What you don’t see at our mu­seum

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

You would not be­lieve what Pataka Mu­seum has stored away.

The mu­seum, which was opened in its cur­rent form in 1998, is home to more than 25,000 items show­ing Porirua’s rich cul­tural and do­mes­tic his­tory.

Nearly all are in three large stor­age ar­eas and will not see the light of day, un­less you get a tour.

Some big­ger items, in­clud­ing agri­cul­tural equip­ment and a bath from Gear Home­stead, are in a stor­age fa­cil­ity off-site.

There has been talk re­cently of Pataka us­ing some space to host a per­ma­nent his­tor­i­cal ex­hi­bi­tion.

Porirua City Coun­cil ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Linda Fordyce said that would have to be dis­cussed at man­ager level, but she is pre­dis­posed, as a his­to­rian, to al­ways push for more his­tory on show at Pataka.

A mu­seum in what is now the med­i­cal cen­tre in Taka­puwahia used to have a more his­tor­i­cal bent to it, she said.

‘‘I can re­mem­ber be­ing un­der the wing of Luti Solomon over there. He was a great men­tor to me. Bob Maysmor was a great boss, too. It was a pur­pose-built mu­seum for his­tory and it was great in its day.

‘‘What we have here at Pataka is great, too, and the his­tor­i­cal dis­plays are punchier and likely to be seen by so many more people.’’

The items in Pataka’s stor­age can be viewed by ap­point­ment.

Fordyce and mu­seum col­lec­tions man­ager Lau­reen Sadlier ad­mits it is a trea­sure trove of Porirua’s his­tory, hang­ing on walls and in dis­play cases.

Gary Simp­son

Items range from a valu­able watch owned by an 1830s whaler – Porirua once had five whal­ing sta­tions – to moa bones and pieces from the orig­i­nal door­way at Taka­puwahia Marae.

With agree­ment from Ngati Toa, Pataka has many items of sig­nif­i­cance to the tribe safely stored.

‘‘Ev­ery piece has a story. That’s what I love most about our collection,’’ Sadlier said. ‘‘There’s of­ten so much per­son­al­ity in­volved and you can see the con­nec­tions be­tween ob­jects and the so­cial fab­ric of the com­mu­nity.’’

Sadlier’s favourite pieces are ta­ble ten­nis bats nearly 100 years old and Fordyce loves old glass neg­a­tives that were found in a Ti­tahi Bay base­ment.

They turned out to be pho­to­graphs of fam­ily life – where­abouts un­known – taken in preWorld War I New Zealand.

Sadlier said 25,000 pieces was not many be­cause it was a rel­a­tively young mu­seum.

Many items have been sourced over the past 30 years from sec­ond-hand shops, auc­tions and what re­mained from the old Taka­puwahia mu­seum.

People be­queath items to Pataka or rel­a­tives will con­tact the mu­seum, ask­ing if things they have are of in­ter­est.

‘‘They may not have high value, but they’re im­por­tant for Porirua and in 30 or 100 years’ time, they will be im­por­tant to help us un­der­stand the past.’’

Pataka is be­lieved to have gained the largest lead toy collection in New Zealand, com­pris­ing about 6000 pieces – in­clud­ing soldiers, Porirua City Coun­cil ratepay­ers are re­minded that the rat­ing year closes on 30 June 2014 and that an additional penalty of 10% will be added to rates that re­main un­paid from pre­vi­ous years. In or­der to avoid in­cur­ring penal­ties you should clear rates ow­ing as at 30 June 2014. Au­to­matic pay­ments will also need to be ad­justed to clear rates ow­ing as at 30 June 2014. If you think that you are go­ing to have dif­fi­cul­ties pay­ing any or all of your rates ow­ing, please con­tact our Credit Con­troller on 04 237 1530 be­fore 30 June 2014 so that pay­ment op­tions can be con­sid­ered. To min­imise the risk of fu­ture penal­ties, the Coun­cil rec­om­mends pay­ment of rate in­stal­ments by Di­rect Debit. Di­rect Debit pay­ments can be ar­ranged on a weekly, fort­nightly, monthly or in­stal­ment ba­sis. The bank author­ity forms are avail­able at our Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing, Cob­ham Court, Porirua City and the Coun­cils web­site www.pcc.govt.nz. You can make pay­ments via the in­ter­net, or at our Ad­min­is­tra­tion Of­fice sit­u­ated in Cob­ham Court, Porirua City, or by post­ing a cheque to PO Box 50218, Porirua City, 5240 or at any New Zealand PostShop or their agents; sim­ply present your lat­est bar coded rates in­voice to pay by cash, cheque or eft­pos. farms and zoos, com­plete with an­i­mals – which was handed over by one man in the 1980s.

The mu­seum also holds 300 pieces of art, some of which are dis­played in coun­cil build­ings.

They range in value from $200 to $9000, Sadlier said.

Any pho­tos of old Porirua are held at Porirua Li­brary.

Next year Pataka will have World War I, An­zac Day and Porirua 50th birth­day ex­hi­bi­tions, so his­tory will be well-cov­ered.

‘‘What we have now is a good bal­ance,’’ Fordyce said.

‘‘We should be high­light­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional art, but it is im­por­tant to tell sto­ries from Porirua’s past. We have the abil­ity to do that here, with ded­i­cated staff and people in this com­mu­nity that care so much about his­tory.’’

The Ngati Toa ex­hi­bi­tion opens at Te Papa this weekend.

Fordyce will host a Porirua his­tory tour on Satur­day from 10am till 1pm, $12, meet at Pataka.

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