Mangawhai's stunning harbour has always played an important part in our rich and varied history, beginning with the Maori settlements, through to the early English settlers with their shipbuilding, kauri milling, gum digging and later farming. Today, Mangawhai is a popular seaside holiday destination, and also home to many artists and craftsmen, lifestylers who contribute to the thriving chocolate making, avocado, wine and olive oil industries, and young families looking for a more relaxed way of life.
The Mangawhai Historical Society
The custodian of this history is The Mangawhai Historical Society Inc which owns and operates the Mangawhai Museum, currently located in Moir Street, Mangawhai Village. Plans are underway for the construction of a new museum with a distinctive stingray-inspired roof.
The present museum opened in 1983. It is a typical early settler museum containing items from pioneer families, with an emphasis on shipping and gum digging. There is a photograph collection on display. The Historical Society has been very active over the years with regular meetings; the collection of oral histories, development and digitizing of a photo collection, organising bus trips and reunions, attending Te Papa-funded training courses and fundraising for the new museum. The current membership is 130 people, mostly current or past residents of Mangawhai.
The Society is fortunate to count among its members many of the descendants of the early families of the district, and the energy and enthusiasm of the Society has enabled these families of the past to contribute their stories, documents, diaries and memorabilia . Frequently, visitors to the museum begin their visit with the comment that earlier generations of their family came from Mangawhai.
The Society owns the old Te Arai Library and the old Mangawhai Post Office buildings. These are located behind the current museum and not open at present for public access. The library contains many of the original books, some of them from 100 years ago.
The present museum, beside the Library Hall in Moir Street, Mangawhai Village is now closed to the general public while sorting and cleaning of objects for displays takes place. It will be open by request only (please contact John Bull 431 4662).
Enquiries to the Curator: Margaret Tennent 4315080
To make an enquiry direct to the Curator, or to offer material or if you have a story to share, please email email@example.com. For any other enquiries please use the Contact Us page.
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- Vintage Tractor Cavalcade & Exhibition Flyer
- Read this for more details. To register your tractor, stationary engine or ride-on mower click on the link at the top of the page. Great prizes in all categories. Fun day out for all the family with stalls, food and drinks.