Tui & Tama’s Autumn Leaf Hunt

Tui & Tama’s Autumn Leaf Hunt

A fun activity open to members and non-members of the Tui & Tama Kids Club!

Come in and find the Autumn leaves scattered around the Museum, learn why leaves change colour, choose a leaf to add to our Autumn tree, and go into the draw for one of two Prize Packs! Prizes drawn 31st May 2022

Date: 9th May 2022

Time: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm

Cost: FREE

Open to: Everyone

Open: All ages

All children must have adult supervision. Please be aware there may be limits on capacity so please check with reception on the day.

Check out our FB events page, tag us or follow us for more upcoming events!

Gold Qualmark

Te Awamutu Museum receives Qualmark Gold Award

Date: 21 Apr 2022, 4:50 pm

Te Awamutu Museum has been recognised for its sustainable tourism practices, achieving a Qualmark Gold Award.

Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation, that independently validates tourism businesses that are of a high standard. It is an internationally recognised qualification for tourism businesses around New Zealand.

Waipā District Councils Museums and Heritage Director, Anne Blyth said the Te Awamutu Museum Team are delighted to have been awarded the Qualmark Gold Award.

“The process to apply for an award is very thorough and has taken some time to work through and with the added interruptions due to COVID-19, so it is great to finally gain the final seal of approval that signifies Te Awamutu Museum has one of the most high quality experiences New Zealand has to offer.”

“Not only does the award provide our visitors with the assurance that our Museum has been independently validated as a quality tourism business. It also provides instant recognition for our customers that our Museum will deliver a quality experience.”

The evaluation was undertaken at the start of February 2022 by a Qualmark Tourism Business Advisor.

Feedback the Te Awamutu Museum Team received during the evaluation assessment was the Te Awamutu Museum were one of the most prepared companies they had seen in quite some time and congratulated them on the level of detail and information provided.

The evaluation covers four main areas, economic, environment and culture, social/people and health and safety.

Acting Community Services Manager Brad Ward said the award is great recognition of the dedicated work the team does to ensure they deliver a high-quality Museum experience.

“It is an awesome accomplishment for Te Awamutu Museum t and Waipā District Council. The team do fantastic work to connect visitors with the regions rich heritage and taonga, so an award such as this reinforces the mahi and passion behind the scenes.”

“Te Awamutu Museum will be proudly displaying the Qualmark Gold Award as evidence we are committed to protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing connections with our local communities, whilst delivering a quality, safe experience for all visitors.”

The Te Awamutu Museum will continue to work with Qualmark to develop future ideas and opportunities to ensure the experience is constantly improving for visitors.

For further information please contact Te Awamutu Museum

Te Awamutu Museum – 135 Roche Street, Te Awamutu.

Trish Seddon (Museum Administer/Visitor Host) and Anne Blyth (Director of Museum and Heritage).

Summer Fun Hunt

Summer Fun Hunt

Get ready for the Tui & Tama Summer Fun Hunt and Giveaway!

Starts 1st February, closed 28th February 2022. Find 6 Summer Fun images around the Museum, answer the 2 questions and go into the giveaway to WIN a cool Summer Fun Prize Pack! (2 packs to give away) Open to Tui & Tama Club existing and new members. It’s FREE and easy to join!
Time: Now until 28th February 2022 4.30pm
Cost: FREE
Type: Tui & Tama existing and new Club Members Activity/ Craft/ Prize pack
Ages: All ages with adult supervision
New members: Register at the Museum, it’s easy to fill in the form and start your activity.

Repatriation Project

Significant work has been underway at Te Awamutu Museum over the past four years to uncover the history of Major Walter Vernon Herford (b.1828, d.1864), after some of his human remains were placed in the care of the Museum in 2018. The Museum has held the remains in repository since, safekeeping them whilst they engaged in discussions with his descendants on how to appropriately repatriate them. On the 11 February 2022 staff of Te Awamutu Museum and members of Herford’s extended family attended a small ceremony interring the remains at Holy Trinity Memorial Park in Auckland.

Walter Vernon Herford was born in Altrincham, Manchester, England in May of 1828. Herford studied at Bonn University in Germany obtaining a law degree where he trained to become a barrister, upon completing his studies he moved to Adelaide to work in the South Australian Supreme Court. Later in life in 1863 Herford left Australia and moved to New Zealand with his family to enlist his services with the New Zealand government to serve in the military.

Herford served in the 3rd Waikato Militia during the New Zealand Land Wars as a Captain, later appointed a Major for his involvement and leadership at the Battle of Ōrākau (March 31- April 2 1864). On April 1 1864, Herford was injured by a bullet to his eyebrow. Unexpectedly, he recuperated but never wholly recovered, suffering from ongoing complications from the bullet lodged in his head. At some point after the incident at Ōrākau Dr. Henry, a surgeon, performed neurosurgery to extract the bullet to alleviate pressure and assist with recovery. However, a few months later Herford succumbed to injury, and on the 29 June 1864 passed away at his home in Ōtāhuhu in Auckland.

For reasons unbeknownst to the Museum, the surgeon of one of the medical team who extracted the fragmented bullet from Herford, as well as parts of his skull, placed them in a curios keepsake box. The box was labelled with Herford’s name, rank and cause of death as well as details of the surgery. For 154 years the box containing the remains of Walter travelled to various sites throughout the United Kingdom before returning New Zealand in 2018, when it arrived at the Museum from a private collector.

