25 Years: The story of BLACK MAGIC

25 Years: The story of BLACK MAGIC 

‘It’s fitting that at the heart of this country’s tribute to Sir Peter is NZL32 – Black Magic.’

90% Concept Design, Blue Water Black Magic A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake, January 2005

It was ten years ago that NZL32 made her entrance to the New Zealand Maritime Museum, manoeuvred into place by barge and crane as the night of 5th August became the morning of the 6th. The new gallery, clad in translucent coloured polycarbonate, was designed by Pete Bossley to showcase the yacht; ‘a unique building for an iconic object’.

Farewell to our Fleet Manager

Kevin Smith, Fleet Manager from New Zealand Maritime Museum is finishing up with the Museum on 19 December, after 15 years of service. In this interview we get to know some of the ins and outs of fleet management, and a little bit more about our Kevin. 

1.    What does your job involve?

25 Years: The story of KZ1 NEW ZEALAND, the 'Big Boat'

25 Years: The story of KZ1 NEW ZEALAND, the 'Big Boat'


Above the entrance to the New Zealand Maritime Museum sits KZ1 NEW ZEALAND, also known as the ‘Big Boat’. Mercury Bay Boating Club’s challenger for the 27th America’s Cup, she was the largest single-masted yacht the rules would allow, and although the successful winner of a court case aimed to block her from racing, she was ultimately beaten by San Diego Yacht Club’s catamaran STARS AND STRIPES (USA1).

25 Years: The story of Ted Ashby, heritage vessel

25 Years: The story of Ted Ashby, Freightways Scow

While many maritime museums have significant collections of vessels of all types and sizes, not many still have operational fleets on the water and even fewer have built any of their vessels. The decision to build a vessel for the museum was made by the trust board before the museum opened, and construction began in 1992. The scow Ted Ashby is a remarkable craft, and is the last of her kind to be built.

25 Years: Building the Museum

25 Years: Building the Museum

After years of planning, fundraising and sponsorship development, construction of the Museum began in February 1992 when the Mayor of Auckland, Les Mills, donned scuba gear and ‘turned the first sod’. Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited were contracted to build the Museum using the designs of Malcolm Deighton and Jasmax Architects, with Magellan Group managing the project.

25 Years: Pre-Museum, Plans and Concepts

25 Years: Pre-Museum, Plans and Concepts 

The Museum was first proposed in 1980 by a group of like-minded individuals, many of whom were Auckland Harbour Board and Union Steam Ship Company members. It was to house the growing collection of maritime archives within the Auckland Maritime Society and Auckland Museum collections, while establishing a New Zealand maritime history collection and exhibition facility. 

International Archives Day

International Archives Day

To celebrate International Archives Day, we have asked Line in our Collections team to talk about her role here at the Museum:

The Maritime Museum Foundation Gift

World Oceans Day 2018

Pecha Kucha vol. 52 - Where City Meets Sea

Richelle Kahui-McConnell speaking at Pecha Kucha at the museum.

The museum hosted a second Pecha Kucha on 23rd February 2017 in collaboration with Pecha Kucha Auckland. The event was inspired by the ‘At The Water’s Edge’ exhibition which was on at the Edmiston Gallery from November 2016 - February 2017. This Pecha Kucha was on the theme ‘where city meets sea.’ Presenters were:

The Mighty P Class Sailing Dinghy: Maker of New Zealand yachting legends

By Vincent Saunders
New Zealand is renowned for its sailors and their dominance in the fiercely competitive international sailing arena. Events, such as the America’s Cup and Whitbread trophy races, the Admirals Cup, Kenwood Cup and the Southern Cross Cup, have been won by New Zealanders. These sought after yachting heroes have gained a stellar reputation around the world for their sailing ability winning more than 60 world titles and 18 or more medals for New Zealand.

Hal Wagstaff: Architect and boat designer OBE, FNZIA

Hal Wagstaff

Earlier this year, Hal Wagstaff visited the New Zealand Maritime Museum. At the time, he was planning on attending the World Moth Championships to be held in Hayama, Japan and he promised to send us a photo or two from his trip. A few months later, he supplied the photos and curator, Jaqui Knowles, sat down with him to have a chat. 

