Story: Logging native forests

Slab whare (2nd of 3)

Slab whare

Dating from about 1859, this simple one-roomed house at Carterton in the Wairarapa is made of tōtara. It is a typical colonial dwelling known as a slab whare (whare is the Māori word for house). It was built by 14-year-old Richard (Dickey) Sayer, who was then making a living as a hunter. It consists of slabs split from a log of tōtara and nailed to a frame. Inside, battens have been nailed across the joins to make the structure weatherproof. The slab whare was popular with settlers because it could be built quickly and economically, using trees from the surrounding land.

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Heritage New Zealand – Pouhere Taonga
Photograph by Pat Ryan

Permission of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Logging native forests - The timber industry, 1840–1920', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 October 2020)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007