An estate auction which included items once owned by former prime minister Sir Walter Nash has raised more than $30,000.

The auction, which was held at the Tauherenikau Racecourse on Monday and run by Wakefield Auctions, was to sell items from the estate of Betty Johnston, a Masterton antique dealer, and included four walking sticks and a bureau owned by Sir Walter.

Auctioneer Mike Perry said he was "very, very pleased" with the results of the auction, which raised between $30,000 to $40,000.

"We're very, very, pleased - and at this time of the year especially now with milk prices down and the economy a bit flat - it's just good to see people still coming out to buy quality items."


The carved Maori walking stick once owned by Sir Walter fetched $300 and the bureau sold for about $500, Mr Perry said.

A three-piece parlour suite was the highest-selling item on the day, fetching about $2000.

More than 200 people had attended the viewing day held on Sunday, with the auction attracting bidders from Dunedin, Hamilton and Australia.

While there had been fewer Wairarapa people in attendance than expected, there was plenty of interest from people based in Wellington and the lower North Island, Mr Perry said.

Good-quality items were still going for good prices, although some items like Toby jugs had fallen out of favour. There had been strong bidding on Asian pieces, with some selling for more than five times what would have been expected several years ago, Mr Perry said.