The museum has hosted a wide range of exhibitions in the past. These have covered all sorts of Otaki activities, places and people. They have included:
KO ŌTAKI TE AWA, KO ŌTAKI TE KAINGA:ŌTAKI IS THE RIVER, ŌTAKI IS THE HOME
November 2021 - April 2022
A second part of the River exhibition, featuring more stories of the Ōtaki community's relationship with the river: Ngati Huia's home at Katihiku, farming, gardening, recreation, gravel extraction, and milling.
Photo: Ōtaki Gorge in the 1880s
Ko Ōtaki te Awa – Ōtaki is the River
February 2021 - October 2021
This exhibition featured a range of stories about the river and its relationship with the local community. It started with an overview of the tangata whenua - the people of the land. Then it shows some of the early European settlers, explorers and surveyors, plant hazards, geology, the river catchment, crossing the river and flooding. There was also a display of the work of the Friends of the River.
Photo: Rail bridge and ford, built 1886. Courtesy Otaki Historical Society
AS TIME GOES BY: THE CHANGING FACE OF MAIN ST
July 2020 - February 2021
This exhibition displayed some of the history of Otaki's Main St. Originally part of Mill Rd, it received its current name in 1921. Over the years shops have come and gone. Some burnt down, a common hazard for wooden buildings in past times. Local businesses also flourished, providing all the needs for people of the town.We held a quiz about people and places featured for school-aged children to encourage interest in the museum and what it has to offer. Prizes of vouchers to some Main St shops were given to winner s drawn from the correct entries. (Photo: Courtesy Otaki Historical Society)
HEALTH ON THE HILL: a HISTORY OF THE OTAKI COTTAGE HOSPITAL AND SANATORIUM
DECEMBER 2019 - JULY 2020
An exhibition presenting the history of Otaki's Cottage Hospital and the sanatorium. The Cottage Hospital began in the 19th century and from 1933 just provided maternity services. Several generations of Otaki residents were born or had their babies there.The Maternity Home closed in 1992 and since then the building has been operated by the Otaki Community Health Centre.
The Sanatorium opened in 1907 for tuberculosis patients. It had its own farm and many Otaki residents worked there over the years. It closed in 1964 as patient numbers declined. In 1965 Kimberley Home in Levin took it over for some of their residents, re-naming it Koha Ora. This closed in 1985 and the buildings were finally demolished in 1997.
Photos: the Cottage Hospital, between 1899 - 1904. Sanatorium buildings, 1957.
100 years service: the otaki rsa centenary
July - November 2019
This exhibtion marked the formation of the Otaki and District Memorial RSA 100 years ago in July 1919; just over three years after the New Zealand RSA was established. The exhibition traces the history of RSA from its origins out of the darkness of the First World War, and its sometimes uneven journey through to the successful and inclusive club that it is today. Photo: the vigil; at the Otaki cenotaph. Courtesy RSA collection).
PAINTINGS BY LEE ROBINSON: OTAKI BEACH SCENES
Lee Robinson, a local artist displayed her paintings of local beach scenes. It was great to be able to provide our exhibition space to showcase some local art. June 2019
100 YEARS: THE MOST PREPOSSESSING BUILDING IN THE DISTRICT
November 2018 - May 2019
An exhibition showing the building over the years, first as the Otaki BNZ (1918 - 1965), then housing the Otaki Borough Council (1967 - 1989) and briefly the Kapiti Coast District Council Service Centre (1989 - 1998), and since 2003, the Otaki Museum.
OTAKI WOMEN AND THE FIGHT FOR THE VOTE
September - October 2018
The exhibition included copies of the signatures of the women from the district who signed the 1893 petition as well as a list of those who registered for the general roll. It also included information about the role of Maori women in the suffrage movement.
THE OTAKI SCHOLAR AND ŌTAKI: A LEGACY OF WORLD WAR 1
July - October 2018
For 75 years a student from a Scottish secondary school has travelled to New Zealand annually to visit selected schools and to see the country. The student, from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon’s College, holds the Otaki Shield which commemorates a sea battle fought in the Atlantic during World War I. A former pupil of Robert Gordon’s College, Archibald Bisset Smith, captained the SS Otaki which was sunk by a German raider the Moewe. In 1937 his family presented the Otaki Shield to the college in his memory. Otaki Museum hosted an exhibition to commemorate 75th anniversary of the scholarship.
Booklets showing photos and the Scholar's history are availble at the Museum for no charge.
OTAKI VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE: 100 YEARS
In June of 2018, the Otaki Volunteer Fire Brigade commemorated 100 years of service to the local community. As part of the commemorative programme, the Otaki Heritage Bank Museum, in conjunction with the Otaki Volunteer Fire Brigade, put together an exhibition covering the Brigade’s 100 years. It featured notable fires they have attended, members of the community who have served and old uniforms.
OTAKI CHILDREN'S HEALTH CAMP
The Otaki Children's Health Camp opened in 1932. In the early days, when there was still a fear of tuberculosis, "delicate and undernourished" children were sent to the camp to improve their health. Meals were plentiful and outdoor activities were held to expose the children to fresh air and sunshine. The local community has always supported the camp, making donations of food and helping with provision of equipment. Many Otaki residents have worked at the camp over the years. This exhibition told some of the stories from children and staff, and featured the early years, buildings, food and activities and the health stamp campaigns.
Over the summer we featured an additional exhibition about Otaki’s Main St. It featured photographs and objects from shops and businesses that were an important part of Otaki’s life in the past.
(Photo: Otaki Historical Society Collection)
OTAKI HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION
The exhibition celebrated 40 years of preserving Otaki's history. It featured memorabilia, scrapbooks, historical journals, photos, and the Rangiatea Graves project.
WORLD WAR I AT SEA
Early Domestic Life in Otaki
31October 2016 to 25 February 2017
How people lived (mid 1800s to 1950): cooking, clothes and home life.
Not only Te Rauparaha & Hadfield but also ....
14 April to 1 October 2016
The stories of 37 personalities who contributed to the development of Otaki town and district in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
31 July 2015 to 26 March 2016
The history of Kapiti Island: the early Maori settlement, the impact of the whalers, farming and conservation.
ÇANAKKALE – Road to peace out of war
5 to 27 June 2015
The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey's exhibition of photographic images taken by Turkish soldiers who served in the trenches at Gallipoli in 1915.
Otaki Remembers World War 1
4 August 2014 to 27 June 2015
From the Proclamation of War on 5 August 1914 to the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918 the exhibition has presented many aspects of World War I and its impact on those who served and the people at home.