Richard Liron Mestayer

Place of Birth
Manchester New Zealand

  • Birth date            1844 London
  • Marriage              Katherine Emily
  • Death date          22 July 1921 at Wellington, New Zealand

The son of Richard Mestayer, banker’s clerk and his wife Eliza, Richard Liron Mestayer was born in London in 1844, and educated at King's College. He was afterwards employed with Simpson and Company, hydraulic engineers, and was subsequently with James Simpson, civil engineer, who at the time was engaged in some of the largest waterworks in England. About 1868 he moved to Manchester, where he was engaged as principal engineering assistant to the Manchester Corporation for three years. In 1871 he joined W T Gunson in partnership in Manchester. For three years. 1880-1993 he was Deputy Borough Engineer at Salford.

In June 1883 Richard L Mestayer emigrated to Adelaide where he was engaged in carrying out a comprehensive drainage scheme for that city. He also acted as hydraulic engineer for the South Australian Government, having charge of all the waterworks throughout that Colony for about five years. From 1888 to 1893 he was engaged in private practice as a Consulting Engineer in Sydney, New South Wales, and in preparing designs for the sewerage of several of the country towns for the New South Wales Government.

In 1893 he moved to Wellington, New Zealand, where he took sole charge of the design and construction of the sewerage system of the city. As part of these works he installed, for the first time in New Zealand, the “Shone system" of pneumatic ejectors. The drainage of Miramar was constructed on the same system to his design. On the completion of the Wellington city drainage Richard Mestayer entered private practice as consulting engineer, and assisted a number of local bodies with their water-supply and drainage works, in regard to which he had become a recognised authority. In 1902 and 1903 he reported to the Auckland City council on the Waitakere water supply scheme and endorsed it. Subsequently he furnished reports to the council on the suitability of the Nihotupu, Huia, and Wairoa streams for water supply. In 1904, during the mayoralty of Sir Edwin Mitchelson, he drew up a scheme for the main drainage of the city, which, however, was not adopted. He also designed the drainage scheme for Nelson.

His daughter Margorie K Mestayer enjoyed success as a Marine Biologist [Dictionary of National Biography for New Zealand].

1868-1871    Town Hall Manchester
1871-1877    R L Mestayer and Gunson, 32 Mansfield Chambers St Ann’s Square, Manchester
1878-1879    Mestayer and Gunson Marsden Street Manchester
1880-1883    Town Hall Salford
1883-1888    Adelaide, South Australia
1888-1893    Sydney New South Wales Australia
1912        R L Mestayer MICE 288 Lambton Quay Wellington NZ

1851    St John Street Road Clerkenwell London
1876    Campbell Grove, Ackers Street off Oxford Road, Manchester
1880    130 Upper Brook Street Manchester
1881    3 Seedley Mount, Pendleton In Salford
1891    Webbs Avenue Ashfield Cumberland County New South Wales (1891 Census)
1893    Wellington New Zealand
1917    139 Sydney Street Wellington

Reference     British Architect 8 June 1883 Page 278 – appointment to South Australian Government
Reference    Manchester City News 18 March 1893 Page 5 Column 3 (Personal). Wellington drainage
Reference    The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District] 1897

Obituary    Evening Post, 22 July 1921
Obituary    Nelson Evening Mail, Volume LIV, 23 July 1921
Obituary    New Zealand Herald, Volume LVIII, Issue 17841, 23 July 1921



Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Mestayer and Gunson Architects and Engineers 1871 1879 Manchester