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

‘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

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.

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


Search function added to website

You can now search our database and our Blog entries using a customised Google site search. Select this feature from the drop down “Collections” menu located at the top of the page. Please note that recently added exhibits, database amendments and new Blog entries may take up to 5 days before they are indexed and appear in search results.