New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited House (Former)

584 Matangi Road, Matangi

  • New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited House (Former).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Carolyn McAlley. Date: 24/04/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4302 Date Entered 5th September 1985 Date of Effect 5th September 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DPS 44982 (RT SA39C/75), South Auckland Land District and the building known as New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited House (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Waikato District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DPS 44982 (RT SA39C/75), South Auckland Land District


The New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited House (Former) at 584 Matangi Road, Matangi, was built in 1918. It is one of nine houses that were built for the employees of the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited (NZCDC) who worked at the factory located on Tauwhare Road. The house is a representative example of distinct and architecturally designed workers’ housing built by a private company in New Zealand.

The dairy factory was built by the NZCDC and leased to Joseph Nathan and Company for the production of ‘Glaxo’ milk powder products. The factory and associated workers’ houses were officially opened by the Prime Minister, William Massey, on 12 November 1919. It was reported at the time that the factory was ‘to handle the largest quantity of milk under one roof in the world.’ Its construction represented a major investment; the factory and employee accommodation cost £40,000 and the machinery £45,000.

The Matangi factory was regarded as a model factory and showplace to overseas visitors, and it had extensive gardens. The workers’ houses formed an important part of the new development and investment in the Matangi area. The factory and the associated housing were designed by the well-known Hamilton architect Frederick Charles Daniell (1879-1953) and built by R. Sanders. Daniell had a practice in Hamilton for 27 years and designed many buildings in concrete. He experimented with different methods, including the use of ‘Camerated Concrete’ and the design of reinforced concrete. The NZCDC houses were constructed using the material of Ferro concrete and the ‘overall impact is one of solidity and practicality though not without a certain elegance and charm.’

The NZCDC houses were all built in the bungalow style, with uniform architectural features as reflected in this particular example. The house features a high gabled roof, fixed metal hood over the front window, exposed rafters, large brackets under the eaves on the side elevations and a simple verandah on the front and rear elevations. A chimney is centrally located on the projecting front bay, and extends above the main ridge. A detached garage is located at the rear of the section, with the driveway running alongside the right of the house, as was typical with these houses. The houses were deliberated set back six metres from the right boundary for this purpose. A newspaper report on the construction of the workers’ houses in 1918 describes them as fine homes with ‘every modern convenience’. Their construction was described as ‘…a sound business proposition to provide the men and their families with the up-to date accommodation, thus tending to create contentment, and, of course, better work.’ Over time some minor alterations and additions have been made to the house, the most notable being the enclosure of the porch and the addition of windows and a door to create a sunroom.

With the closure of the factory in May 1987 the houses were transferred into private ownership. The New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited House (Former) and its neighbours tell an important story about the economic and social role of industry in a rural community and the provision of housing for it employees.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Daniell, Frederick Charles

Fred C Daniell was born in Wales and came to New Zealand as an infant in 1879. His father Charles operated a large timber mill in Masterton and after being educated at Wellington College Daniell joined the family business. At various stages he managed another sawmill in competition with his father, was involved in the survey of the Napier-Taupo Road and was a corporal in the Masterton Mounted Rifles. Of the eight children born to FC Daniell and his wife Helen Gordon-Donald, Trevor Hamilton Daniell also became an architect.

In 1908 Daniell established a practice in Hamilton, where he opened an office in the Waikato Times Building. At various times he was in partnerships with local architects J. Anderson (1912), T.S. Cray (1914-17) and T.Y. Lusk (1920-26), although the specifications for Knightstone are under his name alone. Daniell became a member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1915 and, having helped to establish the South Auckland Branch of the NZIA, became its first secretary in1923-7.

Among the many buildings he designed in Hamilton, Daniell is best known for Wesley Chambers (1924, NZHPT Category II Register # 5301), St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (1914) and his own home 'Ingleholm' at 11 O'Neill Street (1911), both in Hamilton East. The 1911-12 Parr house (now the YWCA) on Pembroke Street in Hamilton West is very similar to Knightstone in its current form, suggesting that Daniell was also responsible for the design of the latter's 1919 addition. His prolific output included designs for residences as well as shops, commercial premises, churches, farm buildings and dairy industry buildings.

Winston Daniell recalled in a 2002 interview that his father 'was always keen on concrete'. In his survey of early concrete construction in New Zealand, Geoffrey Thornton lists Daniell amongst those New Zealand architects using Camerated Concrete in the early twentieth century and he goes on to observe that 'no doubt FC Daniell is typical of a number of lesser known architects of the first two decades of the twentieth century who worked quietly in the design of reinforced concrete without the services of a structural engineer'. Thornton also records that Daniell designed a number of dairy factories for the NZ Co-operative Dairy Company, including the 1917 Matangi Dairy Factory just outside Hamilton (Category II, Reg # 4935, see also reg #4302 former Matangi Dairy Co. house).

Despite the evident success of his Hamilton practice in the 1910s and early 1920s, Daniell's financial situation became increasingly precarious. A farm at Te Mawhai, south-west of Te Awamutu, was at first a secondary occupation but in the mid-1920s the family moved out to the farm and Daniell effectively stopped practicing architecture. In 1935 he returned to Masterton and thereupon resumed his architectural career. Here Daniell was also involved in community and local body affairs, serving on the boards of Wairarapa College and the Electricity and Catchment Boards. Daniell's Masterton practice was continued by his son Trevor after his death in 1953.

Sanders, R.

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1918 -

Alterations and additions, enclosure of porch

Completion Date

18th June 2013

Report Written By

Natasha Naus

Information Sources

Millen, 1997

Millen, Julia, Glaxo: from Joseph Nathan to Glaxo Wellcome: the history of Glaxo in New Zealand, Glaxo Wellcome New Zealand, Auckland, 1997.

Gallagher, 1985

Gallagher, Virginia, Matangi Primary School 75th Jubilee 1910-1985: A School and District History, 1985.

Other Information

A fully referenced Upgrade Report is available from the Lower Northern Area office of NZHPT.

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.