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This report has been commissioned by The Going West Trust.


Maurice Shadbolt established an international reputation as a writer over the course of a long career. He was a film maker, journalist, playwright and author, and is considered to be one of New Zealand’s greatest post war writers. The house at Arapito Road is referred to by Shadbolt in his writing. He considered this intimate part of Titirangi to have special qualities, a connection to the sea and the bush. Shadbolt and his family lived on this property from 1964 until 2004. Shadbolt worked from home, and this was the place where, in various rooms and places, he wrote his work during the greater part of his career.


During the decades Shadbolt lived at the house he carried out numerous changes to the original 1930s bungalow. The current form and plan of the house is a result of the alterations and additions made by Shadbolt and his wives. A bedroom wing was added over the garage, the living room and dining room were extended, and the basement area was expanded. Shadbolt also built a separate studio on the property in the early 1970s in which he wrote many of his most notable works.

 

The house and studio remain largely as they were when the Shadbolt family sold the property to the Waitakere City Council in 2004.