What to see
Inside the new building, we are setting up a new displays include traditional Maori tools, early sewing equipment, Colonial childhood toys, a collection of Morrinsville souvenir ware and blacksmith’s tools belonging to Morrinsville saddler D.C. McLeod & Son Ltd.
McDonald Cottage is a genuine pioneer cottage of the district. It was built at Kiwitahi in 1874 and was the home of Mr and Mrs Thomas McDonald. The cottage was shifted to the Museum complex in Lorne St in 1966. In 2009 it was relocated to its new home in Canada St and is furnished in the style of around 1900 with many of the McDonald family’s original items. The McDonald cottage is incorporated into the museum exhibition and can be viewed as part of your tour of the museum.
“Maungaturoto” ( Opposite the Museum.)
In our collection we have a large 17m long section of the Maori waka (canoe) Maungaturoto. The waka was found in 1901 on farm at Tahuna and only half of it was salvaged. This half was then boarded up and used on the Piako River to transport flax to the mill. It was donated to the Morrinsville Historical Society by the Ngati Paoa people in 1968.
At this stage we are not sure what kind of waka it was originally, only that it must have been huge. We are not sure where it was made or exactly how old it might be. We know that it was known at one time to be associated with the port at Waihou. We are fascinated to find out more about its history. It has a ‘haumi’ joint and holes where this section would have been lashed to the missing section. It also has holes along its length, possibly to attach seating. It is currently in its permanent site under cover opposite the Morrinsville Heritage Centre.
Any information that people might have on this particular waka or waka in general would be greatly appreciated.