11 Mount Hobson Lane

11 Mt Hobson Lane, 2 February 2020

11 Mt Hobson Lane, 2 February 2020, from pathway

11 Mt Hobson Lane, 2 February 2020, side view

11 Mt Hobson Lane, May 2020

Looking south west from Hobson Lane, 1931 (Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 4-8448)

This Edwardian-style villa is situated on the southern side of Ohinerau Mt Hobson, inside the gates leading up the slope of Ohinerau.

Brief research 10+ years ago indicated it was a cottage associated with the building of the first of three reservoirs in the maunga in about 1928. It could have been used by waterworks engineering staff as it is now adjacent to a Watercare building.  In the early 2000s it was rented to tenants.

Now the villa is empty and derelict. Existence and ownership of the villa was lost until it appeared on the council’s Heritage Asset Management Plan this year. The Orakei Local Board undertook research on its ownership and established it is owned by an entity of the Tupuna Maunga Authority, the Tupuna Taonga o Tamaki Makarau Trust, which was formed under the same legislation which set up the Authority. The Board has advocated to the Authority that its role of kaitiaki be expanded to include this house property which would enable Council’s funding to also be used to renovate the building to a habitable condition for tenancy, or use by the Authority and the Trust, and made available for community groups and meetings.

The Orakei Local Board has also actioned the setting up of safety boarding and fencing around the house because of its derelict state. It is hoped that the council Heritage Unit will do a full evaluation of the house and that it can be sympathetically restored for use by Remuera community groups.