New job for you: Part-Time Educator

Hutt City Museums is looking for the perfect person to join our education team in a new-Part Time Educator role (12 hours per week).

This part-time role involves assisting the education team to create and deliver workshops to learners of all ages, drawing on your art making skills and the exhibitions and collections of The Dowse Art Museum and Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one.

Check out the job description and apply via the Hutt City Council website here.

Hutt City Council – Waitangi Day in Dowse Square, Lower Hutt, New Zealand on Tuesday 6 February 2018. Photo by Masanori Udagawa.

Seaweek @ the museum

petone beach - petone - view of the wharf and wellington from behind san...

Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2019 runs from Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 March.

Our beautiful moana is truly amazing. From the sea creatures that live below to the beautiful sunset’s that dazzle us from above, the sea and all its beauty is treasured part of our whānau.

Right now our moana needs help to stay healthy. That’s where we come in. This year we have teamed up with Sithmi Sathruwani, one of our Whakatū Wāhine to celebrate Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2019.  Together we are inviting you to share your worries, find solutions, so that we can care for and celebrate all the wonderful things our sea offers.

Oceanic Panic!

Worried about what’s happening in our oceans? Let’s talk about it and come up with solutions together.

Download a sign and let us know what’s troubling you in the run up to Sea Week 2019.

Seaside Storytime

Seaside Storytime
Sat 2 Mar 2pm | All ages welcome | Free

We’re launching Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2019 with our friends at Petone Library with an all ages story time session by the sea.

Our local librarians will share their favourite ocean tales with the whole whānau.

This event will happen inside the museum and go ahead rain or shine.

Collaboration Stations
Sat 2 Mar – Sun 10 Mar| online

During Sea Week 2019 we will share practical actions we can all take to care for the sea and sooth our oceanic panic.

Have a favourite clean up tip? Tell us about it. Together we’re a force for nature.

Beach Play Day
Petone Beach (In front of our Museum)
Sun 10 Mar, 10.30-12.30pm | All ages welcome | Free

Have fun on Petone Beach with our Education team. Join us to create sand sculptures, fly kites and make beautiful art out of things we find on the beach.

Let’s Play!

november evening

Have Your Say: Hutt City Council Heritage Policy Review

Hutt City Council wants to know what you think about heritage in the Hutt.

start of erection of sea-wall (south end) 1956

The Hutt City Council (HCC) is reviewing the current heritage policy to make sure that we fulfil our role of kaitiaki for our cultural and built heritage. This review will include the city’s management of buildings, areas, identities and stories.

Your feedback will help HCC prepare a new Heritage Policy which will guide how we care for our shared heritage resources.

We know that our special city has important stories across a broad range of communities from tanagata and mana whenua to the first settlers ships, industrialization and today’s innovators and industry leaders. This review invites you to share your thoughts on heritage in Lower Hutt.

The Council is hosting Open Days at city libraries throughout January where they will welcome your feedback kanohi ki te kanohi. The dates and locations of Open Days are:

  • Friday 18 January, Eastbourne Library, 28 Rimu Street, 10am-2pm
  • Wednesday 23 January, Petone Library, 7 Britannia Street, 10am-2pm
  • Thursday 24 January, Wainuiomata Library, Queen Street, 10am-2pm
  • Wednesday 30 January, Naenae Library, Hillary Court, 10am-2pm
  • Thursday 31 January. Taita Library, Walter Nash Centre, Taine Street, 10am-2pm

The Council is also organising meetings with interested community groups and individuals who cannot attend the Open Days. If you have any questions, would like to email feedback or would like to speak to someone about the Heritage Policy Review, please contact

Further information about the review of the Heritage Policy can be found on the Hutt City Council’s website here.

The current Heritage Policy can be found here.

The Heritage Policy review presents a great opportunity for everyone to be involved in setting a path for the city’s cultural and built heritage that meets the needs of present and future generations so please do get involved.

Happy Birthday to us and, a special tour for you

Book the tour here  

FULLY booked.  Thanks for the interest.  Please update your booking if you are no longer able to attend.  We would hate people to miss out!

november evening

With Wellington Anniversary fast approaching we’ve been thinking about the history of our special place: Pito-one.

Our whare was opened on 22 January 1840 to commemorate the arrival of the first British immigrants to Pito-one’s shores in 1840. Before we were a museum, we were a bathing pavilion and enjoyed being a part of Petone’s beach scene.

Today, we are a proud member of Petone’s heritage community. Every day, we explore and celebrate the many stories of arrival and achievement in and around the Hutt Valley. From the important chiefs Te Puni and Te Wharepōuri, to today’s wonder wāhine – we have a wealth of stories to share, and we love hearing your memories as well.

To celebrate our birthday, we are inviting you on a special tour exploring the story of our whare and how it came to be.

To book your spot please click here.

