New Acquisition – Hawera Primary School Archival Material


From the archives of the Hawera Primary School come a range of new acquisitions to Aotea Utanganui for 2016.  Thanks to Neryda and her team at the Hawera Primary School for considering to donate these archives with us.   

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Some of theses materials include celebration booklets and centennial materials, photographs, transparencies, printing plates, and even an old New Zealand flag.  The photographs feature (see below) school classes, individual pupils, identities and buildings including the construction of the main school building. 

Storage & Access

For the correct storage of a collection like this, conservation boxes are employed to house these objects giving them maximum security and protection over the years we need to care for them.  Labels on these boxes also help us identify how to find them again in the archives room, especially for a customer request.  If anyone wants to view this collection, you’re welcome to contact the District Archivist Cameron S. Curd or 0800 111 323 for an appointment time.

Collection Images


FROM THE ARCHIVE – Hawera School 75th Anniversary Celebrations 1875-1950

Aotea Utanganui produce a series of Issuu publications based upon current and past exhibitions, archival materials from the Livingston Baker Archive and our quarterly What’s On Guides keeping you informed about what’s happening.  This information booklet about the Hawera School 75th Anniversary Celebrations 1875-1950 was published to celebrate their 75th anniversary in October 5th – 8th, 1950.


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Family Fun Day – Environmental Art and Collage


Environmental Art and Collage

Be inspired by our new exhibition no end in sight and make some fantastic collage artworks with an environmental theme.  Join our Educator Rob Groat for this exciting Saturday Family Fun Day!

When: 10AM – 3PM, Saturday 10 December, 2016

Where: Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki, 127 Egmont Street, Pātea

Contact: Rob Groat or 0800 111 323









Restoring Priceless Maori Artworks


L-R: Charles Hay-Campbell and Oriwa Haddon with the collaborative work ‘The Arrival of Turi’, 2 August 1933.

Techniques of Conservation and Restoration

Conservation activities include examination, documentation, treatment, and collections care, otherwise known as preventive conservation. As a technical discipline, conservation of cultural heritage is supported by conservation science research concerning materials, design, techniques and aesthetics, and conservators/restorers require specialised training in conservation and restoration techniques.

Since methods for cleaning, reassembly and restoration are subject to periodic re-evaluation because of technical innovations and changing values, it is important that work be reversible so as not to impede the efforts of future conservators.

Not only do Museum conservators preserve the collection, they help make works of art readable to visitors so that they see the art rather than any damage to it. As a result, most restoration are designed to be invisible to the naked eye, however in some instances, this may involve a balancing act, employing suggestive measures to make the work appear complete while not obscuring the visual difference between original work and restoration.

In 2010, conservation treatment was needed for one of our prized collection pieces; an artwork by local artist Oriwa Tahupotiki Haddon, as it would hang in the Temporary Gallery for our first-ever exhibition on the opening day of Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki. The general condition of the artwork was assessed by Carolina Izzo, a renowned art conservator, which is shown below.

01bt-006-11Condition Reporting

Accurate painted scene

Painting has signature on the bottom right area

Very dark surface coating

All four edges showing original paint layer

Bottom left edge white accretions visible

Right left edge present large area of paint loss

Edges flaking and powdering

Some holes with paint losses 













The conservator used several restoration techniques to breathe new life into the painting (as shown above). In the photograph on the right, there is a marked difference where the conservator removed surface coating, compared to the lower half of the face where fading has occurred.

24at-006-11The completed restoration of Haddon’s work is shown on the left. Not only was the painting retouched and cleaned, but a new frame and backing support was added to ensure security and stability for the artwork.

Professional vs. Amateur

Conservation treatment and restoration requires an expertise learned, so when such work is undertaken by an amateur, disastrous results may happen. Below is an example of such a case.  At the church of Santuario de Misericordia in Borja, Spain, an elderly woman attempted to repair a fresco by 19th century Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez. Needless to say the work leaves much to be desired.  In comparison to the conservation carried out by Carolina Izzo where the utmost care was taken to not undo the original painting; unfortunately the same cannot be said about Cecilia Giménez’s efforts. Some jobs require expert knowledge and unless you have the necessary skills, please remember, “Do not try this at home, folks!”


