Ongaonga Historical Society Inc.

Ongaonga is a small village in Central Hawkes Bay with many historical buildings, some are taken care of by the Ongaonga historical society.

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  Hawke's Bay

Ongaonga is a small village in Central Hawkes Bay. The village reached its peak in the early 1900s and is now home to many historical buildings. Ongaonga is also home to the Ongaonga museum, home to 13 historic buildings that date back to early settlers. The Ongaonga Historical society was first established in December 1964 as the Old School Museum Committee. Made up of enthusiastic local people and families interested in preserving the schoolhouse and led by E.S. Bibby. Over time, the museum has grown to the larger collection of 13 buildings that stand on the museum grounds. The committee is now the Ongaonga historical society and oversees the museum grounds and buildings.

Just as in 1964 the society depends on the generosity of others to pitch in to restore and protect the museum. The volunteering of time, resources, working bees and kind donations help the museum survive. The museum houses many artefacts and resources that are donated. The society works hard to preserve the buildings and their stories for future generations to enjoy. Thanks to the vision and passion of the original committee’s principles we can continue in their steed.

The Ongaonga historical societies primary focus is to restore on if the villages most important piece of history the Coles Building. The Coles building is intrinsic to the historical context of New Zealand and Ongaonga. The building is a heritage New Zealand category 1 listed building. It is a unique building of its type and era in New Zealand. Ongaonga’s historical society needs your help to preserve this special piece of history.

The Coles Building was constructed in 1878 by Edward Percuss Coles as a builders and joiners factory and had 17 employees at the time of opening. Over the years the building has housed a variety of businesses including carpentry, surveying, interior decorating, painting, blacksmith, plumbing and even had an undertaker operating out of the building.

More about us

The Ongaonga Historical Society established in 1964 is in charge of preserving and maintaining several historical buildings from around Hawkes Bay and New Zealand. The Ongaonga Museum houses many of these buildings and can be view every Sunday 1pm - 4pm.

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Latest donations

Paul on 24 Feb 2021
Grant on 13 Jun 2020
NZ K1W1 Fan
NZ K1W1 Fan on 28 Sep 2019
A fabulous time at the Victorian Fair day on 22nd September and what a good fundraiser cause - we love the Coles building! Keep up all the great effort of restoring these good old NZ buildings. They’re a backbone and key part of our heritage and need to be valued and enjoyed more.
Dave & Nicole Ellison
Dave & Nicole Ellison on 25 Sep 2019
What a great little town that's so proud of its history and its present. Awesome event on Sunday - thank you and well done.
We Love Ongaonga Museum & Coles building
We Love Ongaonga Museum & Coles building on 10 Jul 2019
A fabulously maintained and presented museum. So many interesting things to see and the Coles building is a real delight to visit as it comes back to life. Keep at the good work and good luck with fundraising and events. I hear you will feature in CHB’s Spring Fling event with a village and museum fair day set for September 22nd. We will be there!

Who's involved?

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Ongaonga Historical Society Inc. (Charity)

Registered Charity A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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