From Artefacts to Memorabilia, Ancient and Classic …
you’ll find it all here

The Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre maintains a collection of 9000 items all connected to the history of the area.

Broadly, these collections are:

  • Johnny Jones
  • Family histories
  • WWI memorabilia
  • Seacliff Hospital ephemera
  • Maritime history miscellany
  • Industrial and agricultural implements
  • Domestic equipment and furnishings
  • Archaic and classic Maori artefacts
  • Registers of births, deaths, marriages
  • School records
  • Cemetery records for Merton, Brinns Point, Waikouaiti, Karitane and Goodwood

The WCHC welcomes the donation of historic artefacts, documents and ephemera related to the Waikouaiti area. To discuss your donation or to arrange for collection, please contact us.

Military Manoeuvres

Recently, a photo of an early military camp held at Waikouaiti came to light. Further research has uncovered a wealth of detail about the camp and the Waikouaiti Rifle Volunteers. See the photo and read more

Individual artefacts of interest

Iron awe . . . Among the curious and quirky items at Waikouaiti Museum is this pair of rather grim leg irons made in the United States in the mid 19th century. They were worn either by prisoners doing forced labour or by patients in mental institutions who were thought to be an escape risk. They were undone using a small tool that unscrewed a small cap and then a screwed “plug”, which is why they were known as Nichols Plus Leg Irons. 



Discovering oil . . . A recent and rare acquisition at the museum is this unusual wood and tin oil dispenser made by the Vacuum Oil Co in Rochester in the United States sometime before 1931. With a 5-gallon (22.73 litre) capacity, it is half filled with a type of thick oil from the US oil fields in use at the time.

Fishy find . . . Recently uncovered in the museum’s collection is this painted plaster cast of a brown trout. The inscription reads: “G Howe – Caught 1932 Waikouaiti River – Length 31”, Girth 17½”, Weight 14½ lb.” It is believed this might be the biggest brown trout taken in the local river catchment.