Wyllie Cottage was built in 1872 for Kate (Keita) Wyllie, a prominent Poverty Bay local. She was the daughter of Keita Kaikiri of Ngāti Kaipoho hapū of Rongowhakaata, and trader Thomas Halbert. Prominent politician Wī Pere was her half-brother. She and her first husband, James Wyllie, farmed in Poverty Bay. In the early 1870s, when the house was built, she was living in Gisborne.
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