The grants partly financed the project, which cost over NZ$1 million (approximately £505, 600 at the time of writing).

The Buxton Legacy was a generous bequest left to support international Abbeyfield Member Societies, which were to be used for the benefit of residents’ living environments internationally.

Masterton House, located towards the south of Te Ika-a-Māui (New Zealand’s northern island), was established in 1996 by Abbeyfield New Zealand (ANZ) as its second property. The communal units, housed in the old vicarage, an ageing colonial era building, were in urgent need of replacement, without which the house would have likely had to close.

With 13 percent of the cost covered by the Buxton grant, and the rest funded via a mortgage, other local grants, an equity contribution from ANZ and some government funding, the redevelopment of the site began in early 2021. Overcoming the delays to building supplies brought on by the Covid pandemic, and with extra safety measures in place to protect the existing 10 residents, the construction of a new kitchen, lounge and dining room were eventually completed, alongside four additional studio apartments in the new Buxton Wing.

The developments mean that the house is now more visible from the street and the new communal rooms enable the residents to socialise more easily, whilst the new studios extend the provision of social housing to those in need in the local area. The house is now assured its financial sustainability for the future and the additional income generated through renting the new rooms will be reinvested into deferred maintenance of the older Hoby Wing.

The formal opening of the Buxton Wing, which was delayed due to Cyclone Gabrielle, took place on 29th March. The ribbon was cut by Graeme Roberts, Chair of Abbeyfield Properties (the development subsidiary of ANZ that carried out the project), and ANZ Chairman Simon Hayes thanked all those who had made the improvements possible, especially the Buxton Legacy Fund.

Following a heritage assessment, the old vicarage building was sold to a heritage architect and builder and moved off-site, in order to be restored to its original 19th century appearance.

Learn more about Abbeyfield and our member societies

Abbeyfield International Member Societies Image

Abbeyfield International Member Societies

From Canada to New Zealand, Australia to South Africa, Abbeyfield has member societies around the world in seven territories.

Abbeyfield New Zealand Society Image

Abbeyfield New Zealand Society

First established in 1992, Abbeyfield New Zealand has 14 houses which are well-designed and located close to shops and other amenities. You’ll have your own private studio room with ensuite, which you can furnish as you wish.

About Abbeyfield Image

About Abbeyfield

For over 60 years, everyone is welcome at Abbeyfield. Wherever you find us, you’ll find we’re warm, open and friendly. Community is at the heart of Abbeyfield, where people come together to share meals, company, and enjoy life. Abbeyfield is more than a home, it’s a neighbourhood, a community, a family.