A new name, brand, website and chapter for a museum with diverse and important stories, artefacts and histories to share with Ōhinehou / Lyttelton, Whakaraupō / Lyttelton Harbour, Te Pataka o Rakaihautū / Banks Peninsula, Ōtautahi / Christchurch, Waitaha / Canterbury region, Te Wai Pounamu / the South Island and Aotearoa New Zealand as a whole.
Today marks a new chapter for the Lyttelton Museum as it reveals its new name - Te Ūaka - gifted to the Museum by Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke. Te Ūaka can refer to a landing place, a place of arrival, or a berthing or mooring place for a watercraft. Which connects all arrivals to this place, both Māori and Pākehā and even the crews of the Antarctic Heroic era coming to port to prepare for their journey to the coldest continent on earth. This place marks the end of a journey, and the beginning of a new era for whomever landed here. More about the name here.
The devastating Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010/11 damaged the Lyttelton Museum building on Gladstone Quay beyond repair. After a daring rescue the collection was moved off site and stored before the building was demolished. In 2016 the Lyttelton Museum Historical Society’s Committee made the decision to create their own purpose-built Museum to share the important stories of our communities for perpetuity. Since then the Museum has partnered with Warren & Mahoney to design the new premises in collaboration with Ngāti Wheke and the wider community. The new Museum will be in the heart of Lyttelton’s main street - London Street, next door to the Library. The Christchurch City Council gifted the Museum this prime site, a significant start to the fundraising campaign which will officially launch in February 2021.
More about the new Museum building here.
Te Ūaka can also mean 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.
The 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.
“Having a community Museum is vital to the protection of our cultural heritage. There are many stories that have not been told well in the past. There are nuances in the narratives that are important to Māori and need to be shared to be better understood”.
- Donald Couch - Portfolio holder for Cultural Heritage and Identity Committee on behalf of the Ngāti Wheke Rūnanga
“We know what a huge achievement it was to get the Museum off the ground and keep it running – we have great respect for the people who did that. Now, we see an enormous opportunity to bring the new Museum well and truly into the 21st century.
Our aim is to retain something of what made the old Museum special – it’s not your everyday museum – and that reflects what Lyttelton is all about. Te Ūaka will have that spark of difference, passion and excitement that makes Lyttelton, Lyttelton.”
- Dr Kerry McCarthy, President of the Lyttelton Historical Museum Society Incorporated
For further information contact:
Peter Rough or Gill Hay via firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 3 328 8972