Puketiti Homestead and Stable

451B Puketiti Road, Te Puia Springs

  • Puketiti Homestead and Stable. The east (front) elevation.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: James Blackburne. Date: 19/06/2009.
  • Puketiti Homestead and Stable. The carved fire surround in the billiard room, the work of Ruth Nelson.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: James Blackburne. Date: 19/06/2009.
  • Puketiti Homestead and Stable. The north elevation of stables with stalls wing at left and carriage room at right.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: James Blackburne. Date: 19/06/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7803 Date Entered 30th April 2010

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Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 3478 (CT GS2A/472), Gisborne Land District and the building known as Puketiti Homestead and Stable thereon, and its fittings and fixtures and includes the gasometer associated with Puketiti Homestead and Stable, the carved wooden fire surround executed by Ruth Nelson, the black maire dining table and the gas heater in bedroom 9. (Refer to map of extent in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).

City/District Council

Gisborne District

Region

Gisborne Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 3478 (CT GS2A/472), Gisborne Land District

Location description

Please note that Puketiti Station is private property. Go to end of Puketiti Road (4.5 kilometres from SH 35 turn-off) past the woolshed and through the wooden central gate to the end of the drive. The stable is 50 metres past the homestead on the drive that skirts round to the south side of the homestead. The gasometer is located next to the stable.

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The Puketiti Station homestead (1906 and 1933) and stable (1906) and garden are remarkable for the remarkable degree of visual and structural integrity retained through the intactness of both the exterior and richly embellished interior materials, fixtures and finishes. Puketiti is directly associated with the nationally renowned Williams family, whose name has been synonymous with the East Coast, Poverty Bay area since 1840. James Williams, son of missionary William Williams, established Puketiti Station and along with his son Arnold. B. ('A.B.') Williams, were highly influential in the development of farming in New Zealand as leading pastoralists of Hawkes Bay and Poverty Bay. Both were prominent philanthropists, church, community and business leaders with active involvement in local body affairs, and the establishment of the Waipiro Bay township. The Williams' support of Maori of Waiapu was significant and Arnold was an early conservationist, with an understanding that pre-dates the State.

The homestead at Puketiti Station, situated inland from Te Puia Springs and Waipiro Bay on the East Coast, North Island, is one of the few remaining station homesteads on the East Coast. The size and grandeur of the homestead represents the success and consolidation of the farming enterprise by successive members of the family. The homestead, stable and gasometer form a distinctive domestic cluster on the Station, set within what has become an internationally renowned garden and arboretum. They represent the isolation for families operating such large, remote stations and the class distinction that kept the owners and their guests' personal and recreational life secluded from the farming operations and its workers.

The place also represents the prominence and importance of the pastoral industry on the East Coast in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, established at a time when most rural land had become part of large holdings rather than small farms.

The house style includes elements of Arts and Crafts and American Bungalow design with Art Nouveau and Art Deco interior features. This large, two-storied house includes rich, decorative timber finishes to the interior of the main rooms. A unique drawing room feature is an ornately carved wooden fire surround in Maori folk art style (circa 1920s -30s) by artist Ruth Nelson.

In late 1933 A.B. Williams married a widow, Rere Beale, and the house was sympathetically extended to create additional space for her children. After A.B. Williams' death in 1965 his successor, adopted son Desmond O. Williams (formerly Beale) lived alone. The station is now owned by Des's godson Dan Russell, a member of the extended Williams family. The homestead has continued in the same principal use since its construction.

The domestic setting includes a nationally rare example of a gasometer, a simple technology that collected natural gas piped from vents on the farm for use in cooking, lighting and heating to the homestead and stable. It is the only known, extant example of a gasometer and reticulation system built for domestic purposes and is a unique and highly significant structure.

The Stable is situated close to the house, is T-shaped in plan and of balloon construction with the studs running full height and the loft floor constructed between it. It has a corrugated iron gabled roof with a large loft where early pigeon coops and chaff chute, survive. There are four stalls; the remaining space includes a room with fireplace for the groom's accommodation, a workshop area and a large space used for carriage storage and accessible through a large sliding door. Most of the floor is laid with bricks of hardwood, believed to be Australian karri. It is one of a select few, intact examples and may be the only survivor with regular, oblong, karri timber blocks It is a rare example of such a technology and of its durability as a flooring material, with horses continuing to clatter across the timber cobbles daily.

Such is the significance of Puketiti Station, that all the buildings, gardens and the arboretum have been covenanted by the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust since 1993. Very few changes have been undertaken since 1933.

The grandeur of the Homestead and its garden, the remarkably intact original fabric of it and the Stable, the technological rarity of some components such as the lead lined bathroom floor, the domestic gasometer and the timber brick cobbled stable floor, are physical elements that contribute to the importance of this place . It is also directly associated with nationally renowned pastoralists, Arnold and James Williams, both influential in the development of farming in New Zealand and both humanitarians, philanthropists, church, business and community leaders active in local body affairs The domestic setting is physically very separate from the farm operations and its workers; one of a diminishing number of such places reflecting the class distinction brought from Britain to colonial New Zealand.

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Historical Significance or Value

Puketiti homestead was the main homestead for the extensive Puketiti Station and neighbouring stations that together made up the Waipiro Block owned or leased by J.N. Williams. Williams was a successful pastoralist of Hawke's Bay who extended his land holdings to the East Coast in 1882 with up to 100,000 acres (40,469 hectares) of leased or freehold land, and in so doing helped develop the sheep and cattle industry in the region. His son and successor A.B. Williams built the stable and homestead in 1906 at a time when the station had become successful and the buildings reflect the relative wealth of its owners and of the period. The stable was an essential utility building erected at the same time as the Homestead.

The homestead and stable reflect the hierarchy of the Station, with the family areas of the large house being markedly different and superior in style, finishes and size from those of the farm staff, and with provision being made for domestic staff. These differences in the original finishes of the respective rooms remain intact. The Stable housed only the owner's horses that were also working horses for riding and for drawing carriages such as a buggy.

Puketiti Station has featured prominently in the spiritual life of the district, with its Waipiro manager, A.H. Wallis, being one of the first lay readers authorised by the Anglican Church in the early 1880s, and the Williams' efforts in raising funds for the construction of St Margaret's Church at Te Puia Springs, in 1955.

The history Puketiti Station's is interwoven with that of nearby Waipiro Bay with both the Station owner and manager leading the establishment of the township in the 1880s. For many years prior to formed road access, the Station was dependent on Waipiro Bay shipping operations for exporting its farm products and taking delivery of stock and supplies.

