I am fortunate enough that for the past ten years I have owned and lived in the Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage, a Grade 1 heritage-listed property located at the Eastern tip of the Pauatahanui Inlet, a local estuary, in Wellington New Zealand.
I believe the name Pauatahanui, comes from the Te Reo Maori translation meaning ‘Plenty of big Paua’ – a reference to the abundance of the local abalone found in the waters of the inlet itself prior to the waterline being raised by the large earthquakes of 1855.
The Eastern end of the Pauatahanui Inlet is now a bird and wildlife sanctuary and in the early, to mid-1990s the Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage was purchased and restored by the Royal New Zealand Forest and Bird Society while it was being used as their local offices.
The Cottage was originally built in 1860 by Thomas Hollis Stace, after whom it referenced (though Hollis Stace himself never actually lived in the cottage).
Over the years the Cottage has operated as a family home, the local general store, police station, Post Office and bakery and has had various names reflecting this (Garrison House, General Store, Stace Bake House, and Royal Forest and Bird Cottage).
On this page, you can find pictures of the cottage throughout its history and today along with links to further information.
Pauatahanui circa 1865 with the Thomas Hollis Stace Cottageclearly in the background
Same view of the main street
Pauatahanui Main Street circa 1940