Tour details
11am – 11.30am
Monday 22 January
Bookings essential (there will be birthday cake)

Remember, we are open every day this summer 10am – 4pm

Christmas hours

This summer we are open 10am – 4pm every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

This summer we are keen to kōrero with visitors from near and far. So, pop on by next time you are passing our whare-by-the-sea and share your story of arrival in Pito-one.

Hutt City Council - Waitangi Day in Dowse Square

Duration & Dimension: falling down a rabbit hole

Outside the NGV

Outside the NGV

Georgia and I were lucky to attend the Australasian Registrars Conference recently in Melbourne. This was a great opportunity for us as collection managers/registrars as it is one of the only events solely focused on our roles and relevant topics.

The theme was Duration & Dimension and we were hosted by the Melbourne Museum. The conference looked at the challenges institutions face in collecting, caring for, documenting and ensuring the longevity of time based media and digital artworks. This includes film, audio-visual art works, digital files, complex installations that involve AV components and even software, games and applications.


I didn’t even realise some of these challenges existed, for example some speakers talked about software or applications that became obsolete mere months after being collected. Terms such as bit-rot, checksum, fixity monitoring, and iteration reports were all new for us: there was a lot to learn.


A challenge for 2025

There is also the ongoing challenge of digitising analogue media such as film and magnetic tape material – the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia released a paper in 2017 that states ‘Tape that is not digitised by 2025 will in most cases be lost forever.’ Scary stuff for many museums however luckily for us we don’t hold much of this type of material at the Petone Settlers Museum Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom however there were fantastic presentations about how to document these works, all the templates, processes and procedures needed (music to a Registrar’s ears!) from institutions such as:

Registrar speak

Registrar speak

It really was the place to be if you love a good acronym! AGNSW, LACMA, NGV, QAGOMA, ACMI, MOMA, MONA


One presentation that was a real highlight was from Sarah Davy at New Zealand’s own Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Sarah spoke wonderfully about the complete bicultural approach that Ngā Taonga take in preserving, managing and sharing all the amazing media they have in their collection. It was really quite inspiring.

Entering Wonderland at ACMI 1

Entering Wonderland at ACMI

Another highlight for me was the opening night reception at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image where we were treated to a trip down the rabbit hole into Wonderland – an amazing interactive and immersive exhibition exploring the story of Alice in Wonderland and its various interpretations over the years.

It was a fabulous few days of connecting with colleagues from New Zealand and Australia, learning huge amounts (and attempting to retain it all!) and exploring some of Melbourne’s wonderful cultural institutions. Lucky for us our collections colleagues are very generous in sharing ideas, project results, work processes and templates so we will be able to move forward into the future with the right tools and methods to help manage these types of collection items.

Geraldine FitzGerald: a local leader

“She never wavered in her beliefs in how girls should be educated and in the importance of this work.” 

– Anne Mulcock: A Quite Original Type of School  

As we continue to celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage at our wharebythesea we’re proud to welcome a new display to our walls – Geraldine Fitzgerald (1871-1955).  In this blog we introduce one of the powerful forces behind girls’ education here in Lower Hutt.

Geraldine – or Fitz as she was generally known; was a charismatic, strong-willed woman with an innovative approach to education.  She is best known for establishing the Chilton Saint James school in 1918, on Waterloo Road in Lower Hutt.

Fitz was the eleventh of thirteen children born to Frances Erskine, nee Draper, a Russian immigrant, and James Edward FitzGerald.  With a musically and linguistically talented mother and father who held well-known and often publicly unpopular egalitarian views, we suspect that her commitment to suffrage may have been sparked early on in life.

We also wondered if Fitz’s mother’s influence can be seen in her teaching methods.

A memorable anecdote from Priscilla Greenwood, piano teacher at the school in the 1920’s suggested this might be the case.  Greenwood was in the middle of a lesson one day when Fitz interrupted and said, “Write me a tune for the twice times table.”

Evidently Greenwood’s efforts were successful as she was called on to set the rest of the multiplication tables to music also – including the thirteen times table!

Early influences aside, Fitz was a woman known for her fierce determination as well as her commitment to girls’ education.  We are proud to share the story of her leadership with our community.

To learn more about Geraldine Fitzgerald’s life and legacy, visit us at Petone Settlers Museum where we look at more closely at Fitz’s leadership and accomplishments.

We are open seven days for summer, 10am – 4pm.  Come on by for a visit next time you are in the neighborhood.



Web 1

Fitz’s display at our whare-by-the-sea

Portrait 1

Geraldine FitzGerald, c 1918. Courtesy of Chilton Saint James School



Open all summer

We are open seven days a week from Monday 22 October until Sunday 28 April 2019, 10am – 4pm.

With the warmer weather blowing into the capital we’re looking forward to welcoming spring and summer visitors into the museum to explore our displays.

