schools, had recommended the practice of using pupils' time on manual labour merely to make a school self-supporting cease and Samuel, as has already been already noted, was concerned about students doing manual work at the detriment to their studies. The pair modelled the school on the English Grammar school system, preparing the ablest boys for the matriculation examination of the University of New Zealand.

The book commemorating 150 years of Te Aute College comments that 'in the quarter century they led Te Aute it reached a peak of achievement never surpassed before or since'. One only needs to look at some of the graduates of the College to see the contribution their efforts made: Sir Apirana Ngata, Peter Buck and Maui Pomare. The inspiration of the Te Aute College Students' Association, of which Ngata, Buck and Pomare were key members, is said to be Thornton's and Samuel's religious discussions with senior pupils. Samuel was the first president of the Association, which in 1909 incorporated with other Maori Secondary Schools in the Auckland District forming the Young Maori Party. The 'Young Maori Party' was catalyst for national reform. The entry of Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Peter Buck and Sir Maui Pomare into politics turned Government's attention to tackling at least some of the problems of the declining Maori community. Throughout, Ngata's early years in politics he looked to his mentors Williams, Thornton and Te Aute College for support.

Though not built for school purposes 'the Cottage' was built on College land and is one of only two buildings remaining that date from this period of the College. The other is the Chapel Thornton had erected as a memorial to the work Samuel had done for the College in 1900. It has since been substantially modified. The school buildings from this period were destroyed by two fires, one on 6 March 1918 which destroyed the Headmaster's residence, the first assistant master's residence, and school dormitories and another on 17 March 1919 which destroyed the main schoolroom. As earlier introduced 'the Cottage' also has a connection to the later history of the College used, after Allen Williams' death in 1945, as housing for a number of College Principals, dormitory accommodation for students and accommodation for school and teaching staff.

INCREASED WILLIAMS FAMILY PRESENCE

It was after the reopening of the College in 1872 that the Williams family presence in the area increased. Woods, in her biography of Samuel, notes that after his father's death in 1867, there were 'increasing signs of a wish to become a provider for his extended family' noting that 'it is as if Samuel now made up his mind that no relative of his would ever be in any kind of want if he could possibly prevent it'. However as Samuel indicated in his evidence to the Commission he had held off purchasing land in the area to his and his family's detriment. It was only once the College was better established that Samuel began to purchase land and take on leases for other properties and provide jobs and houses for his family.

Samuel began by taking on leases of land adjoining the Te Aute College endowment lands. Then, in the mid to late 1870s, with the aim of draining Roto-a-tara lake and surrounding swamp, he purchased land from Maori owners and 1300 acres from W Rathbone. Two early attempts to dam the lake were unsuccessful but his third attempt with nephew Allen Williams as chief assistant proved successful. The lake was drained by diverting the Waipawa River and blasting through the limestone rock beneath the area. As the drained land subsided large numbers of moa bones were exposed. Many of these bones were recovered by a Mr. Hamilton who was able to construct one complete skeleton of a moa. The diverting of the river and draining of the lake benefited many other flood-prone lands in the vicinity and was celebrated at the time as a pioneering achievement, one source noting that, aside from his work at the College, the draining of the lake can be considered Samuel's greatest contribution.

This land, and 1600 acres of land known as 'Pukekara' that Samuel had purchased from William Douglas in 1874, would make up Samuel's freehold property in Pukehou known as Te Aute Station. Allen Williams would manage this land for Samuel from 1875-1907.

Born in the Bay of Islands on 27 January 1852 Allen Williams' parents were Samuel's brother Edward (1818-1909) and sister in law Jane Williams (1823-1906). Edward Williams was a prominent Bay of Islands Resident Magistrate and later a Native Land Court Judge.

Allen arrived in Hawke's Bay around 1870 at the age of 18 years. In 1871 he went to Pukehou and learnt about sheep farming from Samuel. Seeing his potential Samuel suggested that Allen look at a piece of land that had come on the market that he would purchase for him to manage if suitable. Allen managed this property 'Kereru Station' until it was sold in 1875, the year he married the governess Annabel (Bella) Milne Buchanan (1842-1888), and returned to Pukehou to manage Te Aute Station.

Annabel Buchanan had been governess to Samuel's children. Allen and Annabel Williams had five children; Nell, Gordon, Douglas, Mabel and Muriel. Annabel Williams was seven years older than Allen, and she died in 1888. Allen Williams later married Eliza Amy Gardiner (1856-1935), who died in 1935 . They had no children together, and of the children of Allen's first marriage, only Gordon and Muriel outlived their father.

