The Cottage

43 Tait Road, Maraekakaho

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7298 Date Entered 14th December 1995

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 2 DP 427443 (CT 508528), Hawke’s Bay Land District and the building known as The Cottage thereon, and the surrounding landscaped gardens and mature trees and the circular driveway. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Heritage New Zealand Board meeting on 30 April 2015.

City/District Council

Hastings District

Region

Hawke's Bay Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 427443 (CT 508528), Hawke’s Bay Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The Cottage was built as a political retreat and retirement home for Sir Donald McLean, an important and controversial nineteenth politician and runholder.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Aesthetic:

The Cottage was designed as a rural retreat and the residential environment here is a picturesque one. From the front, the Cottage looks like a simple cottage orné set in a landscaped garden and fronting a circular driveway. The house is surrounded by mature trees. Both the house and gardens are well maintained.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The following comments are made in relation to the criteria identified under S.23(2) of the Historic Places Act 1993.

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

The Cottage has a strong connection with two prominent politicians, one of whom, Sir Donald McLean, made a major -albeit highly controversial -contribution to nineteenth century race relations and the process of colonisation. The building, a second home, although one of some size and cost, illustrates the wealth and comfortable lifestyle enjoyed by the colonial pastoral elite.

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

Although both McLean's had distinguished public service careers, Sir Donald McLean is the most important. Indeed, he is one of the more controversial figures of 19th century colonial politics. In his classic 1959 history of New Zealand, Keith Sinclair wrote that:

"The day-to-day tasks of governing the Maoris on behalf of the Crown fell into the hands of Donald McLean, the Chief Land Purchase Commissioner, who also, at the first opportunity, appropriated the office of Native Secretary. This was a disastrous combination of functions which confirmed the Maori nationalists in their impression that the Government's Maori policy amounted to buying their land. Gore-Browne left everything to his able and aggressive assistant." [120-121]

More recently, Raewyn Dalziel in The Oxford Illustrated History of New Zealand (Keith Sinclair, ed., 1990) p.101, describes him as "once religious and interested in Maori life, [he was] by the early 1870s largely concerned with maintaining .....control over Hawkes Bay and transferring large tracts of Maori land as peacefully and rapidly as possible to European farmers and developers."

McLean was a Highlander, born in 1820, who studied divinity before sailing to the Antipodes in 1838. He arrived in Auckland in 1840 and developed his knowledge of Maori language and customs while working there and around Thames. His public service began as a sub-protector of aborigines in Taranaki in 1844. Although interested in Maori language and culture, he believed that Maori needed 'British progress'.

By 1853 he had risen to the post of chief land purchase commissioner. To the fury of the Williams Brothers, he accelerated the transfer of land from Maori hands to Europeans by making payments to certain chiefs. He was chief adviser to Governor Gore-Browne and bears the responsibility for the Waitara Purchase, which triggered the fighting in Taranaki in the early 1860s. McLean later withdrew from national politics, concentrating his efforts on Hawkes Bay, where he had acquired large land holdings. He became Provincial Superintendent in 1863 and later re-entered Parliament as MHR for Napier. In 1868 he brought down the Stafford administration, entering the Fox-Vogel cabinet as Minister of Defence and Native Affairs, duties he retained until late 1876. During this time he stamped out the remaining substantial remnants of Maori resistance. He died in 1877.

Allan Ward, in his assessment of McLean in the 1990 Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, notes that McLean played a pivotal role in the New Zealand Wars. He bears chief responsibility from the Waitara Purchase, which triggered the Taranaki Wars. On the other hand his efficiencies enabled the colonial armed forces to defeat Maori on the battlefield. His obituaries were mixtures of approval and condemnation. "In the tradition of the Ringatu Church", Wards notes, "he is remembered as 'Pharaoh', the one who held them in bondage and took away their lands." [257]

Conclusion:

The Cottage, Tait Rd, Maraekakaho, Hawkes Bay, is recommended for registration as a Category I as a place of special and outstanding historical and cultural heritage significance and value. The Cottage has great historical significance due to its association with controversial nineteenth century politician and runholder, Sir Donald McLean. Set in a landscaped garden and surrounded by mature trees, the building also has aesthetic qualities.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1869 -

Information Sources

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Ward, Alan. 'McLean, Donald 1820 - 1877', updated 22 June 2007, URL: http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/

Sinclair, 1990 (2)

Keith Sinclair, (ed), The Oxford Illustrated History of New Zealand, Auckland, 1990

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.