Settling in at the Petone Settlers Museum

Tēnā koutou katoa, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa – hello there, it’s wonderful to meet you all!

Your Community Curator at Petone Settlers Museum

With much happiness I pause to reflect on the whirlwind beginning of starting at The Petone Settlers Museum as Community Curator. I’m coming up on two months now, and already we’ve had one exhibition change and three others scheduled before December (watch this space).

I inherited these projects and it’s been a real team effort that we’re somewhat on track with producing and installing them before the end of the year! It has been amazing to work closely with the Dowse exhibitions team, but also with the Petone Library, the Hutt City Council, with other local museums (hello Wellington Museum), archives and libraries, not to mention the local community.


The Hall of Memories in it’s finest form

Market gardens, hotel draws and flax flowers

With our next exhibition change-over I’ve been working closely with the Foon family to help tell the story of their kaumatua William Yan Foon and the Chinese market gardens of the Hutt circa 1880s-1940s. I’m excited to tell a story linking a summer dress to a Petone grandfather who found tranquillity amongst his vegetables.

A few weeks ago we installed ‘the Grand Nash’ an exhibition about the well-known Grand National Hotel, a building which was saved from demolition in 1995 and moved over to Jackson Street from its original spot near the entrance to Petone.  Come take a peek in the ‘hotel draw’ to see some objects of desire, perhaps the treasures of a wealthy visitor to the hotel in its early days.

20170917_114807Time runs away each week and I sprint to catch it. Already the pool of new people and faces is growing as I head out and about to meet and plan new projects and events for PSM. We ran a weaving workshop for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori which was lovely and attracted fifteen happy people. We were lucky to have a guest teacher leading us through the creation of a ‘posy of putiputi’ and I’ve since been practising my skills.

Events these school holidays…

School holidays have begun!  To help keep the kids busy and brains buzzing, we are hosting the Girl Guides project – ‘Fly the Flag for Gender Equality’.  You can drop in, and create your own flag during the month of October.

And you are all invited to create a frame with our ‘frame it up’ activity, Thursday 12th Oct, with two sessions running at 10:15 and 11:30.  Bookings essential…

There’s much more in the pipeline, with pickles and parties being brewed up as I type.  And we have two more changes in the museum about to happen with – ‘Prices Folly’ and ‘Bodgies and Widgies’ lined-up. Stay tuned!


Ngā mihi mahana,


Arawhetu Berdinner


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