The Story of New Zealand’s Grand Country Houses, with Debra Millar

Homesteads book cover. Longbeach Estate.

Debra Millar

Kuriheka Estate in North Otago

Oruawharo Homestead, Hawke’s Bay.

Mount Peel Station, Canterbury

Thursday, 15 April 2021
Remuera Library

In a tribute to the grand country homes of New Zealand’s past, Debra Millar will share the remarkable legacy of our grand rural homesteads.  Debra, an Auckland-based writer and publisher, has recently written and published Homesteads, with photographs by Jane Ussher, to celebrate the historical context of this country’s rural built heritage.

New Zealand’s grand rural homesteads may not match England’s country manor houses in size or status, but they are among the most substantial homes ever built in this country.  Often inspired by the stately English homes their owners left behind, the local equivalents nevertheless responded to their colonial context, as well as to the variety of functions they served at the centre of a working farm.

These houses, spanning a period of 70 years, with the earliest homesteads dating from the 1860s, are amongst some of New Zealand’s most iconic, many of retaining furnishings, artworks and artefacts dating back to their nineteenth-century origins, surrounded by spectacular gardens, and all of them still lived in today.

Homesteads, is published in hardback by Point Publishing, 9 October 2020 (RRP $75.00). This title will be available for purchase on the night.

Light refreshments provided: Members $5; non-members $10.

RSVP to: Remuera Library 09 5202532 or