Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka

Newsletter 2005

Marie King Gallery
Our gallery space has been valuable for providing an area for changing exhibitions.

Over the summer we featured the work of local photographer Ian Hanlon who recorded Russell people and places in the 1950s and 60s. Through the lens of a Camera attracted a lot of older locals who enjoyed revisiting memories and also interested more recent residents.

From March to May the museum mounted a display about the Battle of Kororareka and the War in the North 1845-6 called Te Ra Tahutahu / the Burning Day. This was to support the commemoration and wananga hosted by the Kororareka Marae Society to mark 160 years since the felling of our flagstaff on Maiki Hill in 1845.

The museum invited Penguin Publishers to launch a new book about the town at the museum. Hellhole of the Pacific by Richard Wolfe told of our early colourful history as Kororareka, a port of call for visiting whalers.

From June to August as a Matariki exhibition we featured the work of local artist Pauline Kahurangi Yearbury, who produced wood panels of Maori stories and legends designed by her and incised and coloured by her husband Jim. The original art work for her book The Children of Rangi and Papa, the Maori story of creation, was on display together with wood panels, many on loan from family and friends.

From September to November, the exhibition Heritage at heart pays tribute to the town’s historic buildings and sites. There are three of national importance and ten significant locally. The New Zealand Historic Places Trust who helps protect such buildings is 50 years old this year.

The final exhibition for the year, from December to February will be Windy Harbour – the story of Whangamumu. This shore based whaling station operated for 50 years and was run by a local family, the Cooks, who had a steam whaler Hananui and also a local boarding house of the same name.

New Project
The Trustees have spent some time working through the process of gaining consent for a new whaleboat shelter to be built on the Strand frontage. The whaleboat, originally American, is over one hundred years old and will require preservation, starting with a new cradle.

When this project has been completed, the museum grounds will be landscaped providing a more attractive setting.

Publicity
The museum is pleased to be part of the new Russell Business Association website and also with the Tai Tokerau Maori and Cultural Tourism Assoc. We are also advertised on the new National Maritime Heritage trail brochure. We are planning a website of our own.

Acquisitions
The museum was pleased to be given part of our flagstaff carved into a tekoteko, and the old bike from the butcher’s shop.

By checking Trade Me regularly we have been able to purchase views of Russell on old postcards and also books for our museum library.