A historic home

February 20th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Hank Schouten at Stuff reports:

A Wellington home steeped in political history is being sold by the Government.

The red-brick house at 41 Pipitea St, Thorndon, was the home of prime ministers Sir Sidney Holland, Sir Walter Nash, Sir Keith Holyoake and Sir Geoffrey Palmer, as well as a string of Cabinet ministers, including Jim Sutton and most recently Nick Smith.

Tommy’s agent Steve Wagg said it was a huge 450-square-metre house with a large foyer and reception area, and six bedrooms.

About 10 interested parties went to an open home on Sunday, though he guessed its days as a family home were numbered because of its size and location in the heart of Thorndon.

That would be a pity. I’ve been to the house a few times, and it is a lovely home. ┬áIt would be a shame to see it demolished and turned into apartments or converted to an office.

It is in a superb location. I suspect it will go for a big price.

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12 Responses to “A historic home”

  1. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    Why the hell does the government own homes in the first place?

    Ministers (with the exception of the PM’s residence) should provide their own or rent on the open market. We pay the bastards enough, most of them do not come from Wellington anyway. A nice flat close to the Parliament would suffice for all of them (save the PM)

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  2. David Farrar (1,811 comments) says:

    Ministers no longer get homes provided. This was changed by the Key Government. They get an accommodation allowance to cover the cost of needing a house in Wellington as well as their normal home and it is up to them to find a place to live in Wellington.

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  3. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    Thanks for clearing that up DPF. I take it that the Key government is selling, or has sold all of the (ex) ministerial homes then?

    Can’t see why we pay them an allowance though, they earn enough to pay for their own accommodation.

    [DPF: Yes, this is one of the last to be sold. The only ones left I believe are those that were gifted for use as homes - Premier and Vogel Houses and one on Bolton Street.

    I don't think it is unreasonable t differentiate between salary and expenses. You might pay a senior manager in a company a big salary but you don't force them to pay for their own travel expenses]

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  4. Lipo (226 comments) says:

    David – Just remember that according to the opposition Key is not allowed to sell anything. They will just buy it back again
    Power Company or large house – shouldn’t make any difference

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  5. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    Looked at the photos online. Everything is dreadful and out of sinc with the House. I assume the next owner will do a serious make-over and make the House nice again. The bathrooms and Kitchen look as though they got the fittings from Bunnings. The furniture is hideous. No wonder no-one wants to live there. Who bought that stuff for a Minister??? I assume it is listed and cannot be demolished.

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  6. Komata (971 comments) says:

    Wasn’t 41 Pipitea renovated and inhabited during the Clark regime? I seem to recall it being lived in during the mid-2000′s; I’d pass it whilst walking home from work.

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  7. david (2,482 comments) says:

    Pedant alert …. Shouldn’t that be ‘an historic home’?

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  8. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    Being a lovely home isn’t a reason for the state to own it.

    he guessed its days as a family home were numbered because of its size and location in the heart of Thorndon.

    Would that mean that the resource is being used inefficiently under state ownership? Imagine!

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  9. OneTrack (1,977 comments) says:

    It’s an “asset”. Hence the public must own it forever.

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  10. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    The Chow Brothers might be interested, it is in the right location, and would appeal to the top end of their business.

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  11. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    When Holyoake lived there he was listed in the telephone book. If you rang the number you would be quite likely to have him answer the phone. I believe there was a story that someone rang him complaining that the railways had lost their luggage. I have no idea if it actually happened. I wonder if he was the last PM to actually be available to the general public?
    On the other hand back in his day ALL ministers, even if they lived in Wellington, were provided with Ministerial houses. Marshall, who was the MP for Karori, lived in the one in Bolton Street. They apparently got to choose their house in the order of their Cabinet ranking.

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  12. Joseph Carpenter (210 comments) says:

    Warning to potential buyers using it for any use other than as a single dwelling: it’s been IEP assessed as Earthquake Prone. Possibly another reason why the Government wants to ditch it, good move.

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