Aesthetic Significance or Value

Puketiti homestead and stable are set in landscaped grounds at the foot of Puketiti Hill and back-dropped by an impressive, nationally renowned garden and arboretum. The grandeur of the homestead and stable is strongly complemented by its setting.

Architectural Significance or Value

The level of intactness of the exterior and interior of both the homestead and stable makes them significant in their consistency to the intended style. The circa 1933 changes and major enlargement of the homestead blend in very well with the original. Together they provide intact examples of both domestic and utility architecture of the Edwardian period and the large additional wing of the house, the style of the 1930s with evidence of Art Deco embellishments to its interior finishings. Of particular note within this extension, is the bathroom of the three Williams' stepsons) of whom only one returned from the Second World War, The room retains all its original finishes and fittings, including the row of three hand-basins and mirrors and the lead lined floor that is a rare example of this once common finish for 'wet' rooms.

The stable and original wing of the homestead are constructed of Oregon pine, probably chosen for its availability, and given the Station's isolation, its fire retardant qualities. The interior finishes of the Homestead incorporate high quality timber detail and embellishments that demonstrate a highly competent attention to detail and a high level of craftsmanship. This high quality decorative finishing is particularly evident in the homestead living areas of the ground floor, especially in the dining and billiard rooms. Timbers used in the homestead interior include kauri and Oregon pine and in the later addition, rimu.

An unusual architectural element within the homestead billiard-room, is the carved fireplace surround by artist Ruth Nelson, in Maori folk art style. All other known examples of her work are in the Hawke's Bay. and are not known to incorporate this extent of Maori design.

Technological Significance or Value

The gasometer connected to the Homestead and Stable is a rare example of a system devised to utilise the natural gas emitted from seepages on the Station. Only one other, simpler, gasometer for domestic purposes has been identified as having existed, and this was for a small cottage. Other gasometers in the district were in use at both Te Puia Springs Hospital and Hotel, but neither have survived. The only other known example that still exists is at Hanmer Springs. A heater that was connected to the system at Puketiti survives and is included in the chattels.

The wooden cobbled floor of the stable is one of a select few, intact examples and may be the only survivor with regular, oblong, karri timber blocks It is a rare example of such a technology and of its durability as a flooring material, with horses continuing to clatter across the cobble stones daily.

The original lead lining of 'the boys' bathroom' is a rare surviving example of a finish commonly used in 'wet' rooms at the time of the extension to the house circa 1933.

Social Significance or Value

Puketiti Station has played a major role in employment for over 120 years, in what is still a remote area of the North Island's East Coast, and has contributed significantly to the economic well-being of the area's Maori communities. An early and documented aspect being the requirement when the land was first leased from Maori, to give employment priority to local Maori. The support of Maori in a variety of ways, by the Williams family, went well beyond that original agreement, as attested by Sir Apirana Ngata stating in a parliamentary speech in 1922, that no other family had done so much for any group of people as the Williams family had for Maori of Waiapu county.

The grandeur of the homestead and its gardens are representative of a strong element of class distinction to such landscapes, with the colonial values of owners of such large holdings reflecting those of the 'landed gentry' of Britain and what was considered a 'civilised' way to live. It was a managed landscape, a setting consciously designed to shield and separate the domestic and recreational life of the Station owner and their guests, from that of the farm workers; it distinguishes two communities as well as being seen as tangible evidence of success.

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

Puketiti Station reflects representative aspects of the development of the pastoral industry in New Zealand, where indigenous vegetation was cleared and new grasses sown for sheep and cattle feed. By 1906 when the current homestead and stable were built, early difficulties with unsuitable breeds, wool demand and changes brought about by the frozen meat industry had been largely overcome and the Station had become successful.

Puketiti Homestead and Stable reflect the wealthy elite in the development of pastoralism in New Zealand, as well as the success of the sheep and cattle industry on the North Island's East Coast. The Stable was built at a time when the area was dependent on shipping to bring in materials; the Oregon pine was floated ashore at Waipiro Bay from a ship anchored in the roadstead. The karri cobbles may have been shaped elsewhere and brought in as ballast as a back load when exporting wool from the station.

Arnold B. Williams and his adopted son Des, became known for their soil conservation work at Puketiti Station. They were at the forefront of the earliest conservation work in New Zealand, with A.B. Williams pre-dating the State in recognition of the problems of river control and soil conservation and the need for regeneration of native bush.

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

Puketiti Station, including its homestead and stable, is associated with the Williams family who came to the East Coast-Poverty Bay region when William Williams established the first mission station in 1840. William's son James N. Williams became a major landowner of sheep stations in Hawke's Bay and the East Coast, including Puketiti Station which he bought in 1882. Members of the extended Williams family, including James, his son A.B. Williams and his adopted son Desmond, have all been associated with Puketiti over a time span from 1892 to the present day. They became highly influential business people, church leaders, farmers, and benefactors who were also heavily involved in local bodies and community associations. They are also known for their beautification of the landscape with a park, arboretum and the Puketiti Station covenant as testaments to their contributions.

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

The owners and managers of Puketiti Station, and by association the homestead and stable, have been held in high regard by the community for over 100 years. The Station was a major employer for Maori and Pakeha, enabling people to stay in the district for work. A.B. Williams and Rere Williams were regarded with great respect by the community and were involved with many community projects, the enhancement of medical and health services, and were major benefactors. A.B. and Des Williams also contributed by participation on local bodies.

(f) The potential of the place for public education

Puketiti homestead, stable and gardens, have the potential for interpretation and education as the domestic element of the efficient and necessary operation of an isolated residence and farm. The homestead and stable also illustrate the social hierarchy within the Station's operation through the style and grandeur of the family areas of the house as compared to those for the domestic staff. The surviving aspects linked to the impacts of the First and Second World Wars also have strong educative values as do the rare surviving examples of earlier technologies, including the lead lined floor of 'the boys' bathroom', the gasometer and an associated domestic heater and the timber cobbled floor of the stable. The extent of surviving original fabric on both the interior and exterior of the buildings and their fixtures and fitting, gives it strong educational value for those studying style and architecture in New Zealand.

(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place

The gasometer with its gas reticulation system for Puketiti homestead is a major technical accomplishment, making use of a natural gas supply from vents coming to the surface in a paddock some distance from the Homestead. The system reflects the developmental and entrepreneurial spirit of owner A.B. Williams. The timber cobbled floor of the stable represents a technology of a former time related to utility buildings as does the lead lined floor surviving intact in 'the boys' bathroom'.

