Pecha Kucha vol. 52 - Where City Meets Sea

Richelle Kahui-McConnell speaking at Pecha Kucha at the museum.

The museum hosted a second Pecha Kucha on 23rd February 2017 in collaboration with Pecha Kucha Auckland. The event was inspired by the ‘At The Water’s Edge’ exhibition which was on at the Edmiston Gallery from November 2016 - February 2017. This Pecha Kucha was on the theme ‘where city meets sea.’ Presenters were:

The Mighty P Class Sailing Dinghy: Maker of New Zealand yachting legends

By Vincent Saunders
New Zealand is renowned for its sailors and their dominance in the fiercely competitive international sailing arena. Events, such as the America’s Cup and Whitbread trophy races, the Admirals Cup, Kenwood Cup and the Southern Cross Cup, have been won by New Zealanders. These sought after yachting heroes have gained a stellar reputation around the world for their sailing ability winning more than 60 world titles and 18 or more medals for New Zealand.

Hal Wagstaff: Architect and boat designer OBE, FNZIA

Hal Wagstaff

Earlier this year, Hal Wagstaff visited the New Zealand Maritime Museum. At the time, he was planning on attending the World Moth Championships to be held in Hayama, Japan and he promised to send us a photo or two from his trip. A few months later, he supplied the photos and curator, Jaqui Knowles, sat down with him to have a chat. 

1. A Boating Family 

The Hamer Plan for the Port of Auckland

Freeman's Bay circa 1912

By Marleene Boyd

The year is 1904, the place is the Waitemata Harbour of Auckland and the plan is to design a port that will meet the ship, passenger and cargo needs of Auckland for the next 30 years.

Mr W. H. Hamer was appointed Engineer to the Auckland Harbour Board (AHB) in 1903. His previous position had been Resident Engineer, London and India Board, Royal Victoria and Albert Docks, London, UK. 

W. Hamer

John ‘Jack’ Brooke and youth sailing in New Zealand

Twelve of the foundation members of the Wakatere Canoe Club, Devonport 1928. John Brooke in centre. Photo courtesy of Wakatere Boat Club.

By Rebekah Clements 

If you’re a young Kiwi sailor (or were!) it’s likely you’ve spent some time in a boat designed by John Balmain Brooke, known as Jack. Always concerned with making sailing as accessible as possible, he designed some of our most well-known and loved sailing boats including the Frostbite, Sunburst and the Spirit of Adventure.

From the Collection: My Favourite Piece

WINDWARD souvenir; cruise of the yacht WINDWARD Easter 1913  (L1997.65.1) Courtesy of the Edmiston Trust

For Easter I thought I’d share my favourite thing in the New Zealand Maritime Museum collection, on loan to us from the Edmiston Trust.

This beautiful bound album of watercolours was decorated and presented to William Swinnerton as a “as a token of esteem” by Albert H. Hooper.  It documents a cruise taken by Hooper and Swinnerton at Easter in 1913, with decorated pages and watercolour paintings of the locations they visited.  The cruise was to Great Barrier Island, Cape Colville and the Coromandel.

Logan Brothers: Yacht Designers Extraordinaire

THELMA, A Class, under sail, 20 March 1905 / Photographer, Henry Winkelmann. Royal NZ Yacht Squadron loan, NZ Maritime Museum B2N77

Robert Snr, Robert Jnr, John and Archibald Logan are responsible for the design and construction of some of the fastest racing yachts in New Zealand’s history.  

Robert Logan Snr came to New Zealand in 1874, just 4 years later he had a thriving business with Henry Niccol at Devonport building steamers, whaleboats and racing yachts. Using New Zealand native timbers especially Kauri which proved to be easy to work and resistant to rot.

Talking Tape Art at the Museum

Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby

A fantastic new art exhibition created by artists, Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby, has just opened at the Museum. It comprises a large taped mural made by the Wellington based duo (also known as Tape Art NZ), and two other murals which they facilitated with students from local Auckland schools. 

