The Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum is a must see destination on Banks Peninsula. Originally started as the private collection of Maori artifacts collected by a local resident, in 1968, the disused Okains Bay Cheese Factory was purchased and after many years of renovation, opened as a public Museum in 1977. Since that time, it has steadily grown to house many historic remnants of Okains Bay and the Banks Peninsula region.

The exhibits include a working Blacksmith's shop, a print shop, a saddlery, the restored school and the 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. This 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) recovered in England and bought back 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.

On Waitangi Day (February 6th - New Zealand's National Day) the entire Okains Bay village becomes the centre of celebrations with hangi, speeches, the Museum's waka being paddled up the river, and many other traditional games and activities.

The Museum provides a family, friendly and relaxed environment in which to gain an insight into life on the Peninsula in former times. There is also a small gift shop featuring Museum T shirts and Maori Taonga. Tea and coffee is available and meals are available on request.

Check out the Services Section for additional things the Museum has to offer including souvenirs, accommodation, and educational programmes ideal for schools or other groups. Or how about using the Museum as a wedding venue? Check out what we have to offer!
Special Notices

A message from the Manager

Hi everyone,
 What a fantastic day Waitangi Day was with great crowd numbers, made possible by the wonderful support and input that so many of you have given us. Thank you one and all.  
There was a great spread in the Akaroa Mail with photos showing lots of happy visitors. Thank you Michael de Hamel.
We are now forward thinking to the next Waitangi Day, being the 40th year that this museum will have commemorated Waitangi Day.
 Okains Bay Museum has been a public museum since 1977 though open to the public since 1975.  This gives the Trust Board and all those keen to be involved an opportunity to rally together, promote and support our museum community to ensure a fantastic, memorable occasion for 2015.
We would like you to become involved in this as we value your ideas and suggestions. Contact us by either by email, phone or dropping in. 
Regards, Gillian, Manager

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