12 Feb 2013

Maori meeting house to go to auction

7:29 pm on 12 February 2013

A privately owned Maori meeting house - considered of national importance and built over 140 years ago - will put be up for auction next month.

Te Tiki a Tamamutu was built near Taupo and was put out for tender in 2011 with a guide price of between $8 million and $12 million.

But that agreement fell through as the conditions of purchase proved very difficult for the successful parties to meet.

Known as the Whare Whakairo, Chief Hohepa Tamamutu of Oruanui commissioned it between 1860 and 1870.

The managing director of Webbs auction house, Neil Campbell, says Te Tiki a Tamamutu is probably the most significant piece of privately owned Maori architecture in the world.

He says the owners are philosophical as to what it is worth and intend to let the market decide this through the auction.

Mr Campbell says it will be auctioned towards the end of next month.