New Zealands's second oldest building has been temporarily closed to the public - but there's a very good reason.
Te Waimate Mission – built in 1832 and now cared for by the NZ Historic Places Trust – is currently being re-roofed with wooden shingles which, once completed, will recapture some of the building’s distinctive character and charm."
Media Release is as follows:
Te Waimate Mission to get new roof
New Zealand’s second oldest building has been temporarily closed to the public – but there’s a very good reason.
Te Waimate Mission – built in 1832 and now cared for by the NZ Historic Places Trust – is currently being re-roofed with wooden shingles which, once completed, will recapture some of the building’s distinctive character and charm.
“When Te Waimate Mission was built just over 180 years ago, the roof was clad in kauri shingles,” says the NZ Historic Places Trust’s Northern Heritage Destinations Manager, Natalie McCondach.
“The roof was re-clad with corrugated metal in 2001 to keep the building weather tight and to aid in its preservation. This roof has done its job, but no system is perfect – and in recent times parts of the roof have started to leak.”
The solution to the problem is to reinstate the shingled roof.
“Because it’s not practical or cost-effective to use kauri shingles we’ll be re-roofing the building with Western Red Cedar shingles,” says Natalie.
“Cedar has the advantage of fading back to a very similar colour to kauri shingles in a short period of time, and the shingles are more durable – we can expect at least 20 years of life out of them.
“We’ve had very good results using cedar shingles with the Stone Store, and we’re looking forward to the same level of performance with Te Waimate Mission.”
Re-roofing one of New Zealand’s oldest buildings has not been entirely straightforward.
“Te Waimate Mission has some wonderful items in its collection, and with the roof coming off these have had to be carefully wrapped and securely stored while work on the roof is being completed,” she says.
In the meantime a giant canopy has been erected over Te Waimate Mission to protect it from the elements as the existing roof materials are taken off. Henwood Builders of Kaikohe, who re-shingled the Stone Store in 2011, are also doing the re-shingling work at Te Waimate Mission.
“Unfortunately there will be some inconvenience for visitors while work is progressing and we apologise for that. Te Waimate Mission will be open again in early September, however, when it will be back to regular hours in time for the summer season,” says Natalie.
“We’re hopeful that people will see that it will be worth a bit of inconvenience in the long run. Some visitors remember how stunning Te Waimate Mission looked with its shingle roof in previous years, and we’re looking forward to seeing some of that magic restored to this beautiful building soon.”
Te Waimate Mission House - Background:
- Te Waimate Mission House is nationally significant as the second oldest building in the country, and the only survivor of the first inland mission station in New Zealand.
- It is a tangible reminder of early interaction between Maori and Pakeha, with Maori providing land and labour in return for wages and missionary expertise.
- The building is extremely important for its connections with the Treaty of Waitangi and the circulation of the agreement throughout the country. (The second signing of the Treaty of Waitangi took place at Te Waimate Mission Station).
- It is nationally and internationally important as part of an early attempt to create an English-style landscape in New Zealand and spread European agricultural methods.
- The structure demonstrates early colonial living arrangements and household composition, together with construction techniques and the preparation of materials, including early brick.
- Along with the later parish church of St John the Baptist, it reflects the early arrival of Christianity in the Bay of Islands area. The house is the earliest Anglican bishop's palace or residence in the country.
- Te Waimate Mission House has strong associations with the first New Zealand War.
- It is part of an extensive historic landscape, which includes buried archaeological deposits, other standing structures and natural features such as the oldest oak tree in the country.
- Te Waimate Mission House enjoys high public esteem, having been open to visitors for more than five decades.
- From the NZ Historic Places Trust’s Register of Historic Places