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Open Evening for Restoration of Oldest Residence in Wgtn

7 September 2011

Open Evening Celebrates Restoration of Oldest Residence in Wellington Region

From a state of disrepair and ongoing risk of flood, Taylor-Stace Cottage in Pauatahanui is now safely restored and protected for many years to come.

Bringing the property back to life has been a partnership effort between the owners Stephanie and Andrew Manning, the Porirua City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

To those who live locally and for the many visitors passing through the Pauatahanui area, there has been an opportunity to see the commitment on the part of the owners of Taylor Stace to restore the property and adapt it for new use, says Alison Dangerfield, NZHPT Acting General Manager Central Region.

"The Trust has been pleased to work with the new owners of Taylor Stace Cottage on conservation repairs as well as wider concept plans for the site. A heritage covenant, for greater protection of the cottage, has been in place for some time and last year, the NZHPT Board approved an incentive fund grant of $60,000 for conservation work which has now been undertaken by the owners."

The Council had also identified the cottage as a priority heritage site and set aside $50,000 toward lifting the cottage to protect if from further flood damage, says Matt Trlin Council Manager of Environment & City Planning.

"We are thrilled that this work has now been completed and that the new owners Stephanie and Andrew Manning have been equally committed to ensuring its protection for many years to come."

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Mrs Manning says it's sometimes been a real challenge.

"The last 18 months have been a real battle with the cottage revealing lots of hidden problems, but it is now looking beautiful and hopefully will be ready for whatever the next 100 years brings."

She says initially the cottage will be used as a beauty salon but the plan eventually is to turn it into accommodation so that people have the opportunity to enjoy it and its beautiful village location.

"Pauatahanui was once a place to stop on long journeys and it is our wish that the cottage will become a place to come and rest and recharge your batteries in today's busy life."

The Mannings' next goal is to landscape around the cottage with heritage plants.

"We know there are plants around that came from the cottage grounds some time ago and with help, we hope to put back some of these heirloom stock."

The Cottage, built in 1847, is a registered Category I historic place and is important regionally and nationally as the earliest remaining building of European origin in the Greater Wellington area. This value is enhanced by the fact that it remains on its original site. Together with St Albans Church, and the store on the main road below the church, the cottage forms an important and visually related group of 19th century buildings in Pauatahanui, once a prosperous town at the head of the Pauatahanui Inlet, on the main road north out of Wellington.

The Mannings invite the public to view the restored cottage, see photos of the project and share stories and information at an Open Evening next Thursday 15 September at 6.30pm.


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