• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

An historic homestead and retreat in South Canterbury has been extensively damaged after going up in flames.

May 15, 2021

An historic homestead in South Canterbury has been extensively damaged after going up in flames on Saturday afternoon.
Witnesses reported the Retreat & Historic Homestead, Te Kiteroa, was on fire in South Canterbury in Waimates Point Bush Road just before 2 pm.
At 7.30 pm a Fire and Emergency spokesperson said the fire had been extinguished, but crews remained on site to mop up.
Te Kiteroa Retreat and Historic Homestead goes up in flames.
A crew would stick around overnight to keep an eye on the situation, the spokesperson said, and the fire investigator would continue looking into the cause of the fire in the morning.
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Firefighters work on controlling the fire.
Robbie Allan and his fiancée were visiting Waimate for the day to walk to the White Horse Monument when they smelt something, then saw what looked like a fire behind the old homestead.
Allan said he got his camera out to zoom in and noticed it was the house that was ablaze.
He said it was about 2pm when they called emergency services. Soon after, they heard the Waimate Fire Station alarm sounding.
Smoke billows from the fire at Te Kiteroa in Waimate.
Fenz communications shift manager Andrew Norris said when the first fire crews arrived at the property they discovered a fire in the roof of the large two-storey building.
He said eight fire engines and three engines attended the fire, seeing more than 40 battling the blaze.
The entire building would have water damage, and due to the fire being contained to the upper floor, that part of the building would have fire damage, he said.
Te Kiteroa Retreat and Historic Homestead goes up in flames.
The grand mansions history spans more than a century, built in 1913 by a retired housekeep Emily Phillips who came into money after her employer, wealthy Canterbury high country station owner, Allan McLean died in 1907.
The historic Te Kiteroa homestead in Waimate was built in 1913.
Phillips remained at Te Kiteroa until her death in 1921, and it has since had a number of owners.
In 1945, the Women’s Division of Federated Farmers (WDFF) bought it as a national homes for use as a place of rest and recuperation for rural women members before it was sold in 1978 and run as a B&B guesthouse.
The roof of the homestead was badly damaged.
In 1991 Gary and Ann Dennison bought the Edwardian property and remain owners and custodians, recently transforming the lodge, into the current retreat.
Te Kiteroa was due to host a Heritage Festival from May 25 to May 30.