Villa 'Turanga'

Mile Road, Bombay, South Auckland

  • Villa 'Turanga'. From: NZHPT Northern Region Field Record Forms.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Date: 29/12/1995.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7407 Date Entered 31st October 1997

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Franklin District Council)

Region

Auckland Council

Legal description

pt Allot 64 Suburban Section 3, Parish of Opaheke

Location description

Relocated from Auckland to Pukekohe in 1994.

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 Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Historical:

Villa Turanga was built in the late 19th century for Wesley and Henrietta Spragg. Born in 1848, Henry Spragg emigrated to New Zealand in 1864 where he entered the butter trade in the early 1880s. In partnership with biscuit manufacturer John Bycroft, he established the New Zealand Dairy Association in 1886. It relocated from Auckland to Pukekohe in 1889, taking over the premises of a failed co-operative butter factory. The business subsequently expanded considerably, acquiring the 'Anchor' brand in 1896. Spragg served as managing-director until 1912 and chairman until 1915. In 1919 his company merged with Waikato and Thames companies to form the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company. Both Spraggs were prominent in the social reform movements of their day; Wesley was a Congregational lay preacher and temperance advocate, serving as president of the New Zealand Alliance 1908-15 and Henrietta was a prominent suffragist.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Cultural:

There are (1997) plans to operate. Villa Turanga, relocated from Auckland to Pukekohe in 1994, in part as a museum dedicated to the history of the contribution made by Wesley Spragg to the New Zealand dairying industry.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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

Events:

The main recorded events in the history of the building were the death of the owner in 1930 and its relocation to South Auckland in 1995, during which process part of the building was accidentally destroyed.

Persons:

Wesley Spragg's importance is recognised by his inclusion in the both the 1940 and the 1996 dictionaries of national biography. In addition to playing a prominent role in the dairying industry (he was the first to use parchment paper for wrapping butter and in 1913 introduced casein manufacture to Auckland), Spragg was a social reformer, being a layman in the Congregational Church and president of the New Zealand Alliance (the temperance movement) from 1908 to 1915, one of the peak periods of activity for this movement. His wife, Henrietta, shared his interest in social reform, being a prominent suffragist who organised petitions in 1886 and 1887. The Spraggs' association with 'Turanga' was considerable. It was built for them and the 1993 current dictionary of biography records that Spragg died in this building in 1930 and his wife in 1934.

Ideas:

Not sufficiently applicable to merit registration.

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

Mary Baker, owner of the villa, has announced plans to establish a Friends of Wesley Spragg Historical Society, to write a biography of him and to establish a small museum in part of the building. An undated press article noted that she had gained the support of local MP Bill Birch, FDC councillor Kevin Birch, local historian Nona Morris and Graham Calvert, director of the NZ Dairy Group.

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

Villa Turanga could be used for a variety of public education purposes; owner Mary Baker plans to include a small museum in part of the building.

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

Mary Baker, the owner of the villa., has announced her intention to develop the relocated villa in part to include 'a small museum' to Wesley Spragg and the early dairying industry.

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1897 -

Relocation
1994 -
Relocated from Auckland to Pukekohe in 1994.

Completion Date

6th September 1997

Report Written By

Gavin McLean

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.