New Kaitaia Museum curator Whina Te Whiu has big plans for the museum, saying it's a chance to give something back to the community.

Ms Te Whiu, who is from Waihou, in the Hokianga, started in the role eight weeks ago, and is excited at the potential of the museum.

She has spent the last 15 years working in museums or libraries - including at Auckland Museum and Auckland City Library, as well as projects at the National Library in Wellington - and felt it was time to "come back home" to contribute to the Far North community.

"This was a call to come home and share all those stories we have. This is one of the oldest places in the country, where Pakeha and Maori started living together and marrying," Ms Te Whiu said.


She said in colonial times the Hokianga Harbour was the busiest in the country and the amount of history in the Far North was astonishing. Her challenge was to tell those stories in a way that everybody can appreciate.

The museum has more than 10,000 items, but not enough space to show them all, so she was looking at other ways to get them out to the public.

She's keen to take exhibitions on tour to historical societies and schools around the district so more people can see them.

Ms Te Whiu would also like to get more volunteers involved in the museum and to get a cadetship going with senior school students.

Another avenue she would like to explore is online exhibitions.

"Online is also a great way for people to see those exhibits and collections we have in storage that we just don't have the space to put out to the public."

Ms Te Whiu is also helping set up what could be the country's first museum dedicated to a single hapu at Motuti, in the Hokianga, based at the marae.

"They've got about 10,000 items to display, and I think it will be the first of its kind."