Historic site: Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage

"The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present."

- David Thelen

Pauatahanui around 1879.
Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage in background.
Photo from Pataka Museum Collection, at Porirua Library ref D.3.2.

This two-storey cottage was built in 1860 by Thomas Hollis Stace, who was one of the earliest Pakeha to settle in Pauatahanui. The cottage is now one of the oldest buildings in the Porirua area.

Thomas Hollis Stace, his father, wife and six children, arrived in New Zealand in 1853, and settled on land (Sec. 63 Pauatahanui) previously acquired in London from the New Zealand Land Company. In 1856 Stace gave a small piece of land for an interdenominational church and cemetery. St Alban’s is now situated on this site.

The Stace family moved into the cottage in 1860. It is not known how long the family stayed here. Following their departure the cottage was leased to various people. In 1877 the cottage was leased to Thomas Pryke. He was appointed the Postmaster at Pauatahanui, and for a period the cottage became the Post Office. In the mid-1880s the cottage was leased to Edward Boulton (Jnr) and James Robertson. They operated a general store and bakery for a time.

Image of Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage, 2007.
Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage, 2007.
Photo by Russell Murray.

The house remained in the Stace family until it was sold to the Community Development Consortium in 1969. In 1984 the cottage was acquired by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, and was included as part of their development of the Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve. The Society placed a heritage covenant on the cottage in 1993.

Continue to Signpost stories of Whitby or return to Pauatahanui, Judgeford and Whitby.