Raupo Whare (c1860) and the Tale of the Missing Dog Box


  • Peter Wood




Biculturalism in architecture, Architecture, Maori (New Zealand people), Architecture and war, Military architecture (New Zealand), Historiography, Doghouses (New Zealand), Great Britain—Colonies (Oceania), New Zealand—History—New Zealand Wars, 1860-1872, Architecture and photography, Architectural photography


In A History of New Zealand Architecture, Peter Shaw describes the European settlers of the 1840s encountering an architecturally-impoverished landscape. Skilled carpenters were still an uncommon migrant at that time and while some of the wealthier settlers brought prefabricated houses with them, for many their first accommodation in New Zealand were deserted shoreline whare. Moreover, these newest of New Zealanders were without familiar building materials and, as Shaw writes, they "emulated the style and construction methods of Maori dwellings and adapted them according to European ideas of hygiene and comfort." This explanation is characteristically ethnocentric in its confident view that European society, at that time, was architecturally superior. Sinclair has stated that it was colonial contact (principally commercial trade) which drew Māori from their sanitary patterns found in pā occupation. The grand view here is that the settlers adopted an indigenous typology to suit their own physical needs but that they maintained certain environmental and occupancy standards from "home." That is, the settlers would have preferred to have built in the model of the places they had just left but were forced, by the limits of land and labour, to adopt local materials and knowledge, and particularly those of Māori.


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2021-10-17 — Updated on 2021-10-17


How to Cite

Wood, P. (2021). Raupo Whare (c1860) and the Tale of the Missing Dog Box. Architectural History Aotearoa, 7, 76–87. https://doi.org/10.26686/aha.v7i.7290

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