Welcome to the Norfolk Island Museum's blog. We are lucky to be located in the most beautiful part of a stunning island in the South Pacific. We are a little island, but our history and stories are great - from Polynesian and convict settlements to the home of the Bounty mutineers. Hopefully you'll enjoy our stories.
The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust of New
Zealand have confirmed their most generous financial support for our project
titled “Documenting, Researching and Conserving Pitcairn Island’s Material
The Pacific Development and Conservation Trust (PDCT) was
established by Trust Deed by the New Zealand Government on 23 May 1989. The
money for the Trust was received from the French Government in recognition of
events surrounding the destruction of the Rainbow Warrior vessel in 1985.Some of us might recall Norfolk Island’s
connection to this incident with the vessel Ouvea
arriving at Norfolk Island after smuggling explosives and other gear into New
Zealand.Thirty years has passed since
the explosion of the Greenpeace vessel that tragically killed photographer
Fernando Pereira, just earlier this month the French secret-service agent who
led the attack made a public apology for his actions.
We at the Norfolk Island Museum are extremely pleased and
excited to be provided with the financial resource to pursue this project. The
aim of our project is to locate, document and provide conservation advice on
Pitcairn Island’s material culture that is held with the communities on Norfolk
Island and New Zealand.
population on Pitcairn Island has been decreasing rapidly in recent times with
the islanders migrating mainly to New Zealand.The cultural material is leaving the island along with the people
putting the provenance of the material at risk and creating potential for these
objects to be lost.
This is a two stage project.Stage 1 is to identify and document Pitcairn Island’s cultural material
located in New Zealand and Norfolk Island while Stage 2 will focus on Pitcairn
itself.This initial successful grant is
to facilitate stage 1.
The need for this project has been identified through
feedback from Norfolk Islanders visiting Pitcairn Island, and also by our
relationship with the Pitcairn Island Museum, whom have little resources to
undertake this type of project themselves.
This project is fundamental to the protection of Pitcairn
Island’s material culture.No previous
projects have provided for such a holistic approach to ensure material is
identified and documented. This project also explicitly acknowledges that there
is a distinct Pitcairner culture created through the historical circumstances
of its 18th century establishment by Polynesian and European
forebears:its development on Pitcairn
and later Norfolk Island. Today, these objects are an important part of this
Documentation of this material
and associated knowledge about its cultural contexts, uses and significance
will form a focus for future community interest in its material and cultural
heritage, as well as provide a body of material for researchers – wherever they
may reside, through physical and digital access.And what a valuable gift this will be to the
future generations of Pitcairn and Norfolk Islanders.
Individuals will be given the opportunity to tell their
stories about life on Pitcairn Island.They
will have the opportunity to have these stories recorded for themselves and
their families. Participants can showcase their material culture and
connections to Pitcairn Island.Basic
conservation advice will be provided to ensure the objects remain in good
condition, objects will be photographed and their history recorded.This information will form a comprehensive
database.The Norfolk Island Museum
will be the repository and access point of this data base of material,
information and research enabling full and direct access to the community.
The Pitcairn and Norfolk Island culture is intrinsically
interwoven; this project is imperative to protect our shared heritage and
culture.It also offers a fantastic
opportunity to develop research, learning and curatorial outcomes.
We’ll keep you posted, in the meantime please contact us at
the Norfolk Island Museum - your knowledge and ideas are important!