Russell Museum’s new exhibition, The Story of Managahāwea is a fascinating look at an extremely early site of first arrivals from Polynesia. Beneath the soil of its beautiful beachfront, archaeological evidence from a series of excavations under the leadership of Ngāti Kuta has shown that some of the earliest people to come to Aotearoa arrived and settled here.

This physical evidence is reinforced by oral histories passed down by descendants of Te Kemara who lived on the island of Moturua. Both the histories and the archaeological evidence agree. They tell the story of migration, survival, cultivation and trading – and how this country came to be settled by peoples from Polynesia and beyond.