(h)The symbolic or commemorative value of the place

Both buildings contain strong physical reminders of the impacts and losses brought about by the First and Second World Wars. These private domestic memorials of remembrance have become 'sanctuaries' for family memories. In the house it is the intact boys' bathroom, whilst in the stable, evidence still exists of the home provided within, for Jock; a soldier who returned shell shocked from active service in the First World War and was cared for by the family, housed in the stable and employed as a handyman on the Station. The room is intact as is his name, crudely scratched into a timber wall of the stable. These poignant reminders meld past and present in a powerful way, and like a time capsule, have survived long enough to be appreciated by current and future generations.

(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape

The homestead and stable form part of the wider historical landscape of the very extensive holdings of Puketiti Station, and its farming operation. Its immediate grounds and arboretum were designed is such a way that they stand aesthetically and physically on their own merit. They sit within 38 hectares of landscaped and planted grounds, largely developed since 1906 and the buildings and gardens are included in a covenant with the Queen Elizabeth II Trust. Prior to the growth of planted trees the homestead and stable would have been visible from a great distance in their setting on the slope of Puketiti Hill.

Conclusion

It is considered that this place qualifies as a Category I historic place.

Puketiti Station, including its homestead, stable and garden, is strongly associated with the nationally renowned Williams family, settlers to the East Coast-Poverty Bay region in 1840. James Williams, associated with Puketiti from 1892, followed by his son A.B. were both highly influential businessmen and pastoralists, contributing much to the development of the sheep and cattle industry of New Zealand, They were church leaders and benefactors who were also heavily involved in local bodies and community activities. A.B. Williams was also an early champion for the importance of conservation and well ahead of State recognition of such.

The homestead and stable in their near original condition of exterior and interior construction, finishes, fixtures and fittings, including the near original integrity in its room layout, provide a rare, intact examples of the architecture of the Edwardian period, for domestic and utility buildings, and the 1933 wing of the house, for design elements and finishes of the Art Deco period.

The adjacent stable and its association with the homestead, demonstrate how such a utility building was an integral part of the economic, social and recreational aspects of the lives of the residents of such large, isolated farm stations.

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Historical Narrative

Puketiti Station Homestead and Stable were built in 1906 by A.B. Williams, as the base for managing the large sheep and cattle station owned by his father J.N. Williams, the successful and influential pastoralist from Hawke's Bay. The Homestead was the central domestic building for the Station.

Puketiti Station is inland from Waipiro Bay on the East Coast, an area occupied by Ngati Porou for several centuries, prior to the arrival of Europeans in the early nineteenth century. Puketiti, the 2000 foot (610m) high hill after which the station is named, features in a Ngati Porou tradition in which Pawa, the navigator of the Horouta canoe, was involved in a struggle with the giant Rongokako. Pawa fastened a rope between Puketiti and another hill, Tawhiti, but was unsuccessful in trapping Rongokako. The land is steep and dissected by many streams and rivers that would have provided access routes inland. Several pa, kainga and cultivations existed along the coastal strip, and in 1844 the East Coast was heavily populated by Maori, with 22 kainga between Hicks Bay and East Cape and a further twelve at Uawa (Tolaga Bay). The thermal mineral springs at Te Puia, four kilometres inland from Waipiro Bay, were also utilized.

During the 1870s and early 1880s several blocks of land in the East Coast region were acquired by European settlers from tangata whenua, mostly as long-term leases, but a few as purchases. In December 1877 the Government Land Purchase Officer for the East Coast, Captain T.W. Porter, reported that he had advised the Maori owners of the Puketiti block to have the land surveyed and passed through the Native Land Court prior to any dealing with it, and when the title had been ascertained, he had acted for them and advertised the land for lease. The highest offer, from J. Cattell, was accepted. In July 1880 Porter was accused of land-jobbing, with Puketiti being cited as one of the questionable deals in which he was involved.

James Nelson (J.N.) Williams (1837-1915) was the son of missionary William Williams and his wife Jane Nelson, who established the first mission station in Poverty Bay in 1840. J.N. Williams purchased large sheep stations in Hawke's Bay. He was involved in 'practically every scheme to advance the progress and welfare' of Hawke's Bay. These schemes included establishing a boiling down works at Tomoana, commercial fruit growing, a vineyard and a canning factory and though not all were successful they were pioneering ventures for later development. J.N. Williams was also involved in many Hawke's Bay organisations and was a benefactor to the community.

According to his own account, J.N. Williams did not visit the East Coast until 1883. By 1886 he had negotiated leasehold tenure for 37,000 acres (14,973 hectares) of the Waipiro Block plus 2000 acres (809 hectares) elsewhere and had begun to clear the land for pasture. He brought Arthur Henry Wallis, his manager from Edenham station, to supervise the development.

It appears that Cattell and Buckley did not develop the land at all, as an early 1885 description shows the extent of work undertaken on the Puketiti block by J.N. Williams:

A year ago this was in its natural state, but they have now made considerable improvements, having felled about 800 acres [324 hectares] of bush, laid down 4000 acres [1618 hectares] in grass... They employed during last winter no fewer than 200 men, natives and Europeans, in fact it was a godsend to the laboring classes. ...It has been the means of keeping working men in the district; and now, when the grass seed and other crops have been harvested, there will be plenty of employment on the roads.... His manager (Wallace) [sic] paid £1000 in wages the week before Christmas, which was a windfall to the hotels and stores along the Coast. ...Mr Williams last year paid about £12,000 in wages... there are five or six out-stations to be looked after...

J.N. Williams's development work was praised in the local newspaper in October 1884, which also commented that smallholders could not possibly make any strides in the work of converting those wilds' as such work required capital only the large-scale developers could provide.

In the early 1880s there was a Maori settlement at Waipiro Bay and the beach was already used as a port by Makarika Station. However Wallis built several buildings at Waipiro Bay to assist with the operation of the Waipiro block; these included premises for a blacksmith, saddler, painter, plumber, carpenter and store and attracted skilled workers to the district. Wallis is considered responsible for 'the complete development of the village of Waipiro Bay, at that time the most important town and port of Waiapu'. Close to shore was a large wool dump shed where bales could be prepared for transfer to the lighters which took them out to the ships anchored off shore.

A stipulation of the leases was that the Maori families involved 'should have first call upon any gainful employment which the lessee might have to offer'. The Williams family's farming enterprises provided employment to many people such as boatmen, stockmen, shepherds, a gardener and domestic staff, bush-felling and firing, seed sowing, grass seed harvesting and threshing, shearing and cartage. With no roads suitable for wheeled traffic goods and livestock were brought in or dispatched via lighters to anchored coastal steamers. Horses and cattle were swum ashore.

The Waipiro Block was involved in land disputes after the Land Court found against claimant Tuta Nehonioia in late 1885.

