Museum wants your memories

Museum wants your memories

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The bountiful parks and gardens of Taranaki make this region memorable well beyond its boundaries.A new exhibition (due to open on the 18 May 2017 at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki), will take a much closer-to-home look at how these carefully-crafted natural spaces have formed the backdrop to generations of local families.

“We’re looking for stories, memories and photos showing local families enjoying our public parks, gardens and beaches,” says Aotea Utanganui District Archivist Cameron S. Curd.

“Our museum is rich in material that shows how our leisure spots and their features have changed over time, but is poor in content that tells how these places have featured in the memories and lives of those growing up with a connection to South Taranaki.”

Curd, and the museum team, is particularly interested in any family stories and images that relate to King Edward and Naumai Park in Hāwera, Hollard Gardens in Kaponga, Ngaere Gardens (a destination garden back in its heyday in the 1920/30s), and Opunake Beach.

“It might be a very personal story about where your beloved proposed to you in a local park, a special or hilarious family event that occurred there, or a special ‘thing’ you used to go and do at a local park with friends or family that made it a memorable place for you,” says Curd.

“Your memories can be recent or handed down from generations back - all we ask is that if you submit a story or photo to us that you are happy that we might go on to share it with a wider audience as part of our exhibition.”

“We’d also love to hear from any schools in the district who’d like to work with their children to capture their current memories and stories of our local parks. Get in touch with us to discuss any ideas you have,” he says. “Dig into your albums please, people!”

You can email any stories, memories or photos to, post or drop them to the museum at 127 Egmont Street, Pātea during opening hours (10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday).All original material will be copied and/or digitised and returned to the sender/lender.

This exhibition has been funded by the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC).

Images:Left – souvenir postcard of Ngaere Gardens during its heyday as a South Taranaki ‘pleasure ground’ in the 1920s (Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki). Right – 1930s NZ Railways Publicity Office poster featuring Pukekura Park in the foreground. (Retrieved from the Library of Congress,