Our history

As a company we are very proud of what it is and where it has come from, it would be fair to say that we have stood the test of time to become one of the leading Independent Real Estate companies operating in the Selwyn District and still delivering that old fashioned service, expert and honest advice and personal service.

Early beginnings: the Matson family

Matson & Allan Real Estate originates from the very well renowned stock firm H Matson & Co that began business in 1862 and was operated by the Matson Family.

H Matson & Co played a huge part in the stock business in Canterbury and they conducted many stock and wool auctions as well as real estate transactions. They were well known for their tremendous organising skills and personality and this contributed a lot to the success of the business.

Bottoms up: startup idea

In 1970 Matson & Allan Real Estate was originated by Bill Allan and Bill Matson. They had been involved in the ownership of H Matson & Co. When they both reached the age of 60 they were told they had to retire from the stock firm, they were not quite ready for that so they decided over a couple of whiskeys one night that they would start up a real estate firm. They rented some office space in Liverpool Street, put a sign up at the door and Matson & Allan was underway.

Little did they know or ever imagine that Matson & Allan would end up as it is today –

A dominant real estate company operating in Canterbury.

A new partnership

A partnership was formed between Mr GB (George) Wilson who had been with Pyne Gould Guiness, Mr FM (Tim) Templeton, Stock Manager for Pyne Gould Guiness, and Mr WR (Warren) Flanagan, Head Auctioneer for Wrightson NMA.

The formation of this partnership really set the company alight. All three men were identities in rural Canterbury and they all had a huge following from the Canterbury farmers. These were the days when Addington Stock Market was located opposite South Hagley Park and sale days down there were huge with thousands of sheep and cattle being brought and sold.

Taking stock: more than just meat

The three gentlemen (Wilson, Templeton and Flanagan) would head down to the Addington Stock Market on sale day not selling stock anymore, but land. In a good day they could walk away with ten-or-so sole agencies and a handful of sale and purchase agreements to be drawn up the next day. That was the way business was done in those days. How it has changed!

The company quickly grew and more agents were employed to cover the general Canterbury area. They were operating their offices out of the hub of Cashel Street and Liverpool Street area where all the major stock firms and meat companies were based.

As the years passed Warren Flanagan became the sole owner. By this stage the company was thriving and proving to be one of the leading rural real estate companies in Canterbury.

Like father, like son: A new era

In 2002 Warren Flanagan retired and the company was brought by his son Chris Flanagan who had started with the company in 1986. Chris took a gamble and decided to move their offices out to Rolleston; it was a decision that proved to be the right one. The company has grown along with the growth of Rolleston. The Selwyn District has become one of the fastest growth areas in New Zealand and because of that Matson & Allan have specialised its services to the district by opening two other offices in Darfield and Leeston.

Today Matson & Allan Real Estate Limited is one of the only independent and privately owned real estate companies remaining in Canterbury. The company is steeped in history and they are fiercely proud of that. All the people within the company pride themselves in delivering that old fashioned service, expertise and honest advice.

Company spirit: spreading its wings

The Matson & Allan agents all live locally and are personally involved in their communities. As a company it supports the Selwyn District through donations and sponsorship from cultural through to sport.


The company currently has eleven agents who operate out of the three highly visible offices in Rolleston, Darfield and Leeston. These offices are managed by Chris Flanagan (Rolleston & Darfield), and Stephan Knowler (Leeston), and the company still holds its original Post Office Box in Christchurch: P.O Box 3.

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