After Samuel's death in 1907 the Te Aute Station was subdivided into four properties named 'Drumpeel', 'Penlee', 'Kutere' and 'Te Aute'. Allen inherited 'Drumpeel' which was farmed by his son until 1946, and then grandson until it was sold out of the family in 1964. Allen also inherited 'Clareinch' a portion of Samuel's Mangakuri estate near Elsthorpe. Allen Williams continued to work in Pukehou until his retirement in 1920.

As noted earlier after his father's death Samuel showed signs of wanting to provide for his extended family. Allen's daughter, Muriel, however suggests another reason for his actions. Mary and Samuel had seven children, three of whom died in childhood, two of which were sons. Muriel, noted the impact of this on the relationship between her father and his uncle, commenting that Willie, the surviving son, was delicate and that farming held no appeal for him and that as a result her father 'took the place of a son to his Uncle'.

Even if Samuel felt some special affection for Allen many other family members were also provided for at Pukehou, and further a-field. Allen's father Edward, at the suggestion of Samuel, moved to Pukehou on his retirement in the late 1880s. Samuel built him 'Roxton' a colonial bungalow near the store and railway station. In 1886 Samuel invited Edward's son Arthur Williams, to join him at Pukehou as his assistant ministering to Hawke's Bay Maori. In 1893, on Arthur's marriage, Samuel built him a house between the College and the village church.

Little is known about 'the Cottage' in which Allen and his family lived, particularly what it was like in 1875 on his arrival back in Pukehou. Allen's daughter notes that 'the Cottage' was added to making it into the long bungalow facing north that can be seen today. However she gives no details about when these additions were made or what 'the Cottage' looked like originally. More is known about the setting for 'the Cottage' at this time. Two small buildings were situated nearby, 'the Whare' as accommodation for the cadets Allen employed on the farm and 'The Office' used as accommodation for staff on the Station. It was within walking distance of Samuel's home, 'the House', and his father Edward's house, 'Roxton'. Woods, in her biography of Samuel notes that:

[Roxton] was linked to Samuel's by a pleasant path through woods. A short stroll up the hill drive behind Samuel's house brought one to the comfortable bungalow built for Allen ...The path linking the three houses was a favourite walk for the older Williamses in leisured moments while the younger members of the family played tennis, went riding or bathed in the Roxton 'dam'.

Many William's family descendants were born, grew up or died in the area as such the site of the three houses was subject to a number of significant events in the William's family's lives. For example two known large family gatherings took place there, the Golden Wedding of Edward and Jane in 1893 and of Samuel and Mary in 1896.

Samuel's generosity to his family was not limited to providing housing or land in Pukehou. As we have already seen he provided Allen with an opportunity to manage his own station by purchasing Kereru and he would later do the same for Allen's daughter Muriel, providing her fiancé, Bertie Faulkner, Gerlad Kemp and two cousins with Wairakaia Station in Poverty Bay.

CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL MAORI COMMUNITY

Samuel's benevolence was not limited to Te Aute College and his extended family. Samuel also contributed much to the local Maori community. One example comes from the draining Roto-a-tara lake. Samuel recognised that by draining the lake he was depriving local Maori of one of their sources of food, including ducks and pipis. As compensation Samuel assisted them to develop small farms. Woods tells that these small farms included 'growing wheat melons and pumpkins as well as running sheep and cattle'. Samuel also returned the land he leased from Maori in much the same way as he did with the College endowment lands. He improved the land and then handed it back to local Maori owners with no charge for the improvements. Woods, in biography of Samuel tells of other specific examples where Samuel assisted Maori into farming and of his other contribution to the Maori community such paying the salaries of district nurses in Maori settlements.

The benevolence of Samuel was a legacy he carried from his parents, and was one that he wished to continue after his death. In 1901 Samuel established the Henry and William Williams Memorial Trust Fund. This Trust, set up to continue Christian missionary work among the Maori people, continues to disperse funds today.

