Hillary home opens as education centre
It's been more than 60 years since Sir Edmund Hillary sat in his study and planned his climb to the summit of Mt Everest.
Now his house has a new home on the grounds of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara where it will provide leadership training for students and the community.
The Hillary House Leadership Centre was officially opened today on the 61st anniversary of Sir Ed's and Tenzing Norgay's ascent of Mt Everest.
Centre trust chairwoman Gail Thomson said it took about a year to get permission to move the house from its original site in Remuera.
The home had been bought by his neighbours but they only wanted the land.
Thomson approached them and suggested a new location for the building at the Otara school.
The trust raised the funds needed to rebuild the house as near as possible to its original state.
It also received help from businesses with materials and supplies as well as sponsorship and funds from trusts, companies and the Government.
"I'm delighted to say it's here and it's finished," Thomson said.
"For someone as historic as this, it's been worth every bit of it."
Sir Ed's legacy will provide young people with the motivation to reach for their goals, she said.
"The most rewarding thing is understanding that we have managed to preserve this very special piece of New Zealand history for the inspiration of young New Zealanders."
Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate year 8 student Silika Isaia was one of several students who helped restore the house.
Being able to learn in a place that was once the home of such a legendary Kiwi was inspiring for all students, she said.
"It motivates us, inspires us and empowers us to do that right things so it's awesome," Isaia said.