From horse pulled carts to flying cars, museum crosses the centreline

Aotea Utanganui- Museum of South Taranaki district archivist Cameron Curd at the "Across the Centreline" exhibition.
Petra Finer

Aotea Utanganui- Museum of South Taranaki district archivist Cameron Curd at the "Across the Centreline" exhibition.

A new exhibition is exploring South Taranaki's transport history.

Across the Centreline​ is one of three Taranaki Regional Council-funded exhibitions to be held at Patea's Aotea Utanganui​- Museum of South Taranaki in recent months. Opened recently, the exhibition closes in November 2016.

District archivist Cameron Curd said the exhibit focused on a 1905 Darraq motor car, loaned lent to the museum by Jim Baker.

"It's been a real hit with kids wanting to get on it and touch it. It does run, but not currently."

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The exhibit chronicled transport in the South Taranaki and spanned about 120 years showcasing heritage photographs, three moving images and social history items.

"From Archives New Zealand we've got a feature "Spudding in", which is about the first drilling of the first Kapuni oil field, we've got a film about the Patea port and a film about horses used in war as methods of transport as well," he said.

"We wanted to do a story showcasing our heritage collection so in the cases we've got around here are our heritage items from our permanent collection here at the museum.

"We wanted to curate a show that told a wider story about the development of transport within our South Taranaki region, which is particular to us."


It took six months to put together.

"From the story of the migration of Maori to Aotearoa New Zealand as they arrived by waka to the saddle and harness shop established by James Graham in Patea in 1882 to cater for the increased demand in horse transport, to McCarty & Hunger Ltd which was established in 1878 by Rudolf Hunger and John McCarty as blacksmiths, farriers and wheelwrights; these stories speak to the heart of the rural transport story."

He said the future of transportation was also examined, from the greening of the automobile industry with the introduction of Tesla Motors, and other possible modes of future transport including the flying car.

"We've already had really strong interest from car clubs and vintage machinery groups so that's been a really good thing."

Entry is free however koha is always appreciated.

 - Stuff

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