COMPARISONS

Given the contribution of the Williams family to the early settlement of New Zealand it is not surprising that there are a number some registered structures associated with the Williams family. However most items on the Register are largely relate or commemorate the settlement and missionary work of Henry and William Williams and their descendents in Northland. The registrations that relate to the Williams family include:

NORTHLAND

Williams Memorial Church of St Paul, Paihia

Category I historic place, (Register No. 3824)

Opened in 1926, the Williams Memorial Church commemorates Paihia's origins as one of the earliest and most influential Church Missionary Society (CMS) Stations in New Zealand. Its construction was funded by Williams family descendants, commemorating the centennial of the first church on the site, constructed by their missionary forebears.

Ruins - William Williams House, Paihia

Category II historic place, (Register No. 403)

Original construction 1832

Canon P T Williams House, Paihia

Category II historic place (Register No. 3830)

In approximately 1920, when the Church Missionary Society sold limited amount of land, Canon Percy Williams bought this land, and demolished the Carleton's house (Lydia Carleton nee Williams, Henry Williams daughter, and husband Hugh Carleton had a house on the site) and built the house that presently exists on the site.

Mary Williams Garden, Paihia

Category II historic place (Register No. 7278)

Associated with Canon P T Williams House, Paihia (Register No. 3830)

Henry Williams Memorial - Paihia

Category II historic place, (Register No. 3836)

A large monument commemorating Henry Williams, erected in 1875-1876 by Maori linked to the Anglican Maori Church.

Choat House (Puketona), Kerikeri

Category I Historic Place, (Register No. 66):

Residence of Edward Marsh Williams until move to Pukehou.

The Retreat (dwelling), Pakaraka

Category I historic place, (Register No. 70).

The Retreat, an early Northland residence erected for Henry Williams and his wife Marianne between 1850-1852, is nationally significant for its links with early missionary activity in New Zealand and Henry Williams in particular. The dwelling, including its service wing, contains evidence of early colonial construction techniques.

Holy Trinity Church (Anglican), Pakaraka

Category I historic place, (Register No. 65).

Opened in 1873, the church was constructed by Henry Williams' wife and family as a memorial to his life. It is a well-preserved example of timber Gothic Revival architecture.

Pouerua, Parakaka

Category II historic place, (Register No. 2569).

The home of Henry Williams Junior, son of Henry Williams.

Store/Stable 'Ludbrook', Pakaraka

Category II historic place, (Register No. 3846).

Associated with Pouerua, Parakaka (Register No. 2569).

GISBOURNE

The Vicarage (Te Rau Kahikitea) Gisborne

Category I historic place, (Register No. 812)

Erected in 1876, the two-storey building was constructed for Archdeacon W Leonard Williams. The homestead was used as a family home and for the theological instruction of Maori candidates for the Anglican clergy. It is one of the earliest surviving houses in Gisborne and an unusual example of Carpenter Gothic architecture in the region.

HAWKE'S BAY

Christ Church (Anglican), Pukehou

Category I historic place, (Register No. 1036):

The oldest church in the Waiapu Diocese and Hawke's Bay province. It is associated with Archdeacon Samuel Williams, and J Ormond. For many years it was the centre of religious life at Te Aute College. The church has considerable architectural merit as an elegant example of Gothic Revival architecture, enhanced by two principal stained glass windows.

Christ Church (Anglican) Pukehou is the only item on the Register that could be said to represent the settlement of the Williams family in the Hawke's bay. However it is only linked to Samuel Williams and not the other family members that came to settle around his property in Pukehou. While it discusses his presence in the area it can provide little knowledge of the family's settlement in the area or the work he and his family did to develop the land. Finally, though, because of its use until the College Chapel was built in 1901, it has links to the early history of Te Aute College, it is more closely aligned with Samuel Williams' missionary work than the development of the school.

The Chapel also on College grounds, commemorates the contribution of Samuel to Te Aute College, to Maori and to the Church, and could be said to have a stronger association with Te Aute College than Christ Church, as it is on College lands and continues to be used by the College today. However it was declined for registration in 1986 on the grounds it had been substantially modified. The Chapel also tells little of the wider Williams' family settlement at Pukehou and their contribution to land development in the Hawke's Bay.

'The Cottage' is a rare remaining example of Samuel's benevolence to his extended family and situated in Te Aute College lands and near the lands he owned and leased it can also tell the story of his contribution to the Te Aute College, the local Maori community and of he and his family's contribution to land development in the region.

In recent years Te Aute Trust Board Incorporated has been considering options for the building, including its demolition or relocation. Today 'the Cottage', has largely been abandoned, and at risk of demolition from neglect but with conservation work it could be retrievable. NZHPT has had ongoing discussions with representatives of the Te Aute Trust Board with a view to retaining the building on site. NZHPT has committed to assisting the Te Aute Trust Board secure funding for a restoration project.

