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Kiwi Bensemanns, Nikuru (left) and Ngareka visit the Bensemann pub in Affinghausen, northern Germany. (Click photo to enlarge).

Karl-Heinz Bensemann and his family still run this gasthof or hotel, giving a great welcome to any New Zealand distant cousins who happen to turn up.

Old door lintel which is still displayed inside Bensemann's pub in Affinghausen, Germany. Johann Dieterich Bensemann (name in the lintel) is believed to be Cordt Bensemann's uncle. (Click photo to enlarge)

The old Seibolth "Bush Pub" which is still standing (just) at Neudorf hasn't stood the test of time quite as well as Bensemann premises. (Click photo to enlarge)

Like the Moutere Inn, this was on the gold rush route to the Baton and Wangapeka Rivers and proprietor Franz Seibolth took out a "bush licence" in 1868 to serve travellers (anyone who walked more than 3 miles) between 6am and 10pm except Sundays.

Unlicenced liquor was thought to have been served from here a year or two beforehand! The land was owned (or squatted on) by German immigrants Frederick Ewers, Franz Schwass and Frederick Brunning and their families before the pub was built.

Other Bensemann businesses:

Bensemann Boating


This site was last updated 11/19/09


Moutere Inn in the old town of Sarau (now Upper Moutere). This is the oldest pub in New Zealand ie that is still in its original old building.  (Click photo to enlarge)

Cordt Bensemann (See link Cordt) founded the village of Upper Moutere and built the original two storied old house in 1850.  A second wing was swiftly added to create living quarters for the Bensemann family and by 1857 the structure that is still clearly recognisable as The Moutere Inn was in place.

As the present day Inn's website says, "Life moved slowly in the Moutere Valley, electricity and telephone lines didnít arrive until the late 1950s and so the commercial pressures that saw other historic pubs demolished didnít affect the Inn leaving it largely untouched."


Early hop-kiln at Neudorf

(still standing)  built in the Fachwerk or half-timbered style common also in the Bensemann ancestral area of Niedersachsen. The Nelson settlers brewed their own beer in the 19th Century.



Useful books about the early German settlement in Nelson include:


Nelson, A History of Early Settlement by Ruth Allen

A Versatile Community by George McMurtry

The Road to Sarau by Jenny Briars and Jenny Leith

A Potted History of German Settlement in Nelson by Stan Jones


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