Welcome to the North Otago Museum

Photograph from project launch

The North Otago Museum is currently working on an exciting research project. The project involves the University of Otago, Te Runanga O Moeraki and the Waitaha Taiwhenua o Waitaki Trust Board. The focus of the project is a collection of taoka known as the Willett’s collection. The collection comprises 9,150 separate taoka, including adzes, flakes, scrapers and other stone tools.

Stewart Willett's with Waitaha taoka

On a February afternoon, in 1953, Allan Willetts was using a tractor and swamp plough to dig up a little-used paddock near the Waitaki River mouth. Allan’s parents had just brought lunch for him and his brother Colin when a turn of the plough unearthed many fine stone adzes.

Janet Frame's typewriter at the North Otago Museum

Visit our permanent display dedicated to the life of one of New Zealand’s most famous writers, Janet Frame. Janet Frame spent much of her childhood in Oamaru. Her writing captures many local sites and personalities. The Museum display includes items with personal connections to Janet Frame.

Behind The Scenes

There might not be much to see in our gallery spaces right now. That is because we are working hard on the Cultural Facilities Development Project. We are doing a lot of work behind the scenes on our Collections and developing our top Themes and Stories.