38 Normandale Road, Normandale, Lower Hutt

  • Norbury.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Geoff Mew, Wellington Branch Committee of the NZ Historic Places Trust. Date: 16/12/2001.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7424 Date Entered 17th April 1998


City/District Council

Hutt City


Wellington Region

Legal description

part of Pt Sec 24 & 28, Hutt District


Norbury, built in 1904, is the sole survivor of four houses constructed on land owned by a prominent Wellington family, the Fitzherberts. The house was built for Alice Maud Fitzherbert, who, in 1905, married Professor George William Ernest von Zedlitz, a foundation professor of Victoria University of Wellington and prominent figure in the university educational reform movement. This movement was critical of the governance of the University of New Zealand, and advocated greater academic involvement in the university system. In 1922 the house was sold to Basil and Kate Donne, the former being the son of the first head of the Government Tourist Bureau. The Donne's enlarged the house with the help of notable architect, Jack Hoggard, the brother of Kate Donne. In 1938 a portion of the bush-covered Fitzherbert land was acquired by the Lower Hutt City Council for Jubilee Park, created in 1940 to mark the first 50 years of the Borough of Lower Hutt, the first mayor of which had been Sir William Fitzherbert. Following Basil Donne's death in 1945, Norbury was bought by the council and incorporated into the park. In 1946 the house was divided into two flats, occupied by council staff until 1980. The property was then leased to Youth for Christ, who undertook interior renovations. That organisation remained there until 1993 when the council again took control of the property. In May 1999, in recognition of the sister city relationship between the Hutt City and the city of Minoh in Japan, the council renamed the house the house 'Hutt Minoh Friendship House'.

Norbury is a large, two-storey, weatherboard house with multiple gables and a steeply-pitched iron roof. Decorative boards have been applied to some of the walls and gable ends. Additions at various times have been generally in keeping with the original English Domestic Revival style. The architect is unknown but similar houses were designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere and Charles Tilliard Natusch, both of whom lived for a while in Lower Hutt.

Norbury is greatly significant because of its association with people of importance in New Zealand history, and in particular Professor Von Zedlitz, and the once politically-prominent Fitzherbert family.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1905 -

House enlarged

1945 -
Converted to flats

Completion Date

16th August 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources

Barrowman, 1999

Rachel Barrowman, 'Victoria University of Wellington, 1899-1999, a history,' Wellington, 1999

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Tim Beaglehole, 'George William Ernest von Zedlitz', in Claudia Orange (ed.), Vol. 3, Wellington, 1996, pp.580-581

Historic Places in New Zealand

Historic Places in New Zealand

Rosemary McLennan, 'Historic Hutt Home', May 1996, p.25

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.