13 Feb 2013

Meeting house to be auctioned

7:51 am on 13 February 2013

A Maori meeting house going to auction is and considered the most significant piece of privately-owned Maori architecture in the world, and will not leave the country.

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.

However 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 he cannot estimate how much the meeting house could sell for, but if it was represented internationally it would fetch tens of millions of dollars.

He says only New Zealand citizens and residents can bid on the auction.

Te Tiki a Tamamutu has been dismantled and is in storage in Auckland.