Learning & Research - Akoranga me Rangahau
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Taranaki Stories

These stories capture the very essence of Taranaki – the people and the landscape.
They record the achievements of those who live here, the struggles of the first settlers, the determination to overcome challenges, those who have made their mark on not only their own, but also future generations.
But the stories are not just about hardship – they are also inspiring, thrilling, mystifying, enlightening and entertaining.



Painters, sculptors, film-makers, writers, musicians and photographers find more than just a home in our region – they find inspiration. Taranaki's wild coastline, an ever-present mountain, a rich...read more

Business and Industry

The wheels of business and commerce keep on turning through the ages of the horse and cart, steam, the advent of electricity and the appearance of the motorcar into the modern day world markets and...read more

Conflict and Protest

The rich Taranaki soil has run red in times past, such was the bloodshed on the land. Colonial suppression, land confiscation and historical battles were fought here, with divisions between Maori and...read more


While death and destruction are the results of disasters, these are often seen hand in hand with the goodness of humanity, courage in the face of danger and the power of positive thinking. Our stories...read more

Entertainment and Leisure

Stars of stage and screen, toys that last a lifetime, Elvis, festivals, song, dance and the Greatest Show on Earth are all here. There are events to fill you with joy, shows to get you on your feet,...read more


Tending the land is not a job for the faint-hearted – especially for those new settlers who faced acres of bush armed only with axes to create their rolling paddocks. Taking on the elements and...read more

Immigrants and Settlers

Immigration has helped make Taranaki what it is – a vibrant place filled with people of different cultures and viewpoints. The journey here for the early settlers was a long, tough and overwhelming...read more


Necessity is the mother of invention, so the saying goes, and the need in Taranaki has seen some amazing innovations. The farming industry has called for many labour-saving devices and that call has...read more

Law and Order

There are those who walk a path very close to the legal line – some through necessity, some through disillusion and some through sheer cussedness. One of Taranaki’s most colourful characters to fall...read more

Leading Women

Often it is the men who are credited with settling this land, the changes they wrought on the landscape stand as a constant reminder of their toil. But the women of Taranaki should not be forgotten –...read more


Read all about it! The media has always had a tradition of attracting colourful characters and Taranaki is no exception – discover exactly what it was that made junior reporters quake in their boots...read more

Natural World

Taranaki has a wild volcanic history and the geological wonders of its landscape stand as testament to it. Fossils reveal the wildlife of the past – wildlife that no longer exists today - and ancient...read more

Science and Medicine

Helping the injured and sick in the early days was no mean feat. It often meant hours of travelling by horse over muddy, rutted tracks to get to isolated homes. But Taranaki’s doctors, nurses and...read more


Sporting prowess must be in the water in Taranaki because brilliant athletes, rugby greats and Olympic gold medallists abound in the region. Read about the woman who has represented her country in no...read more

Tangata Whenua

The powerful story of Parihaka, told by the descendents of those who were there, is one that will horrify, amaze and inspire you. Learn what life was like under the leadership of Te Whiti o Rongomai...read more


Travelling by land, sea or air is not without its dangers and excitement. The Taranaki coast has claimed a number of ships on its rocks - you can still see the hulking, rusting skeletons if you know...read more