Historic Rogers Hut
Almost perfectly square in form (4m2) Rogers Hut is constructed of matai studs and plates with interior walls of slab beech, (exterior is flat iron) and has a tongue and groove floor. The pitched gable roof, with stained glass window at the peak of the elevation, was originally covered in flat iron but this was replaced with corrugated iron pre-1976. Remedial work undertaken in 1995 included replacing the rear wall, installing a new veranda floor, and putting plastic spouting on the veranda and rear elevation.
The hut, part of the Whirinaki track network, is located amidst outstanding scenery - close to the river and surrounded by native bush. Used by recreational trampers and hunters, estimated visitor numbers are approximately 1500 per annum.
The history of this hut is linked to the liberation of deer in the Urewera Ranges from 1898 until 1920. Their protected status until 1930 and a favourable natural environment meant deer numbers rapidly increased until they began to cause considerable destruction to the forest in the park. Government deer control operations began in 1932 and in 1952 it was decided to build a series of huts to house the deer cullers. Rogers Hut was one of the first two constructed and was built in the winter of 1952 by a team of cullers led by Rex Forrester. Historic themes for this hut are recreation and animal pests.
The most significant feature is the slab construction - meaning very few materials needed to be hauled in to the site, they were simply cut from the surrounding bush. Slab huts are not rare, but this hut and the other two in the near vicinity make for a unique collection of intact back-country huts still in use.
One of the three remaining slab-beech huts in the entire Urewera Range, from a much larger group of huts specifically erected in the region for animal control. They are important reminders of the era when the Government began to regard the threat of introduced pests significant enough to fund a body of professional hunters and an infrastructure of huts and tracks.
The hut will be maintained to protect its historic fabric and minimise deterioration. A conservation plan (Kelly 1996) has been prepared to guide its management. This contains more information about the hut.
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