Cottage reopens

by Anonymous Author

Historic Stoddart Cottage, the birthplace of one of New Zealand’s foremost painters, has reopened to the public after extensive earthquake repairs and restoration.

The cottage in Diamond Harbour is the birthplace and family home of Margaret Stoddart, one of New Zealand’s first professional female artists.

The cottage was shipped across from Australia by her father, Mark Stoddart, in 1861, making it one of the oldest homes left in the area and a rare surviving example of a prefabricated colonial home.

“Stoddart Cottage is a small building with a big story to tell,” Andrew Turner, Banks Peninsula councillor and Deputy Mayor of Christchurch, said.

“It’s the community’s love for this little treasure that has let it keep pride of place in Diamond Harbour, and the fact that we can still enjoy it to this day is testament to the efforts of the council’s heritage repair team and the Friends of Stoddart Cottage group.”

The group was formed to save the cottage when it was threatened with demolition in the 1970s, and has been taking care of the cottage since the mid-1980s.

Work on the cottage began in October 2016 and included repairing earthquake damage and the roof, reconstruction and strengthening of three chimneys, replacing deteriorated weatherboards and a repaint of the exterior.