Historic Manson Hut
Manson Hut, Kaweka Forest Park
Manson Hut in the Kaweka Forest Park is built of split slabs, possibly beech, cut from nearby trees, and it has a malthoid roof. It is built into the hillside in a good sheltered position beside the Tapahiwhenua stream making it an ideal place for back country accommodation.
This is the second hut in this area and was built by Les D’Ott and Jack Wire in 1946-1950 as musterers’ accommodation for Jack Robert’s father when he owned Ngamatea Station. The first was built by the Lumsden family of Kuripapango, who had the lease of the block between c.1906 and 1920s. A third hut was built further up the ridge within 200 metres of the original hut by the Forest Service in 1972.It was conserved in 1995. Historic themes are farming and wild animal control. The hut is managed by DOC's Hawke's Bay Area Office.
This is a late but very authentic example of "pioneer" hut construction. The building uses materials gathered mainly from the immediate area and as such is an example of vernacular architecture.
Manson Hut is one of a number of unpretentious huts erected in Kaweka Forest Park over the past 100 years. This legacy of basic mountain accommodation built for a number of purposes, is virtually unmatched elsewhere in New Zealand.
The hut will remain in use and be maintained to protect it’s historic fabric and minimise deterioration. A conservation plan has been prepared (Cochran 1994) to guide its management. This contains more information about the hut.