Tena kotou katoa. Russell Museum welcomes the opportunity to report to the community and to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


The Board undertook a number of projects aimed at ensuring the future condition of the museum. These were:

The upstairs area, unfinished since 1990 and previously used as St John’s Op Shop, was completed creating a dedicated meeting space, preparation area and a new collections-storage room. Condition assessments, photographing and relocating some objects in the collection is now underway.

A natural ventilation system has been installed in the museum roof to ensure a consistent environment for the newly completed collections-storage room and the main display areas of the museum. It will also provide a cooler environment for visitors.

The security alarm system was upgraded, wiring replaced and three additional cameras were added.

The original 1950 concrete tile Russell Library roof was replaced with Coloursteel and the guttering was replaced. Russell Museum’s roof, dormers and facia were also painted.

As a result of last year’s dry summer a small tank has been installed in the north wall alcove garden to supplement the museum’s water supply.

A large manganese rock from Tikitikoure has been placed in the punga gardens beside the Tamati Waka Nene reserve along with a sign explaining the history and relevance of manganese mining to the Russell community.

Russell Museum’s Oral History Project continues with knowledge and memories of Russell and the outer Bays, its people, places and events, being recorded and preserved for future generations.

A valuation of Russell Museum’s collection was recently completed by Webb’s of Auckland.


A Pauline Yearbury rimu incised panel ‘Papa-tu-a-nuku’ was donated by ex-Kiwi Judith Anderson who purchased the panel from the Yearbury’s some forty years ago.

The Russell Boating Club and Myra Larcombe presented Russell Museum with an oar from the Hinemoa, the sister whaling boat to the Tutanekai on display in the whale boat shelter.


1 February 2010 was a day of Blazing Cannons. Visitors and locals were given the unique opportunity to fire cannons and mortars on Russell’s waterfront in remembrance of the Boyd Bicentennial Celebrations. Later, the cannons were moved into the museum as a temporary display for a month. Blazing Cannons II took place 13 March, this time in celebration of the 165th Anniversary of the Battle of Kororareka.

Our summer exhibition Pou Taharua : The Flagstaff Exhibition looked at the two histories to our flagstaff through its many surviving pieces. In all, 22 pieces were displayed from the museum’s collection, Te Papa, Auckland, Taupo & Coromandel Museums, Waitangi National Trust & Ngatihine. Hone Heke’s personal taonga (treasures) were loaned by descendant David Rankin. Pou Taharua attracted a great deal of media attention due to the museums prior purchase of a controversial flagstaff piece from Dunbar Sloane Auction House.

The autumn exhibition, An Unsettled History juxtaposed contemporary art works by local and Northland artists with objects from Russell Museum’s collection to generate dialogue on Māori grievances relating He Whakaputanga o te Rangatira o Nu Tireni and articles comprising Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Opening the same time as Te Paparahi o Te Raki (The Northland Inquiry into Ngapuhi sovereignty claims) the exhibition was extended to August earning a visit from Te Paparahi o Te Raki Facilitator Barry Rigby and Treaty Claims Registrar, Tina Mihaere who came to personally deliver a ‘special recognition’ to the museum for holding the exhibition.

Journeys, our winter exhibition revealed the lives of many brave women who went to sea with their whaling husbands in the 1800s. Told through the writings of Joan Druett (Petticoat Whalers) and Louisa Worsfold (A Social History of Russell) this exhibition explored the hardships women faced as well as the whaling industries connection between New England, Martha’s Vineyard and Kororareka/Russell. Joan Druett visited and congratulated Russell Museum on providing a great exhibition and wonderful community facilities.

A Day Like No Other takes us into the new year. This exhibition pays homage to a Russell tradition, the “Tall Ships & Classic Invitation Races, Hangi and Dance” that has grown from a race between friends to an annual event which attracts entries from all over the world. Materials for the exhibition are generously loaned by the Russell Boating Club. A unique video of the 1995 Tall Ships Race by Cliff Whiting allows visitors to share in the events of the day from a unique local perspective.


We now have a Facebook page and invite you to link through from our website. Russell Museum will launch a new website next year.


Unique books available through the Museum Shop are: The Children of Rangi and Papa by Pauline Kahurangi Yearbury, Puawananga – The Adobe Cottage by Charlotte P Larkin, Jacky Nobody by Anne de Roo, The Artist and the Carver by Damien Skinner, Tales of the Angler’s Eldorado – by Zane Grey, and Petticoat Whalers by Joan Druett. Also available is Discovering Historic Russell – a fascinating twelve-minute DVD on Russell’s history.


Russell Museum would like to recognize and thank the following community and national organizations for their financial support and assistance in 2010.

New Zealand Lotteries Board toward the completion of upstairs,

Southern Trust toward the museum roof and the ASB Community Trust toward the Library Roof, Rod Haines for the manganese rock, John & Ann Osborne, Perry Baker and the Russell ‘Boys’ for Blazing Cannons I & II, Russell Boating Club for exhibition support, Graham Lochmann, Tony Gilbert, Jeremy Nodder and Larry Taylor. Thanks Pat Noble, our museum volunteer.


The Triennial General Meeting, Monday 18 October, 2010 generated great interest in the community with over fifty people attending. Re-elected were; Lorraine Young (Chairperson), Heather Lindauer (Vice Chairperson), Rosamund Scoffham and Eldon Jackson. They were joined by new trustees Barrie Bell, Ailsa Murray, Stephen Western and Bernard Woodcock. Terry Greening elected to the FNDC BOI-Whangaroa Community Board is now FNDC Representative with Colleen Bottrell as Library Representative. To outgoing and retiring trustees Jane Hindle, Antony Hanlon, Bob Magnusson, Terry Greening and Florence Annison a heartfelt thanks for your generous support and assistance.

Staff who welcome you daily are: Libby Magnusson, Pat McNicoll, Shelley Arlidge, Tina Barlow, (museum assistants), Dianne Davey (administrator), and Marsha Davis (curator).