Te Ūaka recognises Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke as Mana Whenua and Mana Moana for Te Whakaraupō / Lyttelton Harbour.
Te Ūaka The Lyttelton Museum is currently without a home following the devastating 2010/11 Canterbury Earthquakes. Join us on our fundraising journey to build back better for our Museum and community.
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Maree Henry from Henry Trading is our contributor for this winter’s Local Eyes exhibition. Maree has run her business in the old Mahar’s Drapery building at 33 London Street since the earthquakes. Maree is an avid supporter of craftspeople and artists and often hosts small exhibitions in her carefully curated gift store.
The Mahar’s building dates from post 1870, when the ‘Great Fire’ of Lyttelton destroyed an earlier building on the site. With its hip roof, street verandah and iron cladding outside and sash windows, stunning pressed tin ceilings and wide floorboards inside, it is a wonderful reminder of early Lyttelton architecture. Along with the Library, it is the proposed new Museum’s closest neighbour, and Maree is excited about the prospect of being alongside the new Museum.
We invited Maree to choose some images from Te Ūaka’s online collection. Maree’s response illustrates the different ways in which people can engage with the Collection - we all bring our own interests and backgrounds to history and Maree’s is a unique perspective.
Te Ūaka is the name gifted to Lyttelton Museum by Te Hapū o Ngati Wheke. In English it can refer to a landing place, a place of arrival, or a berthing or mooring place for a watercraft. And that makes perfect sense for Ōhinehou, the Lyttelton township nestled in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour on Te Pataka o Rakaihautū/Banks Peninsula.
Te Ūaka acknowledges the migration of people to this place, starting in the 14th century with Waitaha, then Mamoe and, later, Kai Tahu, and moving through to the British colonial era and more recent arrivals. We will tell their stories of exploration - how and why these people came to be here.
Te Ūaka also means to become firm. And this is another thing we will celebrate in Lyttelton’s Museum. The objects, stories, ideas and attitudes that have been brought and shaped here over the centuries have woven together with this special place to create an independent and proud community. As the Ūaka provides shelter for waka, the Museum provides shelter for taonga and their stories.
Our Museum will acknowledge the achievements of the people of this harbour across many generations, and it will tackle some of the difficult stories that need to be told. Te Ūaka will explore Lyttelton’s past with the intent to inform Lyttelton’s future, and it will welcome today’s new arrivals with a unique insight into just what makes this port town so special.
Te Ūaka Lyttelton Museum is currently closed following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes in 2010/11 that caused the necessary demolition of our former Museum on Gladstone Quay. We, along with vital support from the Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, rescued our collections from the Museum ahead of demolition.
Since this time we have been working quietly behind the scenes to fully document our collection, repack and house the collection safely and to photograph all items to make them available online, making our collection ‘virtually accessible’ to a global audience.
We were generously gifted our new site on London Street by the Christchurch City Council and have been steadily progressing our plans for the site with award winning architects Warren + Mahoney. We need your support now more than ever to make our New Museum a reality. We invite you to join us on our journey.