25 Years: The story of KZ1 NEW ZEALAND, the 'Big Boat'

25 Years: The story of KZ1 NEW ZEALAND, the 'Big Boat'


Above the entrance to the New Zealand Maritime Museum sits KZ1 NEW ZEALAND, also known as the ‘Big Boat’. Mercury Bay Boating Club’s challenger for the 27th America’s Cup, she was the largest single-masted yacht the rules would allow, and although the successful winner of a court case aimed to block her from racing, she was ultimately beaten by San Diego Yacht Club’s catamaran STARS AND STRIPES (USA1).

25 Years: The story of Ted Ashby, heritage vessel

25 Years: The story of Ted Ashby, Freightways Scow

While many maritime museums have significant collections of vessels of all types and sizes, not many still have operational fleets on the water and even fewer have built any of their vessels. The decision to build a vessel for the museum was made by the trust board before the museum opened, and construction began in 1992. The scow Ted Ashby is a remarkable craft, and is the last of her kind to be built.

25 Years: Building the Museum

25 Years: Building the Museum

After years of planning, fundraising and sponsorship development, construction of the Museum began in February 1992 when the Mayor of Auckland, Les Mills, donned scuba gear and ‘turned the first sod’. Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited were contracted to build the Museum using the designs of Malcolm Deighton and Jasmax Architects, with Magellan Group managing the project.

25 Years: Pre-Museum, Plans and Concepts

25 Years: Pre-Museum, Plans and Concepts 

The Museum was first proposed in 1980 by a group of like-minded individuals, many of whom were Auckland Harbour Board and Union Steam Ship Company members. It was to house the growing collection of maritime archives within the Auckland Maritime Society and Auckland Museum collections, while establishing a New Zealand maritime history collection and exhibition facility. 

International Archives Day

International Archives Day

To celebrate International Archives Day, we have asked Line in our Collections team to talk about her role here at the Museum:

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