Author(s): Fiona McKergow
Museum collections are a treasure trove of objects, each with the capacity to tell a compelling story or stories. Many objects in Te Manawa's collection speak of a deep curiosity for the world 'out there and beyond', while others evoke an intense sense of belonging to the Manawatu. Significant insight about both local communities, and the broader national story, can be gleaned from objects such as a fragile kahu kiwi; a sleek handmade wooden kayak; the clumsy industrial design of an early portable computer; a simple child's Christmas stocking; and the elaborate weaving in a Samoan 'ie sina. Bringing together 35 writers, including leading historians, curators, and Maori scholars, and complemented by specially commissioned photography as well as historical photographs, Te Hao Nui brings the objects found on its pages to life, telling us about what it means to be a New Zealander.
Fiona McKergow has been an editorial officer for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography and the social history curator at The Science Centre and Manawatu Museum (now Te Manawa). She is a foundation committee member of the Te Manawa Museum Society. Kerry Taylor was active in the Wellington public history community before becoming Head of the School of History Philosophy and Classics at Massey University. He is founding chairperson of the Te Manawa Museum Society.