It’s exciting times on the Petone foreshore with changes afoot for the much-loved Petone Settlers Museum. The museum will temporarily close on Sunday 18th April for a well deserved makeover, reopening with a new long-term exhibition, Tatau Tatau: All of Us, in late July to coincide with the Petone Winter Carnival.
The museum’s redevelopment is a celebration of the 70th anniversary of its beautiful historic building’s opening. The Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial was built to commemorate the arrival of the first New Zealand Company immigrants on Pito-one’s shores in 1840 and was officially opened on 22 January, 1940.
Tatau Tatau not only commemorates this historic meeting of Māori and Pakeha; the great Te Ati Awa chiefs Te Wharepouri and Te Puni and the first settlers, but explores the ongoing ramifications for Māori and Pakeha. The new- look museum will delight visitors with early settler dramas of fire, earthquakes, floods, bloodshed and industry boom and bust. Nationally significant Māori leadership will also be highlighted as will the 1940 centennial celebrations.
The refurbishment will breathe life back into this important Wellington landmark, which some may also remember as a bathing pavilion, incorporating the charms of the existing building while creating a contemporary museum experience. Petone Settlers also provides schools with a unique resource within the larger Wellington area.
More information on the museum’s reopening will be available in July on www.petonesettlers.org.nz and in the Petone Winter carnival programme.