Original Filename: Mahunga_004.jpg ( not available for download )






Situated originally to the North/West of Masterton off Akura Rd. on the northern banks of the Waipoua River, but not part of the Manaia block which originally included all the land within the bounds of Waipoua, Waingawa and Ruamahunga Rivers and the Tararua foothills. Manaia Station originally taken up and being paid off in instalments by W.H. Donald in partnership with W.B. Rhodes, both had come out to N.Z. on the ship "George Fyfe" in 1842. Rhodes never lived in the Wairarapa, but Donald finally took over Manaia, and Masterton town was formed in Donald's horse paddock. Manaia was later reduced in size to one square mile by legislation. Donald Donald, son of W.H. Donald, first built Solway House, still part of Solway College, and then lost everything in the 1890s. Being a very clever inventor, in 1900 he started Donald and sons engineering and manufacturing business with his two sons. He eventually moved to Australia to run Donald's Patents, a branch of the business.

The Mahunga farm homestead was built about 1905 for Donald Donald but was burnt down very shortly after, and was rebuilt from the same architect plans. Mrs. Donald lived on there until the early 1920s, when she moved to a house in Manuka Street next to her son Vivian's home Rotopeko. Mahunga was then sold with the Burlings buying it later. Access to the land was by bridge over the river behind the dairy factory in Akoura Rd., which was washed away in 1935. In 1964 Haddon Donald, the third generation of Donald's to be associated with the Mahunga farm, bought it back into the family. 1965/66 saw 83 acres cut off and sold to the Mahunga Golf Club and the homestead and another house given as Club-house and green-keepers cottage. In a mammoth project the homestead was jacked up on beams, a railway line built under it, lowered onto bogey wheels and pulled with tractors to its present site ¼ mile away as the club-house for the Mahunga Golf Club.


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.