Okains Bay Museum
The Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum
A private museum with a superb collection of local archaeological and historical material.
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Adapted from their website:
The Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum started as the private collection of Maori artifacts collected by a local resident. The museum was opended to the public in 1977 after taking over the disused Okains Bay Cheese Factory.
The exhibits include:
- Working Blacksmith's shop,
- Print shop
- Restored school and
- Former Akaroa grandstand.
Many local buildings have been reconstructed on the site including slab cottage and stables. The Colonial building houses artifacts used during the Colonial era of occupation of Okains Bay.
The Whare Taonga houses the Maori collection includes a sacred god stick dating back to the year 1400, a war canoe dating back to 1867 and a rare Akaroa hei tiki (pounamu necklace) brought back from England to Okains Bay by the Museum's founder.
The Whaakata (Meeting House) was built observing all Maori traditions and tapu, using original materials from other meeting houses. Most of the carving was done by John Rua, a well known New Zealand master carver.
Waitangi Day is celebrated here and draws visitors from a wide area.