A pretty pink character home designed and built by a well-known architect for his family in the 1940s could become rubble for development.
Under current council zoning, and with no heritage protection, the Greenlane home Philip Vautier lovingly designed for his family could be replaced by four townhouses.
The 1223sq m section property, with a current valuation of $2.4m, is for sale and current owner June Gibb said she hopes it is bought by someone who wants to retain the fairy-book style home of Cotswold design.
"I really hope whoever buys it wants to keep it and perhaps add to it," Gibb said yesterday. "It is such a lovely home and was built with studs so it could take a top storey."
Gibb still remembers the day she first laid eyes on the house and immediately told the real estate agent she wanted it - that was 61 years ago.
With husband William, their school-aged son and baby daughter, the family moved into the stucco home - and never left.
"It had everything we wanted, plenty of fruit trees, apples, walnuts, purple plum by the pergola and golden queen.
"It is a lovely sunny home and we would love for someone else to raise a family here."
At 91, Gibb is still active with indoor and outdoor bowls but is looking to downsize and move to a retirement home.
A few weeks ago she received a visit from two of Vautier's daughters, Caroline Scarlett and Lois Judd.
Scarlett said they had kindly been offered first option to buy the home but were settled elsewhere.
"We went and knocked on the door and found it was still owned by the same family who bought it from us all those years ago," Scarlett said.
"The house is still very much the same with built-in shelving our father made and a little trap-door out the back that held the butter."
Scarlett said the large walnut tree she climbed and got stuck up "prompting a callout to the fire department" had gone but everything else was unchanged - except the colour.
The house was originally a creamy yellow but when it rained it changed and "looked depressing", Gibb said.
"I said to my husband I wanted it pink and that's what we did - and it stayed like that."
Ray White agent Heather Walton said visiting the property was like "stepping back in time".
"It really is amazing and with the fruit trees and flat sunny land is like what we grew up on as children."
Walton said it "makes the heart sink" to think the character house could be lost but said it was a possibility under council zoning.
In the marketing for the house Walton points out a development with four, two-level townhouses is possible. But she hopes the future buyer wants to keep it as is.
Heritage New Zealand confirmed the house at 40 Matai Road was not scheduled on Auckland Council's district plan, "therefore does not have protection against demolition".
Despite this the organisation wanted to see the home retained.
Heritage New Zealand's conservation architect Robin Bryon said the home had great architectural value.
"As the house is very distinctive in its architectural expression Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga would prefer that the original building is kept and preserved if possible," Bryon said.
He said Heritage New Zealand would offer the new owner free advice and "would be happy to work with owners of this building to achieve a good outcome."
An Auckland Council spokeswoman confirmed the property had no heritage protection and multiple dwellings could be built on the land.
"It is zoned mixed housing suburban and, in theory, you could design a housing scheme to get four townhouses on the site, providing it met all the controls set out in the Unitary Plan," it said.
The owners of neighbouring properties were also keen to see the home stay, saying it provided character to the area.
"A lot of the homes in the area are older homes and it would be shocking if we lost it," neighbour Amanda Van De Klundert said. "If we could we would love to buy it and keep it as it is."