The World Around Us

Wellington’s museums

Country: New Zealand by Lisette


WellingtonAfter spending the first month on the northern island of New Zealand, I found myself in Wellington, the proud capital of the first country that gave women the right to vote in 1893. I have however not been very impressed with the city.

The Te Papa museum was a good museum to visit and taught me how New Zealand came into being after a volcano eruption and the history of the Māori.


However, I may have enjoyed the Auckland Museum more in my first days and the Museum of Civilization in Canada is still the very best I have ever visited.

05-OttawaWThe Museum of Civilization is located Canada, across from the Parliament with the Ottawa River running between them. Every time I find myself here, I am mesmerized by the wealth of quality information they have to offer. It houses several permanent collections of which the best (in my humble opinion) are the following two:

First People’s and Grand Hall: this presents intriguing information about First Nation’s earliest origins to present day issues. The Grand Hall showcases six iconic Native houses and totem poles.

Canada Hall: this is a large panorama of Canadian history that unfolds itself with artefacts from AD1000 to life-size settings of buildings from the 1850s to present-day life.

Back in Wellington I also visited the National Library and National Archives as a Bachelor in Information and Library Science. Especially the National Archives was interesting with the original Waitangi Treaty.

As I wrote earlier about the Waitangi Treaty, the English and Māori versions differed, as meaning was lost in translation. For example the word ‘sovereignty’ was translated to ‘kawanatanga’: the British interpreted this as getting complete sovereignty over New Zealand whereas the Māori interpreted the Treaty as giving the Crown the right to govern and develop British settlement on their land without giving up their authority. Another difference was the emphasis in the English text on property and rights while the Māori text emphasized status and authority.

I also visited the parliament. As the country’s capital Wellington hosts the Common House that is fairly open to the public. The House of Lords is abolished, so the House of Representatives is the sole chamber of legislature.