Topic: Menzies Whare Opening (5 September 2016)
On 5 September 2016 the restored Menzies Whare was opened at the Elms in Tauranga. Over a year of hard work by dedicated volunteers went into the restoration of both the whare which was built in 1919, and the special items housed within it. Photographs: Fiona Kean.
The Menzies Whare is one of only four whare or bush houses left standing in New Zealand. It is a totara slab and shingle whare which was built at Kopaki in the King Country in 1919 by Bert Menzies.
In the late 1960s the whare was donated to the Elms by John and Mavis Menzies. It was dismantled and transported to Tauranga by John and Julie Green. At the Elms, Duff Maxwell added three windows to the whare, and replaced the roof shingles with iron.
Willie Turner and Kevin Hamm started restoration of the building in 2015 and spent over a year working part-time on cleaning and scrubbing to get the building into a tidy condition, helped by other volunteers from the Elms and the Men's Shed.
Mayor Stuart Crosby officially opened the restored Menzies Whare at the Elms on 5 September 2016.
Inside the whare is a collection of restored household and agricultural items that can be operated by visitors, providing a taste of how our pioneering ancestors lived.