History of Muritai

By staying at Muritai Manor, our guests experience a little piece of New Zealand history. Many early European Settlers first set foot in New Zealand at Wakefield Quay in Nelson. Muritai was home to some of these early families.

A short history of Muritai Manor:

The name of this property was originally Muritai and was renamed Muritai Manor in more recent times when it was established as a bed and breakfast. The name ‘Muritai’ is Maori for sea breeze.    

Muritai was built in 1903 by local builder John Dollimore.  It was purchased in 1905 by Archdeacon Wright, who came, with his family, to manage the parishes of St. Peters in Atawhai, St. Andrews, Hillside and St. John’s, Hira.  Archdeacon Wright died in 1909 but his family remained in the house until the 1920’s.  There are various photos in the main hall and by the stairs including Muritai Manor in 1903 with John Dollimore and of the Wrights taken both around the house and in the local district.

For the next half century the land behind the house, which was part of the property, was farmed by two local Nelson families, the Dodsons and the Frosts.  The ‘Garden Room’ was formerly the hay barn and implement store to Muritai Manor.  The main house itself was smaller in those days but had a separate two storied building at the back that served as a washroom and servants’ quarters. The flat paddocks alongside the road were used for making hay, all cut with a scythe and made into a haystack.

The previous owners purchased Muritai in 1995 and extended and altered the main house in 1996/97 to convert it for guest accommodation, creating three of the four en-suite rooms in the house, ‘Rotoroa’, ‘Brough’ and ‘Buxton’.  ‘Tasman’ & an upgrade of the guest lounge and new front steps followed in the winter of 1998, and were completed by the ‘Garden Room’ in the spring of 1999. 

The Garden Room was upgraded by the present owners in 2008 by the addition of kitchen facilities and a new en-suite shower room.

Read an article about the restoration of Muritai Manor

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