Our New Museum
New Museum Theme
In the late 1990’s it was decided that the present museum was no longer adequate. It is too small to hold the growing collection, or to feature the stories we wish to tell. Redevelopment on the Moir Street site was not possible so the Society, with massive community support, is working with the Kaipara District Council to formally secure the lease of a one hectare block of land. This is located on the corner of Molesworth Drive and Thelma Street, at the northern end of the causeway that links Mangawhai Village with Mangawhai Heads.
With significant input and encouragement from Te Papa and Destination Northland, the Society has undertaken to develop a prime tourist destination. We have engaged an exhibition designer, Chris Currie; and now have plans for a wonderful building designed by David Foster and Aaron Trembath of Babbage Consultants (see photo on right).
The Society was the beneficiary of a great workshop with Ken Gorbey, an internationally acclaimed museum designer . In the process of the workshop it was acknowledged that many items of historical significance have been lost to the Mangawhai district and were held in Wellsford, Whangarei and Matakohe Museums, as well as at the Mansion House at Kawau Island. This has been the result of other family connections, display space and theme fit. It was decided, as a result, that to continue with the early settler theme in a new museum was inappropriate, as this would replicate much of what is already on display in other museums in the region. The Society’s executive decided to develop a new theme for the new Museum - the story of the Mangawhai Harbour.
Following the harbour theme allows a different story to be told. It can draw on the early settler and Maori material, but also enables the natural history, conservation and holiday stories of Mangawhai to be told. This gives us a unique point of difference and will hopefully attract greater visitor numbers to the new Museum.
A dedicated area in the new Museum providing access to family histories and genealogy will be an important resource for both the local community and visitors with connections to earlier times.
New Museum Building
We have an exciting new Museum. A feature is the stingray-inspired roof. The architects have picked up on the name Mangawhai and the presence of large numbers of stingray in the harbour, and developed a soaring roof line over the entry of the new museum to depict the stingray. This theme has grown in significance with a local artist commissioned to make a large stingray sculpture for display.
As at March 2009, the Society has raised $226,000 for the new Museum project. Significantly this is the result of a multitude of small-scale fund raising activities over a number of years. Major funding from key charitable trusts is currently being sought. We envisage that the building project will cost $1.5 million.
On 16th of May 2009 a ground breaking ceremony and blessing of the site took place. Fifty people gathered at day break to watch Mayor Neil Tiller turn the first sod and Te Uri O Hau kaumatua blessed the site
As at 23 March 2010 the footings have been dug, lots of blisters earned tying steel, concrete poured and the precast slabs ordered.
Very exciting work has been done by Dan Bussell a Graphic designer who has designed a stingray for our end wall.
As at 1 November 2010, the floor has been poured for the upper floor. A variety of services: power, data, gas, sewage and water are located within the slab. Construction of the stingray inspired roof is the next phase being undertaken.
On 1 January 2012 we have the building all closed in, the building lined and painted inside. We are starting to install the cable trays for lighting and work on partitions in the foyer area. The basement storage area is also beginning to take shape and we have a shelving system ready to install to hole objects that will not immediately be on display
To Make A Donation or Become a Member of the Society
Annual Book Fair
Buy A Macrocarpa Slab
For more information on the New Museum
If you would like more information on the new Mangawhai Museum, please email Jim Wintle firstname.lastname@example.org