Many factors tip the scales in favour of property investors and one sure fire attraction is the history a home may bring to the bargaining table.

A prime example is a resplendent, character-filled Waitotara villa steeped in history.

The villa at 3168 SH3, Nukumaru, is the home where celebrated World War I Maori soldier Herewini Whakarua grew up.

Whanganui has three memorials commemorating men from the district who died in WWI, but only one to specifically commemorate the town's Māori soldiers.


The memorial at Pākaitore (Moutoa Gardens) features the names of the 17 men who were primarily from Whanganui town, the communities of the upper river and South Taranaki. One of these men was Herewini Whakarua (Ngā Rauru) of Waitōtara in South Taranaki.

Herewini was the son of Te Iwiora Tamaiparea and Te Ata Owhiro (who died of typhoid fever in 1907). Herewini was then whangai'd (fostered) by his mother's sister, Kuki, who was the wife of Rima Wakarua. Herewini went to war in February 1915 and served in Gallipoli and later at the Western Front in Europe and it was here that he was severely wounded and where he died in hospital on January 13, 1918. He was buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium and at the time of his death he had attained the rank of Warrant Officer Class II Sergeant Major.

This Carrara marble statue was commissioned by his aunt and uncle and was intended to be placed in the family urupā (graveyard). The statue is a remarkable likeness to Herewini and is extraordinarily detailed, far more so than many other memorials around the country and unique in that it is of a specific person. The memorial was unveiled on Anzac Day in 1925.

The Waitotara home was named Whakarua and commands views over the surrounding farmland and on clear days, Mt Taranaki stands prominently in the vista.

Set on 2.5279ha of prime farmland, this family home boasts all you would expect of a villa of the era. In recent times, renovations have been done to the two living areas, the kitchen and two of the bedrooms.

The grounds consist of lawns and easy-care gardens, with a workshop in the corner for projects or maybe to convert into a stable. The soil is the very alluvial Egmont Black Loam, well suited to all types of farming and livestock.

Located on SH3, at the gateway to the Taranaki, it is an easy five minute commute to Waitotara and a less than 29km, easy drive to Whanganui.

Whakarua is for sale by tender closing December 7.


Marketing agent is Property Brokers rural consultant Richard White.■