Pounamu Pathway - The Museum of Kawatiri is now open

06 February 2024
Development West Coast
The Coaltown Museum in Westport has undergone a remarkable transformation, emerging as The Museum of Kawatiri, the second experience centre to open along the Pounamu Pathway.

In collaboration with The Museum of Kawatiri Trust and Wētā Workshop, this experience promises an enriched journey into the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Buller District.

The Pounamu Pathway showcases the West Coast's cultural, historical, and natural wonders through interconnected experience centres. The first Pounamu Pathway experience, Māwhera Pā, opened last December in Greymouth. The Museum of Kawatiri joins this endeavour, offering four captivating exhibits: "Wealth of the Land," "Early Settlement," "Ecstasy of Gold," and "People Pou."

Picture2 Kawatiri

“The Pounamu Pathway team and The Museum of Kawatiri Trust’s Board have been working closely together to ensure the revitalisation of the museum celebrates the history and endeavour of the people of Buller District. We can’t wait to share this with everyone,” says Dan Maloney, Chair of the Trust.

Through remarkable craftsmanship, Wētā Workshop brings these exhibits to life, offering visitors a glimpse into the geological origins of Kawatiri's prized elements (coal, gold, and pounamu), the archaeological discoveries of early Polynesian settlers, the allure of the gold rush era, and the personal narratives of Buller District locals.

“Meeting some of the locals and capturing their stories for the People Pou has been really rewarding. Their warmth, authenticity, and willingness to share, highlights the spirit of the people of the Buller District,” said Jason Aldous of Wētā Workshop.

The Museum of Kawatiri is now open for public.

Address: 123 Palmerston St, Westport
Phone: (03) 789 6658
Email: info@coaltown.co.nz

Tickets purchased onsite.

Picture3 Kawatiri