Hustler House

6506 Matawai Road, Matawai

  • Hustler House.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Frank Van der Heijden. Date: 15/09/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7142 Date Entered 24th February 1994


City/District Council

Gisborne District


Gisborne Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 1959 (Part of CT GS5A/1217), Gisborne Land District


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. This report includes text from the original Proposal for Classification considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Parts of this building date from 1908. Additions made in 1910 were removed in 1914 and replaced with a port office and telegraph exchange. Tearooms were added to the rear. These commercial and public enterprises were run by Arthur Hustler, a well known local figure who was Matawai's first Justice of the Peace and paymaster for the Roads Board during construction of the Waioeka Gorge Road. The building is still owned and occupied by his descendants and has been adapted for domestic re-use.

Having seen commercial, public and domestic use, Hustler House is of local historical interest and has significance as a representative example of a multi-purpose building.


Additional informationopen/close

Historical Narrative

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the N.Z Historic Places Trust Building Record Form research by James Blackburne included with the Proposal for Classification at the time of registration.

The Store at Matawai is now a family home but it was once the most important part of the small community. It was started in 1908 by Arthur Hustler and his wife Alice Elisabeth, who between them ran a small shop from the building they built. This is the western gabled section of the house. In approximately 1910 a lean-to was added to the shop to house the Bank of Australasia agency which was serviced from Motu. On the eastern side of the building there was at the time a corrugated iron lean-to which was the main part of the shop.

In 1914 this was removed and in it's place was erected what is today the eastern gabled part of the house. This housed the post office and the telephone exchange. The store's phone number was '1'. This part of the house has also accommodated a dentist rooms at one stage.

At the rear of the house there was also a tearooms. What is now the back of the house has been added at different stages, with the first being added in 1950, the next in 1955 and finally the dining room and verandah being added in 1976. An upstairs bedroom was added c.1989.

Arthur Hustler was also important to the town, not only because he ran the store, post office, telephone exchange and the tearooms but he was also the first Justice of the Peace in the Matawai area and also paymaster for the Toads Board while the Waioeka Gorge road was being built.

Today the building is only used as a family home with a very plain front fa├žade on to the road, which gives few clues as to it's past importance to the town of Matawai.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1908 -

1910 -

1914 -
The 1910 additions were removed and replaced with a port office and telegraph exchange, tearooms were added to the rear.

1950 -

1975 - 1976
Dining room and verandah added

1989 -
Upstairs bedroom added

Construction Details

Timber clad with rusticated weatherboards. Corrugated iron roof sheathing

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Northern 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.