After a four-year wait, Waitaki's treasures will be once again on display when the Waitaki Museum and Archive Te Whare Taoka o Waitaki opens its front doors to an eager public from Tuesday 15 December.
The ground floor space has been fully refurbished and the opening marks the completion of stage one of the museum refurbishment. The space has been transformed with beautiful new display cabinets and exhibitions. The exhibitions encompass local geology, natural history and human history.
The section on European Settlement hosts exhibits that range from amusing to heart-breaking. These objects from the Victorian era represent two sides of the colonial dream. Some people found fame and fortune beyond their wildest imaginings. Others endured hardship and tragedy.
A highlight is exhibition of the Waitaha Taoka / Stewart Willetts Family Collection of taoka (treasures). This collection includes over 9000 artefacts from the first human settlement in the Waitaki area. Through these precious taoka, catch a glimpse of the first people to make their home here: explorers, craftspeople, and innovators.
Another exhibition space is dedicated to story of our district's geology from millions of years ago, when Waitaki lay under the sea to the recent history of mining and quarrying locally.
Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher said, ""It is very pleasing to have the museum reopening after a long time in hibernation. And I am sure that people will be impressed with the bright, fresh look that it now has, and the way that our taoka are presented. Our staff, members of our iwi, tradespeople have done an amazing job on the museum, and it will be a pleasure to officially reopen it as Waitaki Museum & Archive – Te Whare Taoka o Waitaki!"