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Harbour the hero of Pātaka’s new children’s gallery

Harbour the hero of Pātaka’s new children’s gallery

The new interactive children’s gallery Our Harbour - Te Awarua-o-Porirua steps into the story of life around Te Awarua-o-Porirua harbour. The exhibition, which opens on Saturday 18 November, will be blessed by Ngāti Toa in a ceremony the day before its official opening.

Education Coordinator Margaret Tolland says families are invited to come along to a party to celebrate the opening of the new Pātaka gallery, with fun and hands-on activities and events on Saturday between 11am and 3pm.

“Puppet show Nan and Tuna (by String Bean Puppets) will combine puppets, shadows and water to tell the life story of New Zealand’s native longfin eel (tuna) who make their homes in our rivers,” says Margaret.

“There’ll also be lots of other things to see and do – badge making, crafting a tuna or fish out of a plastic bottle and potting up a riparian plant. Stalls in the atrium will focus on harbour restoration and conservation, including information on what you can do to help.

Illustrations by Mat Tait.

“Illustrator Mat Tait, who created the artwork images for the show, will be there at the opening celebration too.”

There’s also lots to discover at the new gallery. You can find out about some of the birds, fish and other creatures that have lived around the harbour for thousands of years, and also the people who have made Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour their home. With specially-drawn colourful wall murals and objects from Pātaka’s history collection plus lots of interactive games, you can see how the harbour and life around it has changed over the years.

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Pātaka Director Reuben Friend says the new gallery captures the essence of Porirua. “Pātaka shows some great art and some great history exhibitions, and this project brings both of those things together, with an amazing immersive artwork and museum objects on display that capture moments in time. People will be able to come to the museum and get a real sense of the history and identity of the people and places of Porirua”.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana says the new gallery really hits the spot for Porirua.

“We’ve developed this exhibition with input from our partners Ngāti Toa Rangatira, It’s an awesome, interactive place for whanau to learn about our history and harbour. It’s also at the heart of two of our priorities – our tamariki, rangatahi and Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour.”


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