Mōkau Museum

After just having a make-over with the Heritage Rescue team from Choice TV, the Mōkau Museum and Art Gallery needed a new website to match their more professional approach.


Mōkau Museum and Art Gallery is a small rural museum that punches well above its weight.

The seaside village of Mōkau is halfway between Te Kūiti and New Plymouth making it the perfect stopping point for travellers. The museum is a popular place to visit with its wonderful repository of the region’s treasures both Māori and Pākehā.

The Museum’s collection area is defined as being between the four tunnels of Waikawau in the North, Awakino in the North-East, Okau in the South-East and Mt Messenger in the South.

This map was used as the background for the website.

Mt Messenger Tunnel
Waikawau Tunnel
Awakino Tunnel

How it Started

I joined the Museum as the Collection Manager in 2016 having completed my post graduate qualification in Museum Studies.  My main role was getting the collection online. The website the Museum already had was not up to this task and as I am also a web designer I was able to create a site that was able to handle this.


The Museum was under-going a refresh with the Heritage Rescue television programme so the timing was ideal to create a new website and logo. The Museum’s name had changed from sometimes being the Tainui Museum, The Tainui Historical Society and other times the Mōkau Museum. As part of the refresh an Art Gallery had been added on and so the name was decided on as the Mōkau Museum and Art Gallery.

"We are so grateful for Amanda's expertise in this area. We knew we wanted the collection online but didn't even know where to begin. Her patience with teaching our volunteers how to use the eHive system was endless and her gentle manner much appreciated."
Kerry O'Sullivan

My Role

I was the sole designer/developer on this project and as such I created a new logo to match the new name, designed the new look and then created the web site using the WordPress platform. This included coding for the unique experience required by the Museum.

The new signage for the museum was blue so I selected the same blue for the website as well as the new logo. A darker shade of the blue is used for the text. The gold represents the move  towards professionalism and the wealth of treasures contained within the museum.

Primary Blue
Sec. Blues
Primary Gold

Sec. Golds



Fonts and text colours used

White heading text on blue backgrounds

Dark blue heading text on gold backgrounds

Blue heading text on light gold backgrounds

There are two options for the Museum to add stories here: through highlights, which is about the objects in the collection; and stories which tells the areas stories through photographs that are in the collection.

Museums are full of stories to be told and one way to get these stories out is to put them on the website. By having their website built in WordPress the Museum staff are able to log in and post  stories themselves.

All websites are created to also look good on mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

Showcasing the Collection

Placing the collection online was the key function of my work at the Mōkau Museum and Gallery. I chose to use eHive as the database as it is a cloud based system meaning it is online. It is simple enough to learn the system for volunteers and staff that may not have used a data base before. It is based on the Vernon System however, and powerful enough to keep the collection in order and do most tasks any small to medium sized museum or gallery may need to do.

The eHive system works well with WordPress and so I was able to connect it up to the website fairly easily.

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