From the story of British immigration in the 1840s to the significant leadership of chiefs Honiana Te Puni-kokopu and Te Wharepouri, right through to contemporary stories of women’s leadership in Te Awakairangi, there’s plenty to explore on a visit to our whare by the sea.

Come on down and say kia ora.
We’d love to see you.


Reflecting on Te Wiki o te Reo Māori with Sharee Adam


This week we celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. Community Curator Arawhetu Berdinner caught up with Sharee Adam (Ngāti Koroki-Kahukura, Ngāti Paoa), a leading proponent in local reo revitalisation, amongst the bustle of our national hīkoi from parliament to Te Ngākau, Civic Square.

You can learn more about Sharee’s work in our current Suffrage 125 related exhibition: Whakatū Wāhine – Women Here and Now.


Petone Settlers Museum Whatatu Wahine - Women Here and Now July 02, 2018

Sharee Adam, photo credit: Mark Tantrum


AB Tēnā koe i te rangatira, kei te pea hea koe i tēnei rā?

SA Tēnā koe i te rangatira! Kei te harikoa te ngākau, ae.


AB What does this walk during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori mean to you?

SA Taking part in the hīkoi is really just about bringing people together again. With our mahi sometimes we get caught up in living life, it just gives [us] a chance to celebrate as a group in public.


AB How did your rōpū find the hīkoi today?

SA Yeah rawe, it was cool being amongst the tamariki and others who really support the reo. There must have been about a thousand* people in total so it was good to be among a thousand people who really support te reo, and you know, waving to everyone in the buildings was fun.

*editors note – numbers were recorded at 4300 making the Sept 10 hīkoi the biggest yet for Te Wiki.


Sharee whare

Image credit: Tōku Reo Trust


AB You’ve mentioned before to me how we’ll know that real progress has been made when it’s normal to converse in the reo during the daily activities we go about—buying your groceries, ordering your coffee, asking for directions. What kind of work do we need to put in to see this happen?

SA I think it’s about using te reo… people who have either learnt te reo or grew up in a reo environment should start using it ‘ahakoa te aha’—no matter what—and I think when it’s not considered a ‘feat’ to speak te reo for a whole day, or speak te reo a week, or a month, then we’ll know that it’s normal.

So in terms of what we need to do: the people who have reo need to start using it wherever and whenever, and start demanding it to be used in their spaces—whether it’s a grocery store or the coffee shop or library.

It’s just demanding that it (the Māori language) be used by using it. Not by telling people what to say, but if you use it, then sometimes you get it back.

How we will know it’s normal is when it doesn’t seem like an amazing task to stay in the reo Māori for the day. That should be normal for us… one day!



AB Learning and speaking te reo Māori can have many more benefits than just engaging your brain; can you tell us about the qualities you’ve experienced on your waka to fluency?

SA Probably just connecting with lots and lots of different people, from all different backgrounds. That’s one of the benefits that you wouldn’t think of, just by speaking te reo.

Travelling as well, around the motu, getting opportunities to go to hui, and noho, and symposiums—that’s one way to see the country. And I believe one day it will take me overseas as well, for some other kaupapa.



AB What’s one message you can give to those who are beginning their reo journey?

SA Kia kaha, kia mia, kia manawanui (be strong, be steadfast, be willing). Whāia te iti kahurangi, ahakoa he iti he pounamu (strive for something of great value).

Yeah, start! No matter how scary it might seem. Especially for our Māori people, it’s just that extra little bit scary for us because we’re ‘supposed’ to know it? You know, people think you should know it, but most of us don’t, so kia kaha.

It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, if you’re young, middle-aged or a little older, mea tīmata, you’ll start to see the world in a different light—having this connection and understanding te reo. Yeah, kia kaha.




AB Your work as a part of Tōku Reo Trust with Moana Kaio (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Pikiao) was originally established to build on whānau wanting support for strengthening reo Māori in the home. You’ve since been working in partnership with organisations including the Hutt City Council,do you see your work expanding to a national level?

SA Yeah, tērā pea. We went to a national symposium and we took a group of students (we call them ‘language leaders’ or reo champions) to Hastings just a couple of weeks ago, and one of the presenters had our reo 2 go images up on their slide. They were talking about whakaraua te reo, revitalising the language within the whānau, and they mentioned our mahi as a part of their presentations.

Just today one of our students was at a hui, she said our reo 2 go was mentioned in a presentation by Stacey Morrison and Scotty Morrison, so tērā pea—if anyone thinks that we might have something to share, we would welcome being invited.


AB With the energy of this day before us, is there anyone you’d like to make a shout out to?

SA Awwwwww, I won’t say anyone in particular, because there’s too many, and I might forget one! But to anyone who has been on their [te reo] journey, even to people I haven’t met yet, ngā mihi kia koutou, hōia tērā waka, te waka reo, whāia te mātauranga me te aroha nui i roto i tō tātau reo.

Shout out to everyone. Ka pai!