Cottage to make way for bush

Publish Date : 04 Jun 2024
Butterworth House

Butterworth Cottage and its garage, part of the Kirk’s Bush Scenic Reserve at Great South Road in Papakura, will be ‘deconstructed’ so the land can become part of the reserve.

Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says deconstructing the house involves recovering as much usable material from the site as possible, to prevent it going to landfill.

“A lot of money would have to be spent to bring the house up to standard when the law doesn’t generally allow for private rental properties on reserves.

“Ownership of Kirks Bush and the cottage land now rests with Te Ākitai Waiohua as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement. Alongside Friends of Kirk’s Bush, Te Ākitai has asked that we fund a project to make the area’s whakapapa available online.”
Butterworth House plaque.
“Other stakeholders will come onboard to return Kirk’s Bush to its natural state and the first part of the history project will be gifting the Butterworth House plaque that records its significance to Papakura Museum.”

Catchpole says returning the site to bush will help in the fight against climate change by adding to the area’s tree canopy to capture more greenhouse gases.

The 123 square metre three-bedroom brick and tile Butterworth Cottage was built in the 1960s.

Arthur Mortimer Butterworth, the first Kirk’s Bush Scenic Reserve Board secretary, lived opposite the reserve.

He left funds to the board’s trustees for a caretaker’s cottage in a bid to counter theft, vandalism, and poaching.

The cottage was first used by an honorary park custodian until it was privately tenanted in 1995 but has been empty since 2021.

It is an asbestos risk, no longer meets Healthy Homes standards and has also been assessed as an earthquake risk.

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