Open 7 Days • 10am - 4pm • 23 High Street • Waipawa • 06 857 7288

Welcome to the Central Hawkes Bay Settlers Museum


In 1986 the Historic Bank of New Zealand Building was gifted to the people of Central Hawkes Bay to house a museum.

This area is rich in history, Waipawa being one of the oldest inland towns in New Zealand.

Take a step into the everyday life of early settlers. The varied collections are displayed in an authentic way so visitors can imagine what life used to be like.

The museum houses a comprehensive collection of photographs and much to interest the genealogist.

An extensive collection of local and national treasures ranges from History, Military, Taonga Maori and Technology.



Waipukurau 150 Years Celebration 1867 - 2017

                                                                                 Major Exhibition at CHB Settlers Museum
                                                                 Celebrating 150 years since the founding of Waipukurau.
                                                                                     19th March - 31st October 2017


     Henry Robert Russell, a wealthy landowner born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, founded Waipukurau as a 'model village' in 1867.
     Upon coming to New Zealand Russell purchased part of the Waipukurau Block in 1853 and built his homestead, Mount Herbert.
     In 1856 he built the Tavistock Hotel for his guests and in 1867 purchased a 207 acre block known as the Nature Reserve, where he
     founded Waipukurau as a 'model village'.
     He built seveal cottages and leased sections for a nominal annual rent of one shilling. As part of his concept, he also imposed
     conditions such as only having one town blacksmith, one butcher and one baker. 
     Most early residents were nearly all under engagement as artisans or tradesmen to Russell, who made land available for the town's 
     hospital and school.

     The exhibition will include many photos and items showcasing Waipukurau's early history, running from March to October 2017.
     *Extracts from Hawkes Bay Today.  [READ MORE]