Solomon Homestead

Owenga Road, Manukau Point, Chatham Island

  • Tommy Solomon. Courtesy of Maui Solomon.
    Copyright: Hokotehi Moriori Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5395 Date Entered 21st November 1991 Date of Effect 21st November 1991


City/District Council

Chatham Islands Territory


Chatham Islands

Legal description

Te Awapatiki 2A1 2A2A-C 2B2-4 Pt 2B1 Blks 3,4 Rangimene SD



The building is the home of the last full-blooded Moriori Tommy Solomon, who died in 1933.

Construction of the house was begun by Tommy's father, Rangitapua Horomona Pehe, in around 1903. The house was extended and completed by Tommy and his second wife, in around 1916, when they moved into the house after the death of Tommy's father in 1915.

Tommy Solomon died in the house, and his tangi was held there.

The homestead was the major focus and gathering-place for the Moriori people from 1903 to 1933. It was also the scene of major pilgrimages by visitors to the Chathams in this period, including many important visitors such as the ethnologist H D Skinner, and the scientist A W B Powell.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The building has exceptional historical significance as the home of the last full-blooded Moriori, and has spiritual and symbolic significance as a point of focus for the Moriori people.


In its current condition the building has limited architectural quality. However, it is a typical, hipped-roofed villa of the period after the turn of the century. It also demonstrates features which are a response to the remote location and difficulties of getting building materials to the site, such as the use of corrugated iron for cladding, easier to transport and fix than timber weatherboards.


The Solomon Homestead has landmark value, as the sole building in a farmland setting and the major feature of Manukau Point. It is accentuated by the flat landscape, and has a dramatic setting against coastal edge and ocean.


Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The building is a typical hipped-roof villa, in very poor condition, with much of the fabric missing. It is rectangular in plan, with a bathroom/scullery lean-to added on the west side of the building. Entry is by means of a door in the centre of the north wall. A small hallway has a door with coloured glass lights opening into the main central room. There is a chimney with shared fireplaces in the living room and bedroom 1. There are five bedrooms, one on the western side of the building, and the other four in a row along the eastern side. Behind the living room is the kitchen/dining room with a brick chimney in the south wall. Entry to the lean-to is by a door in the west wall of the kitchen. All windows are double hung. A verandah was on the north and west sides, now only the foundations remain. The building has a plain hipped roof. Boxed eaves run around all four sides, which have brackets, moulded trim and applied cut out boards between the brackets.


Date unknown:

Bathroom/scullery lean-to added on west side of building.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1909 -

Original Construction
1916 -
Extended and Completed

Construction Details

Corrugated iron cladding on roof and walls, timber framing - some kauri, scrim and paper internal linings. Timber piles.

Information Sources

King, 2000

M King, Moriori: A People Rediscovered, Revised Edition, Penguin Publishers, Auckland, 2000

1989 Edition

King, 1990

M King & Robin Morrison 1990. A Land Apart - The Chatham Islands of New Zealand. Random Century, Auckland.

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.