Home Front Heroines

Until recently, the unsung heroes of Aotearoa New Zealand’s WWII home front efforts went largely unrecognised. ‘Land girls’ of the Women’s Land Service, an organisation formed under the Women’s War Service Auxiliary in 1942, played a vital role in the country’s agricultural and food production industries while large numbers of men served in the armed…

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A New Era: Ng King Bros. Chinese Market Garden Settlement

Sixteen years ago the descendants of the men who founded the Ng King Bros. Chinese Market Garden expressed their desire to share their land and the legacy of their buildings and stories with the community. Our new exhibition A New Era: Ng King Bros. Chinese Market Garden Settlement celebrates the restoration and February 2024 re-opening…

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Sharing Histories | Gifts of 2023

Explore some of the treasured objects, archives, and photographs that were generously donated to and acquired by the Ashburton Museum and Historical Society in 2023. This annual exhibition will return each year, showcasing some of our most special and fascinating acquisitions of the previous year and exploring why they are significant to Hakatere Ashburton. Join…

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Suffrage in Stitches

This year, we celebrated the 130th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa New Zealand. When the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, this landmark legislation saw New Zealand become the first self-governing country in the world to give all women the right to vote. Curated by Wellington Museum, Suffrage in Stitches features a 300-metre long textile…

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From Tasman Glacier to Table Service

For three Hakatere Ashburton men, Wilf Holland, Allen Kelly and Jack Pattle, an adventure awaited them at Aoraki Mt Cook in March 1958. They were tasked with cutting three blocks of clean white ice from a glacier and preparing them for shipping to New York. From Tasman Glacier to Table Service follows the journey of…

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The Great Haulage Feat 1905-06: The Removal of the Wakanui Mill

At nearly 16.5 metres tall and weighing 260 tonnes, the huge wooden Wakanui Flour Mill was hauled 10.5km from its original site at Whakanui to the corner of Kermode and West Street over 18 working days. Two traction engines pulled the building forward with the help of hardwood rollers, 10cm in diameter, positioned over tramway…

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The Art of the Letter

Before the advent of the internet, communication between people separated by distance took place in the form of a letter. Paper, pens, ink and envelopes were basic requirements to form a link to family, friends or colleagues, sharing news of the best and worst kind. Anticipation built during days, months or years of waiting, not knowing what…

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Opening: Iain Cheesman | Saskia Bunce-Rath | Hakatere Ceramics

Join us for the opening of three new exhibitions: Iain Cheesman’s Nurture Nature, Saskia Bunce-Rath’s eating stars together at dusk, and Hakatere Ceramics’ From the Earth.  Iain Cheesman’s new exhibition Nurture Nature celebrates the act of slowing down and looking. Within the gallery space, painting, sculpture, embroidery, taxidermy and poetry sit together, creating a landscape for the viewer to navigate….

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Colossal Squid: Freaky Features! | Te Ngū Tipua: Ngā Wāhanga Weriweri!

Something big is coming to the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum this June… Despite being the largest squid on the planet, the Colossal Squid is so rarely seen that only eight adult colossal squid have ever been scientifically reported. Now Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum, in co-operation with Te Papa, is set to reveal some…

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Puaka: A Star on the Rise

While Matariki is celebrated by many iwi across Aotearoa to mark the Māori New Year, Kāi Tahu in Te Waipounamu also celebrate Puaka/Puanga. Puaka is the brightest star in the Orion constellation and is more visible than Matariki here in Hakatere Ashburton. This exhibition provides a tranquil space for the community to reflect on the…

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