Te Awamutu Museum undertook extensive genealogical research to locate Herford’s descendants, who were found across the world in the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand. Zoom calls and email correspondence with Walter’s extended family guided the Museum’s next steps and it was decided that the remains be interred at Herford’s final resting place at Holy Trinity Memorial Park in Auckland.  In letters written by Herford’s wife Annie  prior to his death in 1864, he expressed that it was his wish to be buried at this particular churchyard with other fallen soldiers from the New Zealand Land Wars.

The Museum’s repatriation efforts have been supported by a new sector policy focused on the repatriation and care of kōiwi tangata (ancestral human remains) and associated burial taonga (item of ancestral significance). In line with the national policy adopted by Museums Aotearoa last year, Te Awamutu Museum took an ethical approach to the management of kōiwi tangata in their care and sought to repatriate the remains of Walter Herford in a manner consistent with his family’s wishes.

The Ngākahu National Repatriation Partnership has supported and guided Te Awamutu Museum throughout the repatriation process, providing advice and funding for the final internment of Walter Herford. The Ngākahu Partnership between Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and National Services Te Paerangi was established in 2019 to support organisations by providing expertise and funding assistance to enable the repatriation of human remains to their source communities.

Ngākahu Kaiārahi Jamie Metzger says she admires the museum’s unwavering dedication to the repatriation process,  has ensured the best possible outcome for Walter Vernon Herford and his family.

“This repatriation is an important expression of the ongoing commitment by New Zealand museum’s to proactively return ancestral human remains to their descendants,” she says.

The Museum would like to extend thanks especially to the descendants of Walter Vernon Herford for their support throughout the process, as well as Ngākahu for their ongoing guidance and support for the repatriation.

For further information please contact Te Awamutu Museum

Family members (from left) Suezanne Neall and daughter Katie look at the bullet and remains with Te Awamutu Museum collections manager Megan Denz. Photo / Dean Taylor

Iwi Relations adviser to Waipā District Council Shane Te Ruki leads the family and official party onto Holy Trinity Memorial Park Cemetery. Photo / Dean Taylor

Reading from Walter Vernon Herford’s closest living New Zealand relative Annabel Neall, accompanied by her husband Vince. Photo / Dean Taylor

Te Awamutu Museum celebrates World Wetlands Day 2022

Te Awamutu Museum celebrates World Wetlands Day 2022

The Museum is celebrating World Wetlands Day 2nd February 2022 with a display opening soon! It is an annually celebration since the 1971 adoption of the International Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian City of Ramsar.

Each year there’s a new theme for World Wetlands Day and events are held throughout the country. It’s an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have degraded. This year’s theme is Wetlands Action for People and Nature. The Waipā District has many peat lakes, wetland areas and people who provide time and energy to ensuring our wetlands are protected, restored and open for public to enjoy.



Courtesy of Waipā District Council - Peat Lakes and Wetlands document

The formation of the Waipā Peat Lakes and Wetlands Accord was a milestone in working towards achieving focussed multi-agency conservation and management. The Accord has been in place since 2002 and aims to align the activities of management agencies and iwi, in working towards the restoration and enhancement of peat lakes and wetlands in the Waipā District. (Waipā district Peat Lakes and Wetlands document)

World Wetlands Day

#WorldWetlandDay #waipā #wetlands

Digitising History

Digitising History

Te Awamutu Museum’s digitisation project of the Te Awamutu Courier has added in publications between 1936 and 1950.

The programme started in December 2020 after the Museum successfully applied to the Collaborative Digitisation Programme for 2020-21 that is run by the National Library of New Zealand – Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa and NZ Microfilm Services.

Museum director Anne Blyth says the papers were sent away in December 2020 where the team at NZ Microfilm Services in Auckland captured every page of every edition from the 14 years. Each page is then added to the microfilm that is sent away to National Library in Wellington to be added page by page to Paperspast. It is a long process taking over a year to complete.”

The process is now finally completed and these years of the Te Awamutu Courier are more readily available on the website where they can be searched via word text.

Paperspast is a national database that delivers digitised, bull-text New Zealand and Pacific newspapers, magazines, journals and books, which are all accessible online at papers

“It is an incredibly handy tool for study and research on this nationally significant platform, the website allows people to have access to information at their fingertips from the comfort of their own home.”

“Paper archives can deteriorate over time and become illegible, having the Courier digitised, it helps with the long-term preservation of the original archives, meaning they can stay safely in storage while their material is accessed in more a user-friendly digital format.”

The Te Awamutu Courier publications from 1936 to 1950 join the 1911-1936 editions of the Waipā Post that are already available online on Paperspast. The Te Awamutu Courier editor Dean Taylor, who is also the Chairman of the Te Awamutu Museum trust, says it is fantastic to have four decades of the Te Awamutu’s longest running newspaper online.

“We take it for granted that we can go online and find anything we want, but the process of getting the valuable information from early newspapers onto Paperspast is time consuming and expensive,” Dean says.

“We are grateful to museum staff and the Collaborative Digitisation Programme for making it possible,” he says.

The Te Awamutu Museum is the oldest museum in the Waikato region with an extensive collection of 18,351 items that span centuries and includes taonga Māori and social history artefacts.

JAN 13th 2022

Image: Waipā museums and heritage director Anne Blyth and Te Awamutu Courier editor and Museum Trust Board chairman Dean Taylor check news from the 1940’s in an early edition of the local newspaper.

(excerpt from the Te Awamutu Courier publication from Thursday, January 13, 2022)