Original Filename: Moata_119.jpg ( not available for download )






Situated 5 km's West from central Masterton on the Upper Plain area. The property was originally covered in totara, rimu and maire trees, these were milled and processed at a sawmill on the property which also included a wooden tramway and three small cottages for the mill workers.

Records show that around 1856 the property was owned by Thomas William Tankersley, an immigrant who came to Masterton under the small farm settlement scheme. He subsequently increased his property holdings in the area. A James McGregor later occupied part of the land. Following the timber milling, the property was farmed by Duncan McGregor who employed a Mr Chamberlain as a farm manager. One of the Chamberlain children was killed in a horse and gig accident on the farm and was buried there. A lone walnut tree marks the site of the grave. The James family purchased the 376 acre farm in 1927 for the sum of 11,000 pounds including stock. The house was built for Mr William James Esq. during 1929 and the James family lived there until 1997. The home was designed by architect Raymond Lee of Masterton, and built by Bill Hope also of Masterton. Construction was completed in 24 weeks. Adjacent to the Moata homestead site was the original farmhouse which was demolished and certain sound materials were used from this building in the construction of Moata. Apart from these materials, totara, heart rimu and heart matai were used in the construction. The exterior of the house remains unchanged except for the chimneys which were damaged during the 1942 earthquake. These were repaired and modified with Thompson flues and have remained in tact since then. The name Moata was selected by the wife of William James and means bright and shiny-early in the morning. Following the sub-division of the farm in 1999, the homestead now encompasses a 13 acre block and is used as a home stay.


NOTE: The information contained here is a result of Des De Stefano's own research and was current at the time he was working on the project.