Historic Homes tour with John Vickers – POSTPONED

Date and Time:

February 25, 2023 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Event Location:

Keirunga Creative Arts Venue

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About The Event

Four of Havelock North’s beautiful historic homes are opening their doors for our second summer homes fundraising event for Keirunga.

This is a unique opportunity to experience the grandeur, gardens and history of four of our exceptional historic homesteads – Waiana – Tuki Tuki Road, Tauroa – Hikanui Drive,  Keirunga – Puflett Road and Silverford – Dartmoor Road.

The self drive trail includes local insights and homestead history from history buff John Vickers and including a delightful lunch provided by Pure Catering at Keirunga.

About John Vickers

John is a fifth generation New Zealander with a lifetime interest in New Zealand Heritage.

A childhood spent in a large district homestead, and being familiar with all the other homes on the tour, gives John a broad knowledge of their history, design aspects and place in New Zealand’s development.

Restoring a “Chapman-Taylor Courtyard” house with his wife Sarah, as a home for their three children, Woodleigh reveals the interesting philosophy of the Arts and Craft movement.

His experience in Local Government, including a term as District Mayor, gives him further insight into the interesting Rangitikei District.

Details of each Homestead below:

Waiana – Tukituki Road
Architect – Warren & Mahoney 2003

Waiana Estate was acquired by the Plowman family in 1993. In total, the estate comprises 70 acres which have been extensively planted in woodlands areas almost from the day the land was purchased. The vineyards were subsequently established and planted in 2000, with initial plantings of Merlot and Malbec grapes. These vines are now well established and produce outstanding fruit. More land was acquired in 2006 and subsequent plantings have included both Grenache and Cinsault.


Keirunga – Puflett Road

“Keirunga” (‘The Place on The Hill’) was built in 1907 by Mr Robert Holt for the sum of $1,000. The first occupants, Mr and Mrs Reginald Gardiner named the house “Stadacona”. All the timber, heart kauri and totara, and other building materials were dragged up a track, now Joll Road, by bullock dray. Mr Charles Ord Tanner purchased the property in 1919 and he renamed it “Keirunga”. Mr George Nelson bought Keirunga in 1928 and lived there until his death, at the age of 93, in 1964. Mr Nelson was a man of immense achievement and far sightedness. He supervised the development of Keirunga’s 17 hectares of parkland and gardens. With the assistance of up to five gardeners, Mr Nelson carried out drainage work, path formations and rock work. He planted a huge variety of plants and shrubs, many of which he propagated himself.


Tauroa – Hikanui Drive
Architect – Gummer and Ford

The Tauroa property was in the Chambers family from 1887 when John Chambers divided the Te Mata station. The present Tauroa was built on the same site as the earlier wooden homestead destroyed by fire in 1914. Thomas Mason Chambers, the owner of Tauroa, had an important role in the history of Havelock North. He was a significant figure in local body politics and the community activities. Chambers and the house he had built, Tauroa are of considerable historical significance to the people and local history of Havelock North.

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.

Silverford – Dartmoor Road

Architect – CT Natusch

Set amongst large grounds with sweeping lawns and feature ponds, this elegant homestead “Silverford” is best described as grandeur. The driveway lined with 100 year old oak trees leads you to the homestead in private, peaceful surroundings, when you arrive you know this is a very special place.

Originally designed by C.T. Natusch in 1904, a prominent architect of New Zealand renown for his legacy of fine homes, Silverford is a classic example of his Tudor-Style architecture. Commissioned for the owner of Silverford Station and built with Kauri, Rimu and Matai.

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