15 Nov 2011

Maori meeting house up for auction

9:50 pm on 15 November 2011

A privately-owned Maori carved meeting house in the Lake Taupo area is up for auction.

The Whare Whakairo called Te Tiki a Tamamutu was carved in the 1860s by mastercarver Wero Taroi and his apprentice at the time, Tere Waitere. Both had connections to Ngati Taraawhai hapu of Te Arawa.

The house was meant to be carved for Lake Taupo chief Hohepa Tamamutu of Oruanui, but he sold it half finished, in the mid-1870s, to a European.

Since then the whare has been part of a hotel complex in Taupo.

Webbs Auctions House managing director Neil Campbell says the owners want to sell it.

He says they think there are probably people who have a better understanding of how to look after it.

Mr Campbell says market feedback suggests it could be priced between $6 million and $12 million.

Tenders close on 25 November.