Physical Description

LOCATION

'The Cottage' is located to the south-west of the Te Aute College itself, some several hundred metres off the college entrance drive. The house is approached by a driveway through trees and is set in a small valley with other (inhabited) houses of more recent origin.

The house is set back from the road by a 25 metre grassed garden and, from the first view, appears to be a simple domestic house with rooms facing out through long windows beneath a verandah, bordered with roses and other shrubs.

EXTERIOR

The house, in form, is a long L-shaped gabled single-storeyed building. Verandahs line the east and north walls. At each end of the building, further smaller gables, bay windows and lean-tos vary the form.

Apart from its corrugated iron roof and some internal finishes, the building is entirely of timber, built in the manner of a domestic house. Size, proportion, materials and detailing all suggest a domestic building when viewed from outside.

INTERIOR

The internal layout of the house however is quite unlike a domestic family arrangement: the L-shaped building comprises a living wing (the shorter length of the building) and the wing of single rooms and bathrooms (the longer length).

Generally the house is timber-framed with timber rafters supporting an iron roof. Where original, the ceilings are stained or painted timber panelling, or sarked with tongue and groove. Ceilings are pinex-lined where modified. The walls are a plastered finish over dressed rimu sarking. Trim timbers are moulded and deep. Skirtings are 250 millimetres and architraves 125 millimetres. The floors, generally uneven, are 125 millimetres matai floorboards however some areas have 100 millimetres boards or carpet or vinyl flooring covering.

There is evidence of modifications in the mid 20th century when the house was divided into two distinct households.

ENTRANCE HALL

The house is entered via a short flight of verandah stairs, across a timbered verandah and through a timber paneled door. The upper panels of the door have glazed panes with semi-circular heads.

The entrance hall is of moderate width and forms the head of a T-shaped extended hall. Off this hall the main living rooms of the house are accessed. Three oak faced cupboards have been positioned midway and doors to the living room and dining room are to the left. At the end of the entrance hall can be seen a semi-circular timber arch with a window to one side. Beyond the arch is the door to the kitchen areas.

LIVING ROOM

Moving through a timber-panelled door, the living room is situated at the corner of the L of the building. A bay window of long double-hung sashes faces north under the verandah and a small bracketed hung bay window of smaller panes is mounted on the east side of the building. The room is small as a living room for the number of people who would have lived here, being ~ 4 x 4.5 metres in size. The ceiling is timber-panelled, walls are plaster over sarking and the flooring is timber. A fireplace is centrally situated on the south wall.

DINING ROOM

To the south of the living room is the dining room, a room of similar width somewhat longer, with access off the entrance hall and a large set of windows to the floor giving access on to the east-facing verandah. The ceiling is timber-panelled, walls are plaster and the flooring is of narrow section timbers, ~100 millimetres. At the north end of the room, the flooring and ceiling timber show evidence of a fireplace and chimney. Trim timbers are generously moulded and include a picture rail.

KITCHEN

At the end of the entrance hall, with access off the hall, are the kitchen, laundry and larder. The kitchen is fitted with joinery and finishes from the early-mid 20th century. The wall of the kitchen forms the end of the verandah and the verandah lean-to is extended into the kitchen area with extensively paned windows. An aluminium window gives access to the eastern verandah. The sloping ceiling is lined with pinex and floorboards are 100 millimetres. The adjoining larder faces west on the south side of the building and is fitted with timber shelving and is match lined.

HALL

From the entrance door the hall branches to the west in a long, slightly narrower, 30 metre section with rooms arrayed off to each side. The hall has similar features to the entrance hall: timber floors and ceilings, moulded timber trims and plastered sarked walls. Fragments of a later timber partition, subdividing the hall, are in place.

NORTH-FACING ROOMS

From the hall four north-facing rooms are accessed. Each has similar and distinct features.

The first two rooms reached are of similar size, ~3.5 x 4 metres, and comprise a timber-paneled ceiling plastered sarked walls, timber moldings and floor, and a central double-hung, very long, window with an opening leaf sash giving access to the northern verandah. The internal doors are timber-paneled and are set over a slightly raised door step.

The third room appears to have originally been two single rooms as the flooring and beam timbers indicate a wall may have been removed. Two double-hung tall sash-leaf windows open to the verandah. Ceilings, walls and flooring are similar to the previous rooms. A fireplace and mantle are located at the west end of the room.