The original Ecce Homo, 1930, by Elías García Martínez on the left, and Cecilia Giménez’s infamous restoration on the right. For more information on this story click here and here.

Saturday Family Fun Day – Magnetic Fun

Magnetic Fun

Try and build a levitating rail track and discover magnetic toys to create your own steampunk inspired fridge magnet.  View this video clip above to see how magnets are created.  Join our Educator Rob Groat for this exciting Saturday Family Fun Day!

When: 10.30AM – 1.30PM, Saturday 26 November, 2016

Where: Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki, 127 Egmont Street, Pātea

Contact: Rob Groat or 0800 111 323





Expressions of Interest – Calling for New Trustees

copyright-richard-wotton-patea-museum-interior-9Are you community-minded, interested in the heritage of the District and have good governance skills? You might like to consider becoming a trustee of The South Taranaki District Museum Trust, which currently has two vacancies.

The Trust’s objectives are to protect the taonga/ treasures of the district for future generations and to ensure that our heritage is accessible to our community and visitors Stage two of the building redevelopment project is the Trust’s next big project, with planning and consenting now almost complete. This development will provide on-site storage for the Collection as well as new exhibition and workshop spaces – so it will be helpful to have new trustees with project management and fundraising experience. Those with an education, cultural or heritage background are also encouraged to apply.

Expressions of interest must be sent to The Secretary, South Taranaki District Museum Trust, 127 Egmont Street, Pātea, South Taranaki.

For more information including copies of the Trust’s Strategic Plan and Trust Deed please contact the Secretary at  Nominations close on 26 November and will be considered at the Trust’s December meeting and confirmed at its AGM on 1 December 2016.

Short Term Research Contract at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki


Calling for Expressions of Interest – Short Term Research Contract at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki

An exciting opportunity is available to work as lead researcher on a short term contract for a Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) funded exhibition at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki. The exhibition will showcase the social importance of parks and recreation for society. The contract will commence in early December 2016 and finish February 2017; rate negotiable. 

We’re looking for original written content for the exhibition catalogue, text panels, social media campaigns, and all marketing collateral. If this sounds like an opportunity you might be interested in contact Cameron today.  


For more details of this opportunity and to express your interest contact Cameron S. Curd – Kaitiaki Pukapuka Rohe / District Archivist or 0800 111 323 by Monday 5pm 28 November 2016.  Please include your CV and a 300-word statement of what you could bring to this research opportunity.

Parihaka and the Passive Resistance Movement


Image:  The early beginnings of Parihaka can be seen in Warea where Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai were groomed as young leaders. Warea becomes a large community focused on food cultivation as an economic base. It was a community living in peace under the leadership of Paora Kukutai of Ngāti Moeahu and is supported by Rev. J.F. Riemenschneider.

Tonight millions of dollars will go up in smoke as many ‘celebrate’ Guy Fawkes. But for the small Taranaki settlement of Parihaka , today has so much more meaning as it marks the day that colonial forces invaded their village despite their policy of passive resistance. Manawa Wright has more.

Video courtesy of Te Karere TVNZ and recorded in 2015.

Exhibition Focus – Supporting Businesses in Across the Centreline


Image:  R.D. Northcott Service Station, Patea.

Supporting Businesses

The transport industry has many supporting businesses that operate to ensure vehicles are kept in prime condition for everyday use.

Petrol stations are the most obvious. In 1912, the very first garage managed by F. V. Jenkins opened in Pātea.  Mr Jenkins was also a car and motorcycle salesman.  Since then, at least six garages / petrol stations have been established in Pātea on various sites.  The Star Garage was opened in 1920 and is now Jim Baird’s Car Museum.  The Pātea Service Station was at the site of the current BP station.  Universal Motors sold petrol years ago, but now only retain the repair shop.  There were two other petrol stations situated at each end of Bedford Street.  One stood where the Firestone Tyres shop is now, and the other has been closed since the 1980s.


For more about this exhibition view the catalogue below.


Final Days for Across the Centreline exhibition


If you haven’t had a chance to check out our exhibition Across the Centreline yet, it closes Sunday 6 November.  View the exhibition catalogue below.