Williams first brought in Lincoln sheep and Shorthorn cattle, but neither breed did well in the wet conditions. Tutu poisoning was a major problem and stock losses were high. A change to Hereford and then Aberdeen-Angus cattle and Romney sheep gave greater success and breeding percentages improved. Pigs were stocked also, to deal with offal. By 1891 J.N. Williams had the largest run on the Coast, shearing 70,000 sheep plus 20,000 lambs on the three branch stations, Takapau, Puketiti and Matahiia, all managed by Wallis.

In January 1892, Wallis was joined by James's son Arnold Beetham Williams (known as ‘A.B.'). In 1901 A.B.'s brother Heathcote Beetham (‘H.B.') Williams moved to the Coast. In 1902 Wallis left to farm his own holdings, whereupon J.N. Williams's properties were divided between his two sons, A.B. taking the northern lots including Puketiti. A.B. Williams continued to live at Puketiti for the rest of his life. He was intimately involved in local affairs through his positions on the Waiapu County Council; he was elected its chairman in 1903. While on the council he was instrumental in getting roads formed and bridges repaired. In 1918 he was on a committee for the local parish. He was chair of the Tokomaru Harbour Board from 1921 to 1923. A.B. owned several champion racehorses, stabled in Hawke's Bay. A.B.'s involvement in the community is illustrated by the visit in February 1923 of children from Waipiro School who went up to the homestead ‘by special invitation' for ‘swimming sports'.

In 1906 A.B. Williams shifted his base from Waipiro Bay to Puketiti Station and built the large homestead and its associated stable. The front of the house faces east, the orientation determined by its position on the slope of Puketiti Hill which is behind the house. The timber, imported Oregon pine from the Pacific Slope of North America, was rafted ashore into Waipiro Beach at a landed cost of 15 shillings per 100 feet. The stable may have been built first, and used to store the house timber.

The house was two-storeyed. The main rooms downstairs were a drawing room, smoking room, dining room and bedroom, plus a bathroom and several rooms in the utility area at the rear. The master bedroom was situated in the gable above the drawing room. There was a verandah front and side-rear, and an enclosed porch on the south side.

The stable is a simple utilitarian structure built to a T floor plan with the four horse stalls along the leg of the T. The head of the T is a high-roofed area with the wide main entrance for easy access for buggies and other wheeled carriages. Part of the floor where the vehicles stood, is concrete; the rest is wooden cobbles believed to be Australian karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor). Wooden bricks, cobbles or round pavers in utility areas were not uncommon in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, but few have survived. Of those known, only one example is similar to Puketiti Stable's timber bricks. That is at the Maraekakaho Station Stables and Coachouse (Record no. 4808 Category II) but its karri blocks differ by being of irregular shape. Other surviving New Zealand examples identified are: Levy's Building at 20 Customs Street East, Auckland (Record no. 7292, Category II) which has a wood block floor in what may have been a passage or loading bay; a stable in Southland (not identified); Hodgson's Stables (timber rounds) Murchison (Record no. 2970); and Mangatarata with totara rounds (Record no. 2764 Category II).

The homestead and stable in their landscaped garden setting are at some distance from the utility farm buildings. Staff on the station (or based at Waipiro) included a carpenter-joiner; the large maire circular dining table was made by the carpenter from timber felled on the station.

The Williamses maintained their own shearing gangs, with woolsheds at Takapau, Ihungia and Puketiti. Before 1915 the shearing gang included 50-60 hands shearing up to 150,000 sheep each season. In 1915-16 stock included 1000 stud Romneys, shorthorn cattle and many horses which were used for riding, mustering and other farm work, ploughing and drawing the buggy and equipment.

On 7 December 1910 (back-dated to 1 October 1910) A.B. leased Puketiti Station from his father, but on 29 September 1913 he became the owner. In 1915 the leases on the Waipiro block expired and the properties returned to their Maori owners, leaving only Puketiti and other freehold blocks in the Williams family hands. In 1915 Sir Apirana Ngata paid tribute in a parliamentary speech to the Williams family in reply to accusations of inappropriate land dealings with Maori. He stated that ‘in acquiring those lands and occupying them they harmed not a single native in the district of Waiapu.. no family... has done as much for any group of people as the Williams family has done for the Maori of the Waiapu county.'

A.B. Williams was involved in large-scale bush clearing, bringing more land into pasture, but became aware of the resulting erosion. In about 1915 he began a tree planting programme that included planting tree lucerne as a nurse tree to establish very large native and mixed forest blocks out of bracken fern and burnt-over manuka. Also about this time he began planting exotic and indigenous trees in the large garden, continuing the landscaping work that started with the building of the homestead. A large pond and an artificial lake were excavated. He established and maintained a plant nursery, orchard and vegetable gardens, some of which were enclosed in wire netting to protect the produce from predation. Later developments included paths, steps and a lawn tennis court. Puketiti is recognised as ‘one of the finest homes on the Coast' and is variously described as ‘picturesque', ‘magnificent', ‘on a grand scale', ‘a monument to human endeavour' and ‘famous'. The grounds too are described in similar superlatives, such as ‘a veritable fairyland'. The Puketiti homestead site is renowned for its ‘magnificent specimen trees' and as a ‘landmark in the district'.

The landscape that wraps around the cluster of domestic buildings and garden consciously creates one of two very distinctive clusters of buildings at Puketiti Station. The second is the operational base for the farm and its workers, that includes the Category II Woolshed, workers' cottages, a cookhouse and other utility buildings that are all situated near the farm entrance, some considerable distance from the homestead. The homestead is reached via a tree lined road that climbs toward Puketiti Hill to then open out on to the plateau created for the house, with a sweeping driveway. The setting also includes other domestic and recreational elements considered essential for those of means, living on isolated Stations. These include a tennis court swimming pool (ruin) berry house, orchard, chook-house and vegetable garden and orchard. There was also a strong element of class distinction to such a landscape, with the colonial values of owners of such large holdings reflecting those of the ‘landed gentry' of Britain and what was considered a ‘civilised' way to live. It was a managed landscape; a setting consciously designed to shield and separate the domestic and recreational life of the Station owner and their guests, from that of the farm workers; it distinguishes two communities as well as being seen as tangible evidence of success.

In 1913 the Commissioner of Crown Lands noted the ‘very interesting' use of natural gas for lighting and cooking purposes at the boarding house near Te Puia Springs. The hotel and hospital at Te Puia Springs also utilised the gas but their gasometers no longer exist. A 1921 report noted a ‘recent example' of ‘an ingenious effort.. to harness the gas for domestic purposes' in which the gas from one of the exploratory drill shafts near Ruatoria was trapped and piped to ‘a small house where it was used for some years for lighting and cooking purposes by the Tako family'.

