Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history
Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history Poverty Bay - taonga maori
Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery


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Rich in Gisborne, East Coast history

Poverty Bay - taonga maori



May 2017
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16:00 Ko Rongowhakaata - closes..


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RECOVERY: Women Who Served Overseas In World War One

  24 March 2017 – 16 July 2017

Opening & book launch 5pm 24 March



Making visible the work that New Zealand women undertook overseas during World War One (WW1) is what this exhibition is about. I wanted to recover a range of New Zealand women’s work outside of New Zealand during WW1 as well as the research I undertook to recover their stories.

The women featured have connections to the East Coast. Between 1915 and 1919 they served with the armed services or as volunteers with 12 different service organisations within war zones in Turkey, Egypt, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, Palestine, East Africa as well as in England. Many were highly decorated. All who served had their lives changed forever. That so many women and men from the East Coast served overseas in WW1 is remarkable for the relatively small population at the time.


Because only a sample of the women could be included in the Exhibition I have written a 172 page illustrated book providing further detail plus annotated profiles of other women from the East Coast who served overseas in WW1.


This exhibition is the result of collaboration between the Tairāwhiti Museum, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), The Gisborne Herald and the Nurses and Midwives of Tairāwhiti (NAMOT).


Kay Morris Matthews

Intervention Series - John Roy

  September 2016


Tauranga based artist John Roy is noted for his highly decorative, figurative ceramics. His current touring ‘Intervention series’ are wall-based installations which occupy spaces in unexpected ways.

‘I see interventions as an interesting way of creating dialogues with gallery space, how we look at the space. These ceramic works act as colourful abstract patterns creeping across the wall or lurking in corners. In this way the installation has multiple interpretations depending on personal experiences.‘





  Opens 12 November 2016 

Family photographs are one of our greatest personal treasures. The family photo album is the one item people consider they would ‘grab’ in a fire. We see them as a collection of life’s memories rather than an assemblage of images.

The museum regularly receives donations of family photographic collections. Some are beautifully set out and each photograph described and identified, some sadly are ‘found’, perhaps in an attic, with little or no information on the people and places depicted within.

The Mahunga Collection is a collection of early twentieth century photographs donated by the Briant family. Most of the family can be identified, dates can be estimated, places and sites can be recognised but a lot of the occasions and particulars have been lost in the passing of time.

The Mahunga Collection depicts the establishment of the Mahunga farm station situated on the Te Wera Road near Matawai. The images transport us to the early 1900s and an insight to family and farming life in an isolated rural environment.

The museum wishes to thank the Briant family for their donation, creating this exhibition and to acknowledge the long time support of Bob Briant.


 Ko Rongowhakaata

 17 December 2016 – 21 May 2017

Opening 17 December, 10am

Mauri Tangata

Mauri Kôrero

Mauri Whenua

Te kotahi â Tûrâhiri, ripo ana te moana.

Descendants of Tûrâhiri, ancestress of the Rongowhakaata people, are progenitors of unique talents, innovation and craftsmanship; a quality that has rippled and propagated throughout the land and throughout Rongowhakaata history. These qualities continue to exist in the Rongowhakaata uri (descendants) today and will be reflected in this exhibition.

This exhibition is the second part of a three-part exhibition series for Rongowhakaata. Part one was the successful Rongowhakaata marae based exhibition earlier this year and part three will be the iwi exhibition at Te Papa Tongarewa in 2017. This exhibition is about Rongowhakaata reaffirming who they are as a people, and re-telling their stories in their homelands so that the next generation can hear, see, and feel Rongowhakaata history and the unique experiences that build the fabric of the Rongowhakaata people. It is an immersion into facets of the world of Rongowhakaata people, both old and new, as expressed through their historical and contemporary arts.




Kôwhaiwhai panel (section) from Manutûkç Church, 1849 -1863 



 Gladstone Road

  Now showing

   Horse racing in Gladstone Road

Gladstone Road, named after British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, has been the main street of Gisborne (Tûranga) since its establishment in the late 1860s.

Hotels, banks, retailers, churches, halls, theatres, a post office, a courthouse, and a newspaper have all resided on Gladstone Road.

The popularity of Gladstone Road has ensured its capture by way of photography. The museum photographic collection has a good coverage of the central business area over a number of decades. The Gladstone Road exhibition will feature some of the more interesting images of the road and the buildings associated with it.

In 1975 a photographic survey of Gladstone Road from Reads Quay to Roebuck Road was made by a university student and donated to the museum. A similar survey was made in 1993. Maybe it is time to produce another? The 1975 photographs will be 'merged' together resulting in a long continuous view of each side of Gladstone Road that will run along the walls of the photographic gallery.



 Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery



One of the major attractions at the long awaited grand opening of the museum extensions will be the purpose built and specifically designed gallery displaying Dr Jack C Richard’s eclectic collection. Taking centre stage, decorative vessels highlighting the beauty that is Art Deco and Art Nouveau by the great masters of French glass René Lalique and Émile Gallé.

Over the years, the museum has been granted privileged access to the Richard’s collection which enabled the exhibition team to produce a selection of exhibitions. In 2010 ‘Power Dressing’ curatored by Dr Damian Skinner featured the breathtaking elegance of 20 Chinese and Korean robes. In 2011 the museum presented two exhibitions, the dazzling, eye-popping ‘Guatemalan textiles’ of the Mayan culture and the lavish ornamentation of ‘Le Style Lalique’.

It is safe to say that all of these items will have their day in this designated gallery. The collection is ever growing with numerous surprises in store that will ensure visitors will delight in sharing the joy of this private collection offered for public viewing.

See video of the opening of the gallery -