Te Kanawa Whāriki Accession

Amazing taonga for the collection

Our most recent acquisition to the collection is a Whāriki from renowned weaver Kahutoi Te Kanwana, from her exhibition “Te Ohanga Ake” recently held at Te Awamutu Museum.

Typically Whāriki are housed flat or hung up, but due to our limited space it was decided the best plan was to roll, the woven kiekie was tested for its durability and suitability for this method of storage.

The first step was to create a core for the whariki to be rolled onto. This was achieved by our mount maker designer Marc who “upcycled” old Museum stools that had past their use by date. I covered these in ethafoam to create a deep and sturdy base. The next step was to cover the core in Tyvek to create a barrier between the object and the foam core. Tyvek is used as it is a pH neutral material that offers waterproofing, mitigation from dust, breathable and suitable for most Museum objects.

After preparing the base, I used extra Tyvek to roll the Whāriki on to, meaning that every revolution of the Whāriki had a barrier layer, and minimised any friction that may occur between the fibres. The whāirki is maurua (double joined) and required extra padding along the way, ‘tissue sausages’ were added to prevent any lumps or bumps being transferred between the layers. The last touch was to add Tyvek bows to hold it all together.

Megan Denz, Collection Manager


Formal Fridays Exhibition

Our latest exhibition is what I would like to call a rapid response show- one that created on a very short timeline in response to what is happening in the world around us the moment.
Formal Friday became a whimsical trend in New Zealand during our response to Covid-19 global pandemic.
We’ve heard it all before we went into lockdown for weeks on end, we were asked to work from home, we socially distanced, we shrunk our social bubbles and started living in our comfy gear. Whether this was all day in active wear, rotating the same pair of trackpants, or refusing to put on “real clothes.”
In effort to break up the monotony New Zealand moved from casual Fridays at the office, to Formal Fridays at home. All championed by our very own TV personality Hilary Barry!
Wearing Formal wear on Fridays uplifted our spirits, got us looking in our closets for our best glad rags and made Friday meetings on zoom something to look forward to.
The movement of #FormalFridays went viral with up to 40,000 tags alone on Instagram and many others taking part across other social media channels.
At Te Awamutu museum we chose to harness this energy to ignite our own textile collection by creating a show that spans from the 1830s until today, and show what Formal Friday has meant to different people over time. Whether this is through the ceremonial outfits, what we once wore as daily attire, our uniforms and our best wears to church on a Sunday.
The exhibition is open now until the 20th of March 2021.
For our attempt at developing and creating a rapid response show and getting it all together in 6 weeks, we are pretty proud with how it all came together!

The movement of #FormalFridays went viral with up to 40,000 tags alone on Instagram and many others taking part across other social media channels.


Our Christmas and New Year hours:

Closed, from Wednesday 23rd December 12.00pm

Closed from 24th December 2020 to 10th January 2021

Open from Monday 11th January 10.00aam-4.00pm Monday – Friday

Open Saturday 10.00am-2.00pm



The Museum has continued to operate through different Covid levels, working behind the scenes ensuring the collection continues with kaitiakitanga guardianship protocols and processes.


Tēnā koutou

The Museum will be opening at a later time of

2pm on Friday 24th July,

to allow for staff training.


Museum Archive Collection - Te Awamutu Milk Maids

We apologise for any inconvenience. 

Kia ora