The Trust

The Ngaio Marsh House and Heritage Trust was established in 1992 as an incorporated charitable Trust. The objects of the Trust are to preserve and maintain the Ngaio Marsh House and to present it to the public; and to encourage an appreciation and study of the literary and dramatic achievements of the late Dame Ngaio Marsh.

Ngaio had bequeathed the house to cousin John Dacres-Mannings of Sydney who offered it for purchase to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1992 (however they were not interested in acquiring any more properties at that time). A group which included Colin McLachlan ( later to become Chairman of the Ngaio Marsh House Trust) felt strongly that the house should be acquired as a memorial museum. A proposal was put to the Christchurch City Council who declined but advised the group that if they could find a bank loan for half the purchase price they would lend the other half.

The Ngaio Marsh House and Heritage Trust was formed and the house was officially opened to the public in November 1996.

The Trust started paying off both the loans but eventually over a period of years, the City Council wrote off the balance of it's loan. The remaining loan has now been repaid.

The Trust remains a community based voluntary organisation committed to the objects of the Trust.

For the upkeep of the house, the Trust relies on visitor admission fees, grants, donations and fundraising.


Dame Ngaio with Dr Bruce Harding (Curator and Custodian of Ngaio Marsh House). The photo was taken at the house in 1978. Ngaio is holding the Grandmasters Award she had just received from the Mystery Writers of America organization.

Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020
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