Karamea Centennial Museum redevelopment - phase 2

Organisation or Group Requesting Funds
Karamea Centennial Museum
Contact Person
Dulcie McNabb
Email Address
What do you want funding for?
The Karamea Historical Society administers the Karamea Centennial Museum, which was built in 1974 to commemorate 100 years of organized European settlement.

With the completion of the first stage towards revitalizing the museum thanks to support from our CLD Partnership, that is, building renovations to create a more smart, attractive and friendly resource, we can now move on to Stage Two. We are seeking funding to have architectural plans drawn up to build an extension onto the museum for storage, photographic displays, space for the public to research our local archives, and increased space to better display over 150 years of the district's heritage.

We also have two collections of early Polynesian taonga from the Karamea and Heaphy River mouths approved for transfer back to the Karamea Museum, from Canterbury Museum and Otago University, to add to our own substantial collection of early 14th Century artefacts. These taonga are essentially “coming home,” and should be appropriately displayed and their stories told as they justly deserve.

We have a 3D Hokioi skull coming from Te Papa to add to our Oparara/Honeycomb Hill Caves display.

In addition the Karamea Area School has asked us to house their considerable archival collection.
How does this relate to our community plan?
The Karamea Centennial Museum has featured in the Karamea Community Plan since the first draft in 2017. The Museum provides the community and visitors alike with educational and learning opportunities, creating an awareness and understanding of Karamea's very own special heritage which has developed in isolation from the rest of New Zealand. This in turn has developed a strong culture of resilience and self reliance amongst the people within our community.

We would like to acknowledge that every single item in the Museum has a story behind it, and has a little card to say where it came from and who donated it. There are lots of local family stories there!
What is the start date / what is the end date?
Where will the benefit of this grant request be realised?
Karamea and Little Wanganui
What are the expected benefits/outcomes?
The completion of the second phase of the Museum's redevelopment will lead to a substantially larger area to display a lifetime of treasures dating from the 14th Century to the present day. The extension will also free up space in the main museum building for the sale of local arts and crafts and local history books, and to promote local businesses and attractions within the Karamea area.

This last summer we increased our opening hours to six days instead of four, with positive results, and the added facilities will help to grow our revenue and encourage visitors to stop, chat, and linger longer.

Our recent foray into using social media to promote the Museum has exceeded our expectations, with a noticeable increasing interest in heritage tourism. We hope by completing the second phase of our redevelopment this will boost our visibility further and allow us to network with other heritage projects on the Coast.

Carrying out an Oral History Project several years ago gave staff and volunteers experience in interviewing people and the ability to record the material in a satisfactory format that is available to all.

This has led to the continuation of this aspect of the services we provide; getting out in the community and interviewing and recording the stories of our older residents, and adding their photographs to the museum’s archives, preserving the artefacts they donate and where appropriate, restoring them.

In todays climate of busy people and young families, it is often difficult to find volunteers prepared to do this. Both staff and volunteers also spend time doing family research for expats, and we have a good relationship with the Nelson Provincial Museum, the National Archives and the Alexander Turnbull Library.

We plan to have the redevelopment of the Museum completed by the time the district celebrates 150 years of organised settlement in November 2024.
Briefly describe your project or planned activities
The first part of our Stage 2 redevelopment is to have architectural plans drawn up for the proposed extension, to enable the KHS to call for quotes from builders for the new build. We will then obtain resource consent for the work to begin.

In 2024 Karamea will celebrate 150 years of organised European settlement – this information has been on Social Media for several years, and expat are looking forward to coming back to catch up with old friends. At the appropriate time we will begin to promote it, and call a meeting to invite the community to let us know what they would like to see happen at this time, and to join our committee on a volunteer basis to help run the celebrations.
How will you show you have achieved it?
We will have plans and resource consent for phase 2 of our redevelopment.
We will document the work by taking photographs for our own archival records, and to share with the community and the wider world in the Karamea Chronicle, community website (karamea.nz) and on our Facebook page.
Select the ethnic groups or communities which will benefit from your activities or project
What is the total grant you are requesting, exclusive of GST?
Application Status
Amount Awarded

Karamea community members are invited to leave comments in support (or otherwise) of this proposed community-led development project. Comments will be visible to all. Please be aware that your comment may factor into Department of Internal Affairs decision-making regarding support for the project. We ask that you provide your real name on your comment, so that other community members may follow up with you, if needed. If you prefer, you may email the Karamea Community Incorporated secretary cbjones@farmside.co.nz with your comment, and they will post your comment on your behalf.