Two New Displays and Future Plans!

Our hardworking Committee is pleased to announce two new displays –


  • Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand. Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Women gaining the right to the vote in 1893. 
  • Down Memory Lane. Display of photographs of then and now. A series of local photographs taken some 100 years ago and retaken in the present day.

 We are also working on a display of the old Waikanae Hack Racing Club memorabilia which will be on display from the beginning of August 2018. The Racing Club only existed from 1904 to 1914.

Be sure to visit soon and enjoy an interesting and informative time at our Museum. We would love to see you!

Paraparaumu School Photographs

After the devastating fire at Paraparaumu School, we were saddened to learn of the loss of archives and photographs.

The museum has copies of eleven of the photographs that were lost and we have now made copies of these and donated them to the school.  We know it does not replace all that was lost, but it is hopefully of some help, especially with their upcoming celebration in November of 125 years as the Kapiti Coast’s oldest school.


Paraparaumu School Main Gate 1915
Paraparaumu School Main Gate 1915

Quiz – Identify The Dignitary

We have this photo in our collection and we would like to know who these people are.  In particular the gentleman standing on the left wearing a traditional Māori cloak (korowai).  We have had a few suggestions but we are not sure and we would like to hear your thoughts.

Here is some background…  This photograph was among the possessions of a serviceman who returned from World War Two.  It has been mass produced by a photographic studio based in Petone (no longer in operation).  The returned soldier was very involved in rugby and his community and he ran a business in Petone.

The ink stamp on the back reads: Photocraft Studio Jackson St Petone Tel 61-607.

Please contact us if you know, or you think you know! Thanks.

Can you identify any of these people?
Can you identify any of these people?


‘Party Lines’

Lorraine Wootton, former switchboard operator at the 'Party Lines' exhibition launch.
Lorraine Wootton, former switchboard operator at the ‘Party Lines’ Exhibition.

Party Lines: The Story of Waikanae’s Early Telephone Exchange Operators

Mahara Gallery, Mahara Place, Waikanae

This is an interactive exhibition featuring photographs, filmed and recorded oral histories of the Waikanae’s early manual telephone exchange operators.

In photographing the exchange I wanted to reveal the beauty of an object that could appear to look very boring indeed. Thus the photographs had to span documentary and artistic approaches. Through this series I also want to show the gradual decline of the manual switchboard and the rise of the new automatic exchange.  – Jack Penman

The exhibition is on at Mahara Gallery until 8th June.  

Former Switchboard operators from the Waikanae Telephone Exchange
Former switchboard operators from the Waikanae Telephone Exchange

Randolph Redding Descendants Receive Photos

Randolph Redding
Sergeant Randolph Redding, Palliser Road, Wellington


One of the members of the Kapiti Coast Museum, had in her collection, a number of photographs of Randolph Redding taken at the time of the start of World War Two.  She was keen to reunite them with members of the Redding Family and so we posted a blog here.   Randolph was a Sergeant in the RNZAF during World War Two and was killed in action in the United Kingdom in 1943. He had no wife or children.  It took almost two years, but the reach of the internet prevailed and the photos are now safely in the hands of Randolph Redding’s nephews.

Randolph Redding
Sergeant Randolph Redding, Mildenhall, United Kingdom


Military Pips

We are still working hard at the cataloguing project and currently we are adding some of the smaller items to the military display which have, until now, been in storage.  The badges require polishing and the results are quite sparkly – getting rid of many years of dirt is very satisfying.

There is a collection of ten ‘pips’ worn on the shoulders of an officer’s uniform.  The more pips meant the higher rank. The picture (above) shows you a pip which has not been polished next to one that has.

Great results have also been achieved with a common NZ Military Service ONWARD badge (below).  All these items are now available to view in our military cabinet.


Music Box Tune

This 1950s Japanese made musical jewellery box has been in our collection for some time.

Musical Jewellery Box
Musical Jewellery Box

We would love to know what tune it is playing.  Please listen to the recording by clicking on the ‘Music Box’ link below, and contact us if you recognize it.

UPDATE… Thanks to Sarah for her email, she informs us that the tune is ‘Sunrise Sunset’ from Fiddler on the Roof.

Music Box

Contents of a Trinket Box

Passenger List
R.M.S Arawa Passenger List

This ship’s passenger list was located in a hidden lower compartment in a lockable oak trinket box.

It is for the R.M.S. Arawa which left Wellington on 27th March 1908, bound for London.

The list includes passengers Mr R J Port and Mrs Port –  Mrs Port being the owner of the trinket box.  We wonder why they visited London?  Was it a trip home to visit family?  We know for certain that they returned to New Zealand.

As all passengers were listed as ‘third class’ it can’t have been the most comfortable of journeys.

The bottom compartment of the box also held a will, letters from children, insurance policies and a marriage certificate.

The upper compartments hold earrings, cufflinks, buttons, coins, a brooch, a tie pin, pearls and nail scissors.

Oak trinket box which held papers and records in the lower compartment.


Welcome Little Stranger


This hand-worked cushion cover was made for a newborn baby and bears the words “Welcome Little Stranger” along with a motif of butterflies  and leaves.  The term “little stranger” was not an uncommon endearment for newborn children.  One theory for this is that calling a newborn baby “stranger” maintained a distance from it, in case it should die in infancy, which was common for the times.

The cover dates from approx. 1900 and is part of the Port Family Collection at the Kapiti Coast Museum (it is not currently on display).

Newborn's Cushion Cover c1900.  Port Collection.
Newborn’s Cushion Cover c1900. Port Collection.