Sixteen years in the making, Shadbolt House in Titirangi has taken a step toward becoming a writers retreat following a decision by Waitākere Ranges Local Board.
The board agreed to recommend transferring the property, the former home of famed writer Maurice Shadbolt, to the Going West Trust. It also recommended to lease the land to the Trust to create a residency at the location, which was the original intention for the building when it was purchased in 2006 by Waitākere City Council.
Currently, the buildings require significant repairs which the Going West Trust will be responsible for. Once the work has been completed the building ownership will transfer to the trust concurrently with the trust being granted a 10-year lease, and the house can be turned into a writer’s retreat.
The recommendation to take this course of action now goes to Auckland Council’s Governing Body for a final decision.
Red letter day
Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair, Saffron Toms, says it is a red letter day.
“The board has been championing this move for a very long time”, she says. “The house has an incredible history, and it occupies a treasured place in the community.
“It was quite an emotional moment to finally reach the point where we could make this decision to take the house forward and help it to realise its original purpose.
“My thanks go to the Going West Trust who have stood side by side with us over the years to make this dream a reality, especially Naomi McCleary who has been tireless in pursuit of this outcome.
“And a special mention must go to board member Sandra Coney who has been leading the charge all these years from the board.
“We look forward to the next step in this process now, which will be Governing Body approval of the recommendation, and can’t wait for the day when the residency is established on site.”
Naomi McCleary from Going West Trust says it is fantastic news.
“It has been a long haul, and my gratitude to the board for staying with the vision for the house is profound.
“The house and site is filled with a richness of cultural history which will serve to create a place where writers can take strides in their literary careers.
“We will look to support all genres of writing and both emerging and established writers. There's much work to do, but this decision gives us a great boost of energy to go forward.”