Prior to the passing of the Ōtaki and Porirua Empowering Act, the Porirua land was vested in the Porirua College Trusts Board and the Ōtaki land in the New Zealand Mission Trusts Board. The Mission Trusts Board had conducted a school on the land and, under a separate Crown grant, also held adjacent land for Mission purposes, including the site of Rangiatea Church and the present Te Wānanga o Raukawa campus. Both the Mission lands and the educational lands were gifted by Māori around the same time.
According to the schedule of the 1907 Act, the land conveyed by Crown grant at Ōtaki totalled about 561 acres. However, in 1906 approximately 39 acres of the land was taken by proclamation for hospital purposes. This left about 522 acres in the Boards hands when the 1907 Act was passed. According to the schedule in the 1943 Act, the total area owned by the Board at Ōtaki was about 536 acres.
The increase of about 14 acres over the area owned in 1907 appears to be due to the purchase of 22 acres for the New Zealand Mission Trusts Board offset by the loss of land for the formation of Tasman Road. In 2003 the Board acquired 153 acres at Waikawa Beach Road, Manakau and a further 23 acres at Rangiuru Road, Ōtaki in 2005.
According to the Schedule of the 1907 Act, the Porirua land conveyed by Crown grant was about 500 acres. In 1925 the Board subdivided part of the southern portion of the land into 72 quarter acre sections that, with roading, amounted to about 25 acres. This subdivision was put up to auction under the title ‘Herewini Estate’ in 1925. The sections unsold at the time of the drafting of the 1943 Act are mentioned in clause 12 of the Schedule of the Act. Excluding the 25 acres subdivided, 475 acres of the Crown grant remained in the Boards hands.
In 1935-1936 it sold 100 acres to the Broadcasting Authority. This left 375 acres unsold at the time of the passing of the 1943 Act. In 1955-1956, the Crown took 89 acres for housing. This reduced the Porirua land to 284 acres in 1975. In 1976 the Crown brought the remaining lands from the Board and in the same year the Board acquired 7856m of land at Mohuia Crescent, Porirua.
The hostel building and school building, constructed in 1909, have great representative significance as it is part of over 150 years of Māori education on the current site of the Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board offices, Turoa Kohanga Reo and the Te Wānanga o Raukawa campus.
The two buildings were built by the Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board from an educational endowment set up in 1848 by local Māori who gifted the land and who worked in partnership with Governor Sir George Grey and Anglican Bishop, George Selwyn.
In 1852-53 a Māori college and boarding hostel was set up by the Church Missionary Society on this site in close association with the Anglican Māori church, Rangiatea (the original of which was built 1851, destroyed by fire in 1995). Although the hostel was closed in 1868 the school continued as a day school.
In 1903 the original hostel and school were burned down. In 1907 the administration of the endowment was taken from the Church Missionary Society and given to the newly formed Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board. The Ōtaki and Porirua Empowering Act 1907 enabled the Trust to build a new hostel and classrooms.
The plans for the new facilities were drawn up by architect Ernest Coleridge and the buildings were built by James Craig. The new facilities were opened by the Governor General Lord Plunket on 4 October 1909. When built, the school building was described as having accommodation for 100 students in two large classrooms and an assembly hall. The school operated for a further 30 years before it was closed in 1939.
The old school building situated on Te Rauparaha Street, Ōtaki is currently leased to Turoa Kohanga Reo. The hostel building, housing the Board offices and Boardroom is part of a shared arrangement as part of the Boards lease to Te Wānanga o Raukawa.