Saving Our Seas

Children check out the aquatic life under the museum's pontoon

No water - no life… Poor water - poor life…

Did you know that:

The Journey of the Treaty

The Waitangi Sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi

Waitangi Day, on February 6, marked 176 years of the signing since the Treaty of Waitangi, the much contested founding document of New Zealand.

The first copy of the Treaty of Waitangi/te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed on February 6, 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and more than 40 rangatira (Māori chiefs).

New Zealanders at the beach

Members of Piha Lifesaving Club, photo by Graham Rhodes, 1950s, NZ Maritime Museum (2015.145.23)

It’s been all about the beach here at the museum for the last four months. With only two weeks to go until At the Beach closes, I thought it was a perfect time to talk about why the beach means so much to us.

Menus at Sea

MV AUSTRALIA, Crossing the Line Dinner 27th March 1960. Lloyd Triestino. [16028] Gentians – flowers of Italy

Imagine a gaily coloured menu on your dining table and the anticipation of wondering what food might be on the menu for your meal. Opening the page and finding all kinds of unusual options to choose from.

Examples include: Cat’s tongues; Jellied-broth with Sandeman port wine; Stewed lettuce and Ragoût of wild boar à la Tivoli; Golden tit-bits or Chow chow in syrup.

We’d all rather be at the beach

A special visit from Her Excellency Lady Janine Mateparae

The At the Beach exhibition, in the New Zealand Maritime Museum continues to draw a large enthusiastic audience including a special visit this week from Lady Janine Mateparae. With an early career as a swimwear designer, Lady Janine is particularly interested in the New Zealand fashion design and manufacturing story being told within the exhibition. 

Land of the Long White Beach

Land of the Long White Beach


So many new arrivals in awe of the beach. Working hard, but then taking their reward, family seaside outings, shore holidays and sandy walks. Some captured artful images, gladly engaged, celebrating adventures.

Ferries on the Waitematā - a modern perspective

Harbour Bridge - Silena Griffin

As part of our current “Ferries on the Waitematā” exhibition (on until 4 October), we commissioned Silena Griffin, a 3rd year photography student enrolled at the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, to explore the experience of ferry passengers sailing on the Waitematā Harbour in 2015. With support from Fullers, Silena travelled around the harbour and in this blog, she tells us about her work and inspiration:

Waitematā Ferry Tales


Sally Fodie began her working life as a nurse aide in Oamaru. She was thirty years old when she came to Auckland with her husband in 1981 and began working on the Waitematā Harbour.  Initially, she was a deckhand before skippering the ferry GLEN ROSA, which ran from Auckland to the North Shore. Later, she skippered KESTREL for a decade.

Celebrating our 22nd Birthday

The Maritime Museum, just prior to opening in 1993 - NZ Maritime Museum Archives


This week marks the museum’s 22nd birthday here on Hobson Wharf, after the Right Hon. Jim Bolger Prime Minister of New Zealand cut a ceremonial ribbon on 19 August, 1993. We then opened our doors to the first members of the public two days later, on Saturday 21 August 1993.

Cunard Line Celebrates 175 years

Queen Mary 2 visiting Auckland in 2015

What could be more evocative of sea travel today than the names of the three Cunard liners: QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN VICTORIA.

Dining in luxury or travelling in a state room with a balcony may seem beyond the means of most people, but each year these ships call at ports around the world and take passengers on a voyage of a lifetime.

In May 2015, the three Queens helped celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Cunard Line by steaming together down the Mersey in Liverpool. They were watched by thousands of people who crammed every vantage point to see the ships.

600 ton slipway still in use after 100 years

600 ton slipway nearly completed, wide view looking east towards Freeman’s Bay and City

The year 2015 marks a centenary event for Auckland of the maritime kind. The 600 ton slipway in Westhaven was built by the Auckland Harbour Board to provide a maintenance access service for vessels up to 600 tons in displacement. The slipway was built to handle vessels up to 58 metres long and during her working life has seen a large variety of vessels.