A.B. Williams installed a gas-powered heating, cooking and lighting system at the homestead. The gas was fed via narrow pipes from natural gas seepages up to 1.5 km away from the homestead and was collected in a gasometer situated beside the stable and then to the house. Some of the open hearths were converted to gas fires; the surrounds of some of these have an Art Deco style. The installation date is unknown, however an account by a shepherd-general hand of his work at Puketiti prior to his leaving for overseas service in May 1916 describes cutting firewood as it was ‘before Puketiti began exploiting its own natural gas'. No other gasometers for domestic purposes are known to exist.

The carved fireplace in the billiard room was executed by Ruth Nelson, probably in the late 1920s-early 1930s. Alice Ruth Nelson was the grand-daughter of James N. Williams; she was A.B. William's niece. Ruth went to the Christchurch School of Art where she studied carving under Frederick Gurnsey. Ruth carved the altar (in 1930), lectern, reredos and head prefect's chair for the Woodford House chapel; the Bishop's chair at St Luke's Anglican Church in Havelock North and the front door of the Taruna College homestead. The carving depicts a local tradition.

In late 1933 A.B. Williams married Ema Reremoana (Rere) Beale, widow of Arthur Merritt Beale. Rere was the daughter of Rebecca Kahoutea and ‘an English army officer called Brown'. Arthur Wallis became her guardian. Rere Brown worked in Waipiro Bay as a library assistant and was a talented organist and pianist, playing for social events and local choirs. Rere Beale had eight children, three of whom were adopted by A.B. Williams. At least two of her daughters and three sons came to live at Puketiti.

Prior to November 1933 and possibly in anticipation of accommodating a larger household, A.B. Williams enlarged the house by raising and extending the roof to create more floor space in the upper storey. The side (south) porch was altered by removal of the multi-paned windows and addition of partial upper and lower walls. The porch could be accessed from both the dining and drawing rooms. Changes to the style of the windows probably occurred at this time. The style of the chimneys was changed and their number reduced, and the tall oriel window on the west wall was removed. One of the bathrooms contains three hand basins, a feature also at the Beale family home and probably introduced by Rere for the three sons. Family tradition is that the bathroom was that of the three boys, two of whom never returned from the Second World War. This bathroom has remained intact as a sanctuary for memories of those killed in the fighting. It includes a now rare example of a lead lined floor.

After 1933 (and possibly earlier) three domestic staff were employed. Miss Davidson was the housekeeper for many years and occupied the room with the dormer window. The changes to the house may have altered the assignment of the upstairs rooms for domestic staff versus family or guests. Domestic staff approached the house via the stable entrance, a separate drive around the back of the house. There was no fridge in the house initially, until at least the 1940s, food being kept cool in either the dairy or meat room, or in the cellar. The cellar was prone to flooding. Laundry was boiled in a copper in the corner of the laundry.

During the 1930s-40s the gardener-handyman Jock McKenzie lived a room in the stables and was given a midday dinner by Rere. Family tradition says that he was taken in by the Williams' family because he suffered shell shock sustained during active service. The room had its own fireplace and Jock left his name written on one of the walls in the stable, creating another sense of timelessness and melding together past and present, with enough time gone by since the First and Second World Wars for these reminders to be appreciated by current and future generations.

During the Second World War the lawns were less well-maintained as the garden staff had enlisted; a fence was erected close to the house to restrict the size of the grounds.

A major alteration in management occurred in April 1939, when A.B. Williams set up the Ihungia Farming Company Limited and transferred the western end of the block to this company. He retained the management of the Ihungia block. In later years A.B. Williams divested himself of much of his property by the establishment of several trusts. The Tuakau block was farmed as a separate operation, its income used for charitable work, including schooling.

A.B. Williams set up the Arnold Williams and Heathcote Beale Memorial Trust to commemorate Rere's two sons Arnold K. Beale Williams (1917-1944) and Heathcote (Iti or Harry) B. Beale (1914-1945), Arnold Williams (adopted by A.B. Williams) who were killed on active service during the Second World War. The trust funded a diathermy cautery machine for the Waiapu Hospital. A.B. Williams was considered the ‘father' of the Waiapu Hospital Board. A further contribution towards local medical facilities was accomplished when he and Rere gave the Beale home at Waipiro for use as a maternity hospital.

St Margaret's Church at Te Puia Springs was established in 1955 through the efforts of A.B Williams and Rere, in memory of their sons Arnold and Harry, each of whom had worked at Puketiti. A.B. Williams and Rere are commemorated at St Margaret's, where Rere is buried, and also at Te Whare Hauora o Ngati Porou, Te Puia Springs Hospital. The Memorial Trust provides for the care and maintenance of St Margaret's and other charitable projects.

Rere's son Desmond Ormonde Beale was also adopted by A.B. Williams after his return from active service in the Second World War. Des (then known as D.O.B. Williams) assisted A.B. Williams on the station and in 1947 took over Puketiti's management although they continued to work together. Des was a director of the companies that ran the Ihungia and Puketoro Stations and was one of the trustees of the Memorial Trust.

Des Williams (1917-1997) spent most of his life at Waipiro Bay or Puketiti. He was deeply involved with community projects and bodies, including being on the Waiapu Hospital Board for 21 years from 1971. He served on the Tairawhiti Area Health Board for two years, was one of the trustees responsible for the health clinics run by the Hikurangi Community Trust, served two years on the catchment board, was involved with the local fishing and golf clubs and bought land for an aerodrome at Ruatoria. Des was fluent in Maori and was greatly respected amongst the Maori community.

Rere died on 31 July 1959. Her funeral was attended by a large number of people representative of Maori and Pakeha of the wider district, an indication of the respect in which she was held.

In September 1961, when he was 90 years old, A.B. Williams participated in a ceremony at Kie Kie marae, Mangatuna. He was described as ‘almost a legend in his lifetime'. He remained very active, still pruning trees from a bosun's chair at age 91 and still retaining a driving licence, although stories of his driving skills became apocryphal.

After A.B. Williams's death on 28 December 1965 Puketiti Station was held in trust until title was transferred to Des Williams on 1 March 1967.

A further change to the house possibly in the 1960s was to fully enclose the side porch and incorporate most of it into the dining room, and part into the drawing room. The drawing room became a billiard room when the full-size billiard table was introduced by Des.

In 1973 several of the trees at Puketiti were listed in a botanical survey of the East Coast-Poverty Bay area as being notable, some of national interest. Initiated by Des Williams, on 26 July 1993 the Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust obtained an open space covenant that protects the landscape and buildings.

