Visitors from the North

Today Kapiti Coast Museum was buzzing with the excitement of discovering new (but actually quite old)  treasures as we hosted Amateur Radio operators from the Napier and Hastings Amateur Radio Clubs!  Some of these folk had visited in the past but for many it was a new experience. For some it was a trip down memory lane as they became reacquainted with radio transmitters they had operated in the past on ocean going liners, for others the opportunity to identify WW2 equipment such as our transmitter and receiver from a Lancaster Bomber. We also put the museum radio station on the air and one of our visitors used our ZL6KCM callsign to make a contact. We also found that Peter, one of our busy committee members, is a dab hand at freshly baked scones – thanks Peter! The museum is always happy to host larger groups for visits such as this. Please contact us well in advance so we can be sure to make your visit both memorable and successful.

Alternative Use for a Whale Vetebra

This is the largest bone in the museum collection and is part of the spine of a whale, hunted near Kapiti Island possibly over 100 years ago.  This vertebra was owned by the Port Family and was gifted to the museum in the 1990s.

In his book “Adventures in New Zealand” (1845) Edward Jerningham Wakefield described in great detail the interior of a whaler’s hut, in which he describes vertebrae like this one being used as seats.

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.



The romance of the radio telegraph service

A short film:  From Back Blocks To High Seas – the use of wireless telegraphy in the 1930s.

We have an extensive collection of the type of technology used to provide services such as featured in this 1930s documentary about communication to and from New Zealand. See the link to this You Tube clip just added to our ‘Communications” page on our website here.

This is a NZ Government film scanned to 2K from a 16mm combined B/W reduction print. Film clip courtesy Archives New Zealand.

If you have access to any other video clips that may be of interest to the museum please feel free to contact us.

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.