Exhibitions - Whakakitenga
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New Plymouth Harbour Board


The archival collection of the New Plymouth Harbour Board was formally donated to Puke Ariki in March, 2009. The majority of this collection was deposited as a permanent loan to the Taranaki Museum in 1985, with a second deposit in 2002.

The collection consists of a boxed document collection, a collection of maps and plans, and a pictorial collection recording the evolution of the New Plymouth Harbour. Until recently only 50 boxes from the document collection were properly described leaving the collection predominantly inaccessible.

 In September 2009 Puke Ariki’s new Canadian Intern, Hilary Graydon, started work on arranging and describing the entirety of the New Plymouth Harbour Board Collection. During her six months at Puke Ariki she worked her way through all the different facets of the collection and created a searchable web-record the public can use to access the collection.
The New Plymouth Harbour Board Collection provides rich insight into one of the key industries that shaped the development of New Plymouth and Taranaki as a whole. From early arguments over the best location for a west coast harbour, to the flourishing meat and dairy trade, to the eager search for oil and gas, the New Plymouth Harbour has been at the centre of some of the most important social and economic developments throughout Taranaki.
Through the arrangement, description, and in the case of the pictorial collection, digitization of the New Plymouth Harbour Board collection, researchers and other interested parties now have an extensive record of the materials available to them and insight into a new perspective on the growth of New Plymouth.
The New Plymouth Harbour Board Collection covers everything from correspondence and letter books, minute books, financial papers, harbour reports and scrapbooks to detailed architectural plans and harbour schemes. The photograph collection chronicles the construction of the harbour, the coming and goings of ships and people, and all manner of everyday life at the port. This online exhibition is just s small sampling of the different materials available in the collection.

Tags: Harbour Board, New Plymouth, port

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