1. A Boating Family 

The Hamer Plan for the Port of Auckland

Freeman's Bay circa 1912

By Marleene Boyd

The year is 1904, the place is the Waitemata Harbour of Auckland and the plan is to design a port that will meet the ship, passenger and cargo needs of Auckland for the next 30 years.

Mr W. H. Hamer was appointed Engineer to the Auckland Harbour Board (AHB) in 1903. His previous position had been Resident Engineer, London and India Board, Royal Victoria and Albert Docks, London, UK. 

W. Hamer

John ‘Jack’ Brooke and youth sailing in New Zealand

Twelve of the foundation members of the Wakatere Canoe Club, Devonport 1928. John Brooke in centre. Photo courtesy of Wakatere Boat Club.

By Rebekah Clements 

If you’re a young Kiwi sailor (or were!) it’s likely you’ve spent some time in a boat designed by John Balmain Brooke, known as Jack. Always concerned with making sailing as accessible as possible, he designed some of our most well-known and loved sailing boats including the Frostbite, Sunburst and the Spirit of Adventure.

From the Collection: My Favourite Piece

WINDWARD souvenir; cruise of the yacht WINDWARD Easter 1913  (L1997.65.1) Courtesy of the Edmiston Trust

For Easter I thought I’d share my favourite thing in the New Zealand Maritime Museum collection, on loan to us from the Edmiston Trust.

This beautiful bound album of watercolours was decorated and presented to William Swinnerton as a “as a token of esteem” by Albert H. Hooper.  It documents a cruise taken by Hooper and Swinnerton at Easter in 1913, with decorated pages and watercolour paintings of the locations they visited.  The cruise was to Great Barrier Island, Cape Colville and the Coromandel.

Logan Brothers: Yacht Designers Extraordinaire

THELMA, A Class, under sail, 20 March 1905 / Photographer, Henry Winkelmann. Royal NZ Yacht Squadron loan, NZ Maritime Museum B2N77

Robert Snr, Robert Jnr, John and Archibald Logan are responsible for the design and construction of some of the fastest racing yachts in New Zealand’s history.  

Robert Logan Snr came to New Zealand in 1874, just 4 years later he had a thriving business with Henry Niccol at Devonport building steamers, whaleboats and racing yachts. Using New Zealand native timbers especially Kauri which proved to be easy to work and resistant to rot.

Talking Tape Art at the Museum

Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby

A fantastic new art exhibition created by artists, Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby, has just opened at the Museum. It comprises a large taped mural made by the Wellington based duo (also known as Tape Art NZ), and two other murals which they facilitated with students from local Auckland schools. 

Saving Our Seas

Children check out the aquatic life under the museum's pontoon

No water - no life… Poor water - poor life…

Did you know that:

The Journey of the Treaty

The Waitangi Sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi

Waitangi Day, on February 6, marked 176 years of the signing since the Treaty of Waitangi, the much contested founding document of New Zealand.

The first copy of the Treaty of Waitangi/te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed on February 6, 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and more than 40 rangatira (Māori chiefs).

New Zealanders at the beach

Members of Piha Lifesaving Club, photo by Graham Rhodes, 1950s, NZ Maritime Museum (2015.145.23)

It’s been all about the beach here at the museum for the last four months. With only two weeks to go until At the Beach closes, I thought it was a perfect time to talk about why the beach means so much to us.

Menus at Sea

MV AUSTRALIA, Crossing the Line Dinner 27th March 1960. Lloyd Triestino. [16028] Gentians – flowers of Italy

Imagine a gaily coloured menu on your dining table and the anticipation of wondering what food might be on the menu for your meal. Opening the page and finding all kinds of unusual options to choose from.

Examples include: Cat’s tongues; Jellied-broth with Sandeman port wine; Stewed lettuce and Ragoût of wild boar à la Tivoli; Golden tit-bits or Chow chow in syrup.