Our society was formed in August of 1992 and incorporated the following month. Working alongside mana whenua and tangata whenua, guiding principle of the museum is to develop and maintain local historical evidence by preserving historical artefacts, works of art, photographs and machinery that relate in particular to the Oratia area.

There are a number of buildings under the care of the Oratia Folk Museum Society Incorporated. The main site, a small road front section of the historic Albion Vale property, was originally made available to the Society by West Coast Road resident Marge Harré. This land is home for the ‘Parker Cottage’, the Barn ( designed as an example packing shed ) and a couple of small outbuildings.

The ‘Parker Cottage’
Photo – Stephen Roke

This cottage houses the majority of the museum’s collection and is open to the public for a few hours every second Sunday of the month.

A short distance up the at the rear of the Oratia Cemetery there is the Prayer House. This 1886 built building was rescued by Dave Harré and is now under the care of Society.

The Prayer House
Photo – Stephen Roke

Articles and posts

Early Days
Photos of the museum after the roof shingles are in place and prior to the chimney work. Goes to show just how much work it took to bring the museum building up to the state we can enjoy now…      
From The Archives – Historic Register
Came across this recently, a Waitemata City Council publication dated 1977 prepared by Leigh A with the assistance of Jack Diamond and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The cover features a sketch of the Museum – by Bob Garrick This 28 page booklet provides a wonderful schedule of places of historical significance in the…
2020 Folk Museum Calendar
The 2020 calendar has been out for a little time now and the remaining stock is dwindling. It has been so well received, thanks to all who have bought a copy. All the proceeds go towards the ongoing upkeep of the museum and its collections. The Society is charged with the responsibility of looking after…
New Tank Arrives
This week saw the completion of the installation of our replacement water tank thanks to Julian for his expertise and to the Waitakere Ranges Quick Response grant for the funding. We are all set for the activities of Spring.
Oratia School Visits the Museum
We were very proud to have hosted the children, parents and teachers from the Oratia District School recently. More than 200 curious children in all enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of this special place. It was a challenge for Barb Harré and Sue Pirie to keep up with the many questions about the exhibits.…
Working Bees
It wasn’t the best of weather but a group of determined individuals got stuck into some serious cleaning and much needed sorting of the Museum and its collection. Still plenty more to do but great progress was made. Some items have not lasted well over time and so Brigid and Sue will be putting the…
Folk Museum Entry Upgrade
Thanks again to Julian, our resident maintenance magician, the rear stairs have been replaced and so entry to the museum is safe once more. The tread detail is worth special mention. The front stairs also were treated to the very same ‘Pirie Love’ …
Water Tank Update
It was a long standing wish of Dave Harrés to replace the old and leaking corrugated iron water tank in the same style. He would now be delighted to hear the news that funding for this has become available through an Auckland Council Waitakere Ranges Quick Response grant. For Dave the importance of the water…
A Window Replacement
Our legendary maintenance man Julian put the finishing touches on a replacement window on the Parker Cottage building. It was Dave Harrés desire that this window be changed out to something more authentic for the period. Like so many of the restored structures he has been involved in, Dave searched the second hand dealers until…
Dave’s Prayer House
It seemed like the whole Oratia community and so many others shed a tear as we said goodbye to Dave Harré. The Prayer House was such a fitting place for us all to say thanks to such a champion of community and heritage.
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