Des Williams did not marry. When he died in October 1997 he bequeathed Puketiti Station in trust to one of his many godsons, Daniel John Russell. Dan Russell (1970- ) is connected to the family through his great-grandmother Gertrude M.B. Williams, sister of A.B. Williams. Dan continues to manage the station through the Puketiti Trust he formed in May 2005. Dan Russell and his partner Anna Sibun made changes to the kitchen area, demolishing the dairy-meat store annex in 2001. Dan and Anna moved in to the homestead in 2002. In September 2007 the wall between the former maids' sitting room (‘den' on measured drawing) and the kitchen was removed and French doors replaced the windows to give direct access to the back verandah.

The station now operates with a farm manager, a stockman-shepherd, another semi-retired stockman-shepherd and a fencer-general hand, as well as the practical assistance of the owner and his partner. All but one live on the station with their families. Puketiti Station currently holds approximately 16,000 stock units, with a 50:50 ratio of cattle to sheep; 1000 acres (405 hectares) is planted in forest.

The stable is partially used for its original purpose stabling the horse(s) of the owners, although there has been no groom for years and no-one living in the quarters. The stable is also used as a workshop for carpentry and mechanical work as well as for storage of equipment and materials.

The Williams' family's story and contribution to the development of sheep and cattle farming, and their involvement in local affairs and philanthropy has been the subject of many newspaper articles and a major book and noted in all histories of the Coast. The Williams family, A.B. and H.B. in particular, are considered to have played a big part in the development of the East Coast, especially in commerce, sport and farming and to be ‘part of the legend of East Coast development'. Between 1947 and 1974 the charitable trusts established by H.B. and A.B. Williams and families produced over a million dollars toward Gisborne projects and ‘earned the gratitude of residents throughout Gisborne and the East Coast'. A.B.'s obituary described him as being ‘one of the last remaining members of a pioneering generation that carved the rich pastoral lands of the East Cape from a wilderness. A.B. Williams is attributed with significant philanthropic activities to benefit the East Coast Poverty Bay. The Williams name is considered ‘synonymous with the East Coast'.

Physical Description

Puketiti Station Homestead

The homestead is a substantial building constructed in 1906 (extended in 1933) in an eclectic mix of Arts and Crafts and American Bungalow styles. The house is two storeyed with a complex multi-gabled roof and sits in an extensive mature garden setting in a larger rural setting below Puketiti Hill. The house is orientated approximately east-west / north-south, with the front facing east.

The approach to the house is from the southeast via a tree-lined driveway which runs completely around the house. The left-hand branch of the drive carries on around to the stable, which are located approximately 70 metres to the northwest of the house. In front of the house there is a large expanse of lawn that gently slopes away to a grove of mature trees and to the left of this is the tennis court. On the northern side of the house is located another flat expanse of lawn with the remains of a large concrete swimming pool.

The house currently consists of the following rooms laid out on what could broadly be described as T form:

Ground Floor (area 380 square metres): Billiard Room, Dining Room, Lounge, Bedroom 1, Scullery, Pantry, Kitchen, Den (this has recently been opened up to the kitchen), Store Rooms (3), Laundry, Bathroom, Front Hall, Verandahs to the east and north. The rooms are accessed either from the front hallway or from another room; there are no corridors.

First Floor (area 370 square metres): 5 main bedrooms, 3 former servant bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, Linen Store, Upper Hallway and Corridor.

There is a concrete cellar accessed from the second stair way hall under the main stair first landing.

The house sits on concrete piles and timber jacks studs with a brick ring wall base with a rough cast plaster finish. The timber framed walls are principally clad with 115 mm cover bevel-backed weather boards. There is extensive use of scallop-edged timber shingles under the two front bay windows and on the gable ends. The roof with its exposed eaves is clad in corrugated profile metal with small finials on the gable ends.

Timber joinery throughout the house is made up of double-hung windows with single panes to the lower sashes and four, six or nine-light upper sashes. The doors are generally ten-light double doors which open on to the verandahs. The five single doors on the ground floor to the exterior have a single panel on the bottom and a nine-light window on the top portion. The exception to the windows are those located in the former entry off the current dining room and corner of the billiard room on the western side of the house, which are a mis-match of sliding, fixed pane and four-light sashes.

The interior doors are constructed from Oregon pine. The doors are a mix of five-panel (two to the lower section, one horizontal panel near the middle and two smaller square panels to the top section) and three-panel (two to the lower two-thirds and a single generally glass panel to the top third). Some doors to service areas such as the upstairs linen store are framed tongue and groove. The room doors have brass art nouveau door hardware.

The enlargement of the upper storey is evidenced by the change in timber type used in parts of the upper store. The original house was principally constructed using Oregon pine, including the framing, flooring and secondary area wall linings.

Billiard Room

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove floor; walls: rimu timber panelling up to door height with painted asbestos sheet panels above with rimu battens over the joins. Ceiling: rimu panels with exposed rimu beams. The cornice is ornately detailed with dentils with a small moulding between each element, all in rimu.

Other features: curved bay window to the east overlooking the expansive lawns at the front of the house. Carved mantel piece and surround with Maori motif with wood box to the left side and book shelves to the right. Full sized billiard table. Large cavity sliding doors to the dining room.

The room has been altered in the northwest corner when the side entry was removed from the south side of the house. The change is only noticeable in the ceiling and is well concealed in the floor and wall panelling.

Dining Room

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove; walls: rimu timber panelling up to door height with painted asbestos sheet panels above with rimu battens over the joins. Ceiling: rimu panels with exposed rimu beams. The cornice is ornately detailed with dentils with a small moulding between each element, all in rimu.

Other features: built in rimu sideboard with Arts and Crafts detailing, including carved tulip motif and dentils to the top and underside of the counter. Drawers have metal shell form pull handles. Arts and Crafts styled rimu fire surround with drinks cabinet to the left hand. Maid's call button set into the floor under the dining table.

The recessed nook to the western side of the room would appear to have been created when the original entrance was removed. This area was originally a porch entry and the floor has been lifted to match the dining room. This is based on the early photographs of the house and the change in floor material and different skirtings to this area.

Lounge

Floor: carpeted, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: rimu timber panelling up to door height, with painted asbestos sheet panels above, and rimu battens over the joins. Ceiling: rimu board and batten panelling. The cornice is detailed with dentils with a small moulding between each element, all in rimu.

Other features: curved bay window to the east overlooking the expansive lawns at the front of the house. Call bell fixed to the wall. Simple colour concrete slab mantel piece with brick fire surround. Both are damaged due to settlement in the house foundations. Built in rimu wood box to the right hand side of the fire. Built in rimu book shelves either side of the fire.

Bedroom 1

Floor: carpeted, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: rimu tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling up to door height, with painted asbestos sheet panels above, and rimu battens over the joins. Ceiling: painted (rimu?) board and batten panelling. The cornice is detailed with dentils with a small moulding between each element, all in rimu.

