PHOTO: SUPPLIED – Prime Minister Robert Muldoon and wife, Thea, in 1977, in the kitchen of Lower Hutt’s Vogel House. Muldoon renovated the house in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in February that year.

Vogel family descendants have gone to court to try to overturn a decision that their grandparents’ Lower Hutt home should be sold off, rather than returned to them.

The home was used as the Prime Minister’s residence but is now considered surplus, so Tim and Geoff Vogel are claiming “emotional hardship”, and want it returned without having to compete for it.

Jocelyn Vogel and husband James gifted the house to the Crown in 1965, according to Heritage New Zealand, due to fears it would be subdivided after they died, but their grandsons fear that is exactly what would be likely to happen unless it was returned to them.