Beautiful Example of Hand Sewing c1840

Today we catalogued the Port Family christening gown, a beautiful garment hand-made in the 1840s.  It is white cotton,  with embroidered bodice, sleeves and hem.  It comes complete with full length petticoat which also has detail at the hem.

A treasured article of clothing that we are taking good care of to ensure it lasts well into the future.  It is currently on display at the museum.

To see other items from this collection click the Port Collection link under the ‘Collections’ tab on our website.  Work is on-going with this collection and more items are added every week.  We are approximately half-way through the entire collection and it should be completed some time in March.



Local Collection Gets A Boost

Alphabet Animals in French/English c1860s

The Port Family of Waikanae immigrated to NZ from Ireland in 1840, and the Kapiti Coast Museum is extremely privileged to house a large array of artefacts and archives from the family, dating right back to when they first arrived in New Zealand.

This collection is currently the subject of some intense cataloguing work, all of which is being added to the website as we go.  To see the work done so far click on ‘Port Collection’ under the Collections tab.

The array of items is vast, and extremely interesting to work with –  favourites so far have been the scrap book and some of the letters.  This collection should be finished the cataloguing phase sometime next year.

Scrapbook c1900s

Replacing the old with the even older.

It is finally finished – the new heritage kitchen at the museum is built, installed and functioning!

With funding from Pub Charity, the kitchen was constructed and installed by B&F Laminates.  During the installation process the plumber found a scary hot water cylinder, which was more suited to being an exhibit.  So with funds from Waikanae Lions and the Rotary Club of Kapiti a new cylinder was purchased.  Craig Nicholson our friendly plumber donated materials and time and got the cylinder up and running.

So we thank all those who helped along the way, and we do hope you will take the time to visit and enjoy this new way of looking back.  In true museum style our new/old kitchen is located where the old/old kitchen was back when this part of the building was the Waikanae Postmaster’s house.

Waikanae School Students are “Cobblers for a Day”

The past two weeks have seen over 200 school students from Waikanae School visit the museum and partake in ‘shoe-themed’ activities.  They saw shoes, learnt all about the variety of materials shoes can be made from and then had a go at making a pair for themselves.  The results were extraordinary and varied wildly.  From kiwi jandals to boots made almost entirely of sellotape, the students had no shortage of imagination when developing their own style of shoes.  A visit enjoyed by museum volunteers almost as much as it was by the students themselves.

Kapiti Coast Museum Wins Coveted Award

The Kapiti Coast Museum was honoured and delighted to accept the 2012 Wellington Airport Regional Community Award for the Arts and Culture Category.  At an awards dinner held on Thursday 13th September, museum representative Alan Woodward accepted the award from Airport and Wellington Community Trust Representatives, along with a cheque for $500.  We are proud to be a part of the Kapiti Coast Community and look forward to continuing our work gathering local history and presenting our museum to all visitors from the Kapiti Coast and outside our region.  We are sincerely grateful to all our volunteers for their ongoing commitment to running the museum.

Left – Alan Woodward’s  acceptance of award.

Below – Mayor Jenny Rowan presents award.

New Display Will Knock Your Socks Off!

The long awaited “Shoe Shuffle” has arrived!  We have picked the best items from our shoe collection and they are now on display, along with cobblers’ equipment and photos.  They include shoes from the early 1800s, celebrity shoes, ethnic shoes and really weird shoes.  Some of the more bizarre are made from paua shell, hair, rubber tyres and ostrich.  They need to be seen to be believed, so why not pay us a visit?  We are open 2-4pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays and are happy to open at other times by arrangement.

Shoe Selection
A selection of the shoes in The Great Shoe Shuffle


Mystery Solved!

Thanks to those who attempted to answer the mystery of the blue stones.

‘John the Scientist’ from GNS has confirmed what some already suspected – they are opals.  As they do not occur naturally in New Zealand they are most likely to have originated from Australia.









We also asked ‘John the Scientist’ about a clear-orange rock we have in the collection and it turns out that it is Agate.  Possibly from the north of New Zealand.


Wanted! A Mineral Expert…

Do you know anything about minerals?

Can you identify these cute light-blue crystals for us?  They are small – the largest measures 2.5cm long and 1.5cm wide.

We were installing a new exhibition last week and found these on a shelf without a label.  If you know what they are, what they might be used for and where they might have originated from we would love to hear from you!

If you want to see the real thing, pop in and we would be happy to show them to you.



A Homecoming

A print of the oil painting of Wi Parata Te Kakakura by Gottfried Lindauer was unveiled at the Kapiti Coast Museum on Saturday 19th May.  After a moving ceremony at the Whakarongotai Marae in Waikanae, the print was received and blessed by the local Iwi before being transported to the Museum at 9 Elizabeth Street, Waikanae where it is now on display.  Wi Parata was an influential Maori leader and land owner in Waikanae and a member of parliament in the late 1800’s.