Other features: Arts and Crafts style rimu fire surround with built in rimu wardrobes either side. There is a built in gas heater in the fire place on a painted sheet material representing bricks. Built in rimu book shelves either side of the fire.

Bathroom 2

Floor: modern black and white 'tiled' vinyl. Walls: white rectangular brick porcelain tiles with painted tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling above to door height, with painted asbestos sheet panels above, and rimu battens over the joins. Ceiling: painted tongue and groove with v joint with a simple moulded cornice, and elegant but simple triangle shaped block detail to the corners.

Other features: metal air vent on the wall above the bath. Door to the exterior from the bathroom.

Main Hall / Stairway

Floor: carpeted, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: rimu board and batten panelling to ground floor ceiling area. The cornice is detailed with dentils with a small moulding between each element, all in rimu. Ceiling: painted (rimu?) board and batten panelling. The cornice is detailed with dentils with a small moulding between each element, all in rimu.

Other features: Simple chunky Arts and Crafts styled stair case with tulip motif to the balustrade panels. The stairs appear to be constructed from rata, and have been connected with mortice and tenons, as the dowel tenons are exposed in some places. The newel posts have a dark timber panel fixed to them near the top. Based on the early photos of the house and the different timbers upstairs, it is assumed that these stairs have been added when the house was modified with the additional bedrooms upstairs.

Secondary Hall / Stairway

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Carpet runner to the stairs. Walls: A mix of painted and unpainted Oregon tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: Simple Arts and Crafts styled stair case with tulip motif to the balustrade panels. Square newel posts with fluted capping. Access hatch to a void space that was likely created following the major alterations to the house.

Scullery

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint. Timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: The original joinery units would appear to still be present. The stainless steel benches are a later alteration.

Pantry

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: The original joinery units would appear to still be present.

The room is ventilated via vents in the toe space of the right hand shelving unit and a box to the left hand rear side.

Kitchen

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: painted (Oregon) tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: The original joinery units would appear to still be present. The stainless steel benches are a later alteration.

White porcelain tiles to the wood stove cooking area. These match bathroom one.

Den

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: Arts and Crafts rimu timber surround to arched brick fire place.

Rimu cupboard and shelf located under the stairs.

Kitchen Hall to Laundry

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: Gas califont located in the hall cupboard. Gas pipe work in the hall cupboard.

Store 1

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: The room was likely to have originally been a meat safe due to the venting louvres in the rear wall.

Store 2

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove under. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: The room has extensive shelving and a large hinged bin.

Laundry

Floor: linoleum, assume Oregon pine tongue and groove underneath. Walls: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint timber panelling. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint.

Other features: gas fire mounted in simple fire surround. Brick chimney in the northwest corner of the room, possibly from a copper. Exposed gas pipe work. All glazing is opaque dimpled glass.

Cellar

Floor: concrete. Walls: concrete in the main part of the cellar and timber tongue and groove with v joint leading down the stairs. Ceiling: exposed timber framing of the floor above.

Other features: Due to a high water table and cracks to the walls/floor the cellar floods with up to 200mm of water in winter.

First floor Main Hall

Floor: Oregon pine and rimu tongue and groove. Walls: clear finished timber rimu tongue and groove with v joint up to door height and the painted above. Ceiling: painted (rimu and Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint, with a number of ceiling roof light windows. These windows would appear to have been created using former window sashes from the house.

Other features: built in book shelves; Arts and Crafts built in linen store units complete with red coloured glass.

Bedroom 2

Floor: rimu tongue and groove. Walls: rimu tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to door height and painted above. Ceiling: painted (rimu?) tongue and groove with v joint skillion ceiling.

Other features: built in rimu bookshelf; built in wardrobe. This room was part of the major renovations and was not part of the original house.

Bedroom 3

Floor: rimu tongue and groove. Walls: rimu tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: rimu tongue and groove with v joint skillion ceiling.

Other features: built in rimu bookshelf; built in wardrobe. Art Deco style wall-mounted light. Access out on to first floor deck. Room was part of major renovations and was not part of the original house.

Bathroom 1

Floor: modern black and white tiled vinyl probably over rimu tongue and groove.

Walls: painted (rimu?) tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: painted (rimu?) tongue and groove with v joint ceiling, with a small skillion section to the northeast corner.

Other features: wall mounted china wash hand basin; claw bath. Room was part of major renovations and was not part of the original house.

Bedroom 4

Floor: rimu and Oregon pine tongue and groove; Walls: rimu tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to door height and painted above. Ceiling: rimu tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with a skillion section to the northeast and northwest corner.

Other features: picture rail; built in rimu bookshelf. Built in wardrobe is not in its original location. This is evident by the change in floor and wall colour next to the unit.

The room was originally part of a larger room, along with the current Bedroom 5. When the house was altered the ceiling was raised, the room was widened and then divided in half. The original wall lines are evident in the floor outside the room in the hallway.

Bedroom 5

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished. Ceiling: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with skillion sections around the southern side of the room.

Other features: picture rail; built in rimu bookshelf; Arts and Crafts rimu timber surround to arched brick fire place. Built in wardrobes either side of the fire. It is unlikely that these are original, as evidenced by the panelling detailing.

Bedroom 6

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to door height and painted above. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with skillion sections around the east and west sides of the room.

Other features: picture rail; built in rimu bookshelf; built in wardrobes either side of the room.

Linen Store

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling.

Other features: built in shelving.

The walls to the hall side are not original as evidenced by the infill panels to the floor, and staining associated with previous walls.

Bathroom 3

Floor: modern black and white tiled vinyl, probably over Oregon tongue and groove. Walls: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint ceiling, with a skillion section to the eastern side.

Other features: the floor would originally have had lead lining.

Bathroom 4

Floor: Oregon tongue and groove with a lead lining under the hand basins and toilet. Walls: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint ceiling, with a skillion section to the eastern side.

Other features: three wall mounted wash hand basins and associated mirrors. 'The Improved Humber' toilet pan.

Rear Hall

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove with hallway carpet runner. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to door height and painted above. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with large roof light.

Bedroom 7

Floor: vinyl flooring over (Oregon?) pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to height of the skillion roof/wall junction. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with skillion section to the outside edge.

Other features: built in wardrobe with diagonal tongue and groove with v joint boarding.

This room originally had part of a large oriel window running through it down to the ground floor. Oriel windows are generally associated with stair wells, but there is no evidence of this with respect to the timber linings. There is evidence of the oriel window on the exterior wall, which has a cover board over where the weather boards have been altered/repaired.

Bedroom 8

Floor: vinyl flooring over (Oregon?) pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to height of the skillion roof/wall junction. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with skillion section to the outside edge.

