Support the Okains Bay Māori & Colonial Museum to continue to be an outstanding cultural and educational attraction on Banks Peninsula.
The Okains Bay Māori & Colonial Museum was founded by the late Murray Thacker in 1977. Since then, it has grown to become a significant cultural and educational attraction that draws visitors from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.
Located within the heritage precinct of Okains Bay, the museum incorporates a range of relocated and replica heritage buildings. A traditional whare whakairo (carved house) and pātaka (raised food storehouse) carved by master carver John Rua are focal points at the heart of the museum complex. A working blacksmith’s shop, print shop, vintage vehicles, and other working exhibits are in action on open days, notably during the museum’s famous Waitangi Day commemorations which are regularly attended by thousands of visitors.
The museum's impressive collections includes items from the Banks Peninsula area associated with whaling, farming and colonial rural life. The museum also cares for several collections of national significance including our outstanding collection of taonga Māori which rivals those of New Zealand’s larger metropolitan museums. A magnificent collection of waka (Māori canoes) and small European boats impress a sense of the historical importance of watercraft in New Zealand.
Our museum works in partnership with tāngata whenua, Ngāti Huikai and our local communities to preserve the legacy of our museum's founder. We foster our museum's unique atmosphere and rural character and we are proud to care for collections of national significance. As part of our ongoing evolution, we are continuing to develop narratives that bring our collections to life.
Your donations to our Organisation page are greatly appreciated and will be used to help fund our operational costs, conservation, restoration, and community projects. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa!
The Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum came about as a result of the passion, tireless energy and generosity of its founder, the late Murray Thacker (1933 – 2017). Murray gifted his extensive private collection into public ownership, creating the Museum in 1977. Since then, the Museum has grown to become a significant cultural and educational attraction that draws visitors from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.