Our Museum:

*is housed in the restored 1918 BNZ building on Main Street

*researches the history of Otaki and the surrounding district

*collects objects, stories, and images of interest

* has an extensive photographic collection and many early copies of the town's newspaper, the Otaki Mail

* holds archival material relating to the town, including records from Otaki School and the Otaki Borough Council

* records and collects oral history interviews

* tells Otaki's stories through a changing exhibition programme

* is digitising its collections.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stepping Out: Social Dances in Otaki

Swing band at the Railway Theatre, c.1939
‘Stepping Out’ is the new exhibition at the Otaki Museum which celebrates the history of dance and socialising. This light-hearted exhibition recalls country halls, fabulous frocks, debutantes, American marines and romances formed on the dance floor.

If you remember local dances you are invited to bring in your dresses, shoes, diamantes or photos and add your presence to the exhibition.
You might want to look through some of our photos and help identify some of the name-less faces.
You might just want to remember the halcyon days of socialising and dancing.
Whatever your reason - ‘step out’, come in and enjoy the old-time tunes and
festive atmosphere!

On until mid-June 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Main Street Exhibition - extended

Our Main Street exhibition is going so well we've decided to extend it for a few more weeks. People are really enjoying seeing old places and faces they remember from "the good old days".

The old Main Street looking west past the Central Hotel (right). The Edhouses building is the two-storey brown building (centre).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Paint the Town

Our new community art exhibition - Paint the Town - is awesome (even if we say so ourselves). We've had contributers aged from just 18 months to over 80! It is a first for the museum and a wonderful way to see the town through the eyes of its residents. We certainly have some very creative people out there! Head Like a Hole as pegs, anybody?

We also have art stations within the museum, and for a gold coin donation visitors can make their own peg person or art canvas, showing their view of Otaki. A great activity for the school holidays. The exhibition is open for the weekend of the Arts Trail, Saturday and Sunday 1-2 October, from 9 am – 5 pm, and after that it will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10am – 2pm until 29 October.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hidden Gems - Showing 12 August -10 September 2011

This exhibition showcases recent acquisitions and rarely-seen objects from the Museum’s collections alongside short films by Errol Maffey. Many of these objects and films are being shown publicly for the first time and all give a unique insight into Otaki and its people.

The main exhibition space contains an eclectic mix of objects and artefacts selected from the museum storerooms. There is everything from gaudy glittered postcards, old coins and fine china through to 1960’s dresses, a moa bone and a scale model of the local stone crusher. Just as people tell stories, so do objects. We invite you to look carefully and hear each object speak about its past.

Raised in Island Bay, Errol Maffey moved to Otaki Beach in 2000 to live in the bach built by his grandfather. He was inspired to start recording present-day Otaki after watching a screening of historic films at the Civic Theatre in 2006. These films were the work of the New Zealand Moving Picture Company (Maoriland Films) which was established by Byron Brown and other leading Otaki citizens in the 1920s.

With an eye for the quirky, Errol’s DVD productions delightfully capture the culture of our town and record many of the special events, characters and community organisations that contribute to the rich and growing story of Otaki.
Hidden Gems celebrates the eccentric, the eclectic, the unique and the ordinary things that make our town so special.

Come in and see!