The fourth room facing on the north verandah is of a size to match the third (double) room. It has a double-hung window giving access on to the verandah with two bay windows, similar to the bracketed and finely paned bay window of the living room. A chimney and mantle are located at the eastern end of the room. Ceilings are timber-panelled, walls are sarked and plastered and trim timber is similar to other rooms so far discussed.

SOUTH-FACING ROOMS

Facing south and with access directly opposite the above rooms is an array of rooms of similar and distinct features. The sizes of the rooms indicate a similar pattern to the north-facing rooms and the distinct differences reflect their position and use. The windows do not open out over a verandah and are not to floor level. Wall and ceiling finishes have in some instances been changed and two of the rooms have fireplaces which reflect their southern situation. Two of the rooms have been converted into bathrooms and toilets.

The first room accessed to the south off the hall is of similar size (~3.5 x 4 metres) but has an additional lean-to section increasing the size of the room. It has two double-hung windows, a tongue-and-groove ceiling to the lean-to and pinex to the main ceiling. A cupboard has been built into the room.

The second distinct room now comprises two rooms and a lobby to a toilet and large bathroom. The toilet has a suspended ceiling and a small louver window. The bathroom contains the double-hung window and has a suspended ceiling. The two rooms contain sanitary fittings of mid-early 20th century origin. Floors are intact.

The third room is a smaller room with bathroom fittings and a glazed door similar to the one seen at the end of this hall, leading outside.

The fourth and fifth south-facing rooms are of the regular singular size and have timber ceilings, plaster sarked walls, a double-hung window and timber floors. Each has a fireplace.

KITCHEN AND LAUNDRY

At the end of this wing, a glazed paneled door leads outside. Either side of this exit is two further rooms which form the west elevation: a kitchen, with mid 20th century joinery and finishes, to the north and the laundry to the south. Each has double-hung windows, pinex ceilings and timber floors.

CURRENT PHYSICAL CONDITION

Poor.

Comment: The external linings and structure of the house are in very poor condition due to inadequate maintenance over a considerable length of time. The roofing iron is rusted through and letting in water; the weatherboards have very little paint coating remaining and are deteriorating due to weathering, pests and fungi; structural damage beneath compromised roofing and weatherboards is likely. Deck and stair timbers directly exposed to rain and sun have rotted away. Floors are showing the effects of pile collapse.

Internal linings are in good condition despite indications of water ingress. Timber floors and ceilings, sarking and joinery are generally sound but show water penetration in parts.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1875 - 1875

Addition
1875 - 1945
House extended to form a long bungalow

Modification
-
House internally partitioned

Construction Details

Twin gable house with verandah at front and west side. Weatherboard, corrugated iron roof, brick chimney.

Completion Date

10th June 2008

Report Written By

Bruce Stirling (History Works), Imelda Bargas

Information Sources

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR)

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives

Appendices to the Journals of the Legislative Council (AJLC)

Appendices to the Journals of the Legislative Council

Alexander Turnbull Library

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Williams Family Papers, MS-Papers-69

Alexander, 1951

R R Alexander, The Story of Te Aute, A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington, 1951

Evans, 1998

Rex & Adriene Evans, Faith and Farming: Te Huarahi ki te Ora: The Legacy of Henry Williams and William Williams, EVAGEAN Publishing, Auckland, 1998.

Faulkner, 1960

Muriel B Faulkner, 'The Boss': A Short Biography of Allen M. Williams of Te Aute, Gisborne, 1960.

Williams, 1929

William Temple Williams, Pioneering in New Zealand: Life of the Venerable Archdeacon Samuel Williams, Private Publication, 1929

Wilson, 1951

J G Wilson, History of Hawke's Bay, A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington, 1951

Woods, 1997

Sybil M. Woods, Samuel Williams of Te Aute, Te Rau Herald Print, Gisborne 1997 (1st ed: c.1981).

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Land Information New Zealand

Hawkes Bay Deeds of Gift (reprinted in Turton's Deeds) LINZ tif images courtesy Chris Buckler

MacGregor, 1970

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

New Zealand Parliamentary Debates

New Zealand Parliamentary Debates

1875-1877.

Wehipeihana, 2005

John Wehipeihana, (ed.), Te Aute College Koiri 1854-2004, Te Aute College, 2005.

Other Information

A fully referenced registration 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.