Totara House

Wharf Rd, Matakohe, Northland

  • Totara House. The Kauri Museum, Matakohe, F1.2000.456.5.5.
    Copyright: The Kauri Museum.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7091 Date Entered 26th August 1993


City/District Council

Kaipara District


Northland Region

Legal description

Part allotment 31, Suburbs of Matakohe, DP 2498


The following text is from the original Proposal for Classification report presented to the Board 26 Aug 1993.

Totara House is a typical bay villa in the 'T' house configuration of the 1890s, and features many of the typical characteristics of this style. In the exterior these include a verandah built around three sides of the base of the 'T' plan. The verandah has a balustrade with turned balusters. The verandah roof is corrugated iron, and ornamental fretwork spandrels are situated under the verandah and on the verandah posts. There are also pendant finials situated on the end of the fretwork spandrels. The bay window has a high gable built above, and the gable features scroll fretwork barge boards. The bay window surrounds have pilasters with cornice mouldings. The verandah balustrade is repeated on the bay window roof. The brick chimney has ornamental corbels and a cornice. The windows feature upper light windows which are multi paned with glazing bars and segmented frames.

Totara House also features some fine interior details, which include the use of figured Kauri panelling instead of the more usual lath and plaster wall linings. The house includes many of the features typical of a bay villa of the era, but has taken the decorative elements to a fine finish. The Buildings Officer considers this house compares favourably to other registered 'T' plan bay villas.

Totara House was built for George Smith, of Smith Brothers saw mill at Kaipara Harbour. This mill does not feature in any literature on major Northland mills of the time.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1896 -

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.