Other features: built in wardrobe with diagonal tongue and groove with v joint boarding.

Bedroom 9

Floor: Oregon pine tongue and groove. Walls: Oregon tongue and groove with v joint, clear finished up to height of the skillion roof/wall junction. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint flat ceiling, with skillion sections to the outside edge.

Other features: built in wardrobe.

Bathroom 5

Floor: black and white tiled vinyl, probably over tongue and groove flooring. Walls: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint. Ceiling: painted (Oregon?) tongue and groove with v joint ceiling, with a small skillion section to the northeast corner.

Other features: china wash hand basin with simple cabinet under; claw foot bath with hardboard surround; hot water cylinder cupboard.

Roof Space

The roof framing is generally Oregon pine framed up in a traditional manner with rafters, under purlins, braces and ridge poles. Some of the original roof framing is still present under the new roof line. The extension over bedrooms two and three have a simple truss form as opposed to the traditional framing used for the main part of the roof.

The dining room chimney clearly shows signs of where the original roof line was, as the original roof flashings are present, and the bricks have been painted above the old roof line. This chimney has either been damaged by an earthquake or extended to suit the changed roof, as evidenced by the change in plastering at the top of the chimney.

Puketiti Station Stable

The Stable is a relatively large utilitarian building which complements the main house and was constructed c 1906 at the same time as the house. It is of balloon construction with the studs running full height and the loft floor constructed between.

The stable is approached from the south via a driveway the wraps around the back of the house. It is generally 2 storeyed, laid out in a T shape on a north-south / east-west axis.

On the north-south axis are located the carriage and a small store which at one stage housed a WW1 returned serviceman named Jock, a shell shocked veteran taken in and cared for by the Williams. The small store is located in the south east corner of the stables. Jocks name is scratched into the wall paintwork just outside the door of this room.

On the east-west axis are located the 4 stables, a workshop areas plus a bridle and saddle store. There is a loft area over the workshop and stables plus there is a chaff store over the small store on the north-south axis.

The stables are clad in bevel backed weather boards matching the house. The roof is clad with mini orb corrugated profile galvanised iron. The spouting is quad profile.

The ground floor to the stable is predominantly constructed from hardwood timber blocks laid as cobbles measuring 150mm x 75mm and 110mm deep.

There are areas of concrete down the western wall and also near the main entry. The concrete in the entry area has probably been installed as a replacement of rotten timber blocks. The concrete down the western edge appears original as the building has a concrete foundation wall in this area.

The floor to the ground floor store is timber t&g most likely on timber framing and piles. The loft area floor is also t&g boarding on timber framing.

The roof structure is timber framed in a traditional manner with rafters and collar ties at approximately 1/3 up the roof line. The gable peaks each has a small finial protruding down from the barge. These match the house detailing and both appear to be original.

The main doorway to the building located on the south west side of the building is currently open but originally was likely to have had a large set of sliding doors. The track guides are still in place. The doors appear to have been reused on the inside to form a wall between the workshop area and the bridle and saddle store. There is a similar doorway on the opposite wall leading out into paddocks. This would appear to have been reduced in size based on the concrete sill that is evident in this area and the cover boards running up the wall on this face.

All the windows are divided into multiple panes in the same way as the main house. Some of the windows are constructed as louvered ventilation points while some are hinged casement. There is a single tall fixed window located in the 3 gable ends. On the eastern gable end there were located 2 dove coups accessed via 2 sets of 4 holes either side of the gable end window. These appear to have been added later judging by the construction of the coups as these are made up from miss matched joinery left overs.

On the interior the exterior walls are unlined, while the walls to the store room and chaff loft are lined with nominal 150 wide t,g&v timber boards. There is a chute from the chuff store down to the ground floor on the southern wall of the store areas.

In the ground floor store room there is a small brick fire place and recessed shelving unit. The brick chimney runs up the outside wall of the building at the junction between the carriage wing and the stables wing.

Gasometer

The gasometer consists of two corrugated iron tanks, one inside the other and containing water. A winch mounted on a wooden frame above the tanks is used to raise the inner tank. Gas is drawn from the pipes into the inner tank by winching it up to create a vacuum. The weight of the upper tank when it is lowered controls the gas pressure and counteracts natural fluctuations.

Construction Dates

Other
2001 -
Dairy-meat storeroom annex demolished.

Other
2002 -
Complete re-roof and general maintenance carried out.

Modification
2007 -
Wall between kitchen and den opened up, windows in den replaced with French doors.

Modification
-
Removal of sliding doors in Stable and erection of new interior wall

Original Construction
1906 -
Construction of Homestead and Stable

Other
-
Dairy-meat store added to south-western corner.

Other
-
Gas power system and gasometer installed; some open fireplaces changed to gas fires.

Addition
1933 -
Homestead enlarged.

Other
1960 -
Gas sectional boiler installed.

Modification
-
South side porch incorporated into dining room and drawing room and common wall altered; drawing room becomes billiard room.

Other
-
Gas system defunct.

Construction Details

Homestead: timber (mostly Oregon pine and rimu); corrugated iron roof; glass; concrete piles with jack studs with plastered brick ring foundation.

Stable: timber (mostly Oregon pine, Australian Karri (floor blocks) and rimu); concrete; corrugated galvanised iron roof (including baby iron).

Completion Date

23rd November 2009

Report Written By

L. Williams, J. Blackburne, F. van der Heijden, G. Henry

Information Sources

Bradbury, 1939

E. Bradbury, The Settlement and Development of the Gisborne and East Coast District, Auckland, E.E. Bradbury, 1924, 2nd edition 1939

MacGregor, 1970

Miriam MacGregor, Early Stations of Hawkes Bay. A.H. & A.W. Reed. Wellington. 1970

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Thornton, 1986

Geoffrey Thornton, The New Zealand Heritage of Farm Buildings, Auckland, 1986

Burstall, 1984

Burstall, S W and W V Sale, Great Trees of New Zealand, Wellington, 1984.

Gillies, 1998

I and J Gillies, East Coast Pioneers; a Williams Family Portrait, Gisborne, Gisborne Herald Co. Limited, 1998

Scott, 1987

Scott, Stuart C., Imported Timbers in New Zealand, Wellington, Government Printing Office Publishing, 1987

Williams, 1957

A B Williams, Land of the sunrise : recollections of A. B. Williams, Puketiti Station, Te Puia, New Zealand, Gisborne, Gisborne Herald, 1957

Wheeler, 1973

Colin Wheeler, Historic Sheep Stations of the North Island, Wellington, Reed, 1973

Other Information

A fully referenced copy of the registration report is available from the NZHPT Lower Northern Area 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.