It's a sense of coming home for Sunita Torrance as she settles into work at Taranaki Pioneer Village, and she is looking forward to sharing that sense of home with everyone who visits.

"I grew up in Stratford, and know the village well. It's pretty exciting now coming back as an adult to work here."

After spending her first 20 years in Stratford, Sunita left, travelling overseas as well as working elsewhere in New Zealand, before spending the last six years back in Taranaki.

Sunita is the new event co-ordinator at the village, and says she already has plenty of ideas.


"I am fully aware of what this village is and also what it can become. I'm looking forward to helping it grow and getting people excited about this great place we have here."

Sunita says she plans to build on the base of good events already in place at the village, bringing them up to "the next level" as well as introducing new events over the year as well.

Sunita owns and operates a successful business, Flash Mob Entertainment which, she says, is known for being just a little bit extra. She says the business is known for always bringing that extra special something to make every event fabulous, and now it's time to bring that something extra to the Pioneer Village.

"We are also looking at how we can create a more wraparound service when it comes to outside events taking place here. People book the venue for weddings, parties and corporate events already and I want to extend that further."

Sunita has updated the museum's social media pages, adding Instagram as well as reviving the Facebook page.

"With instagram, we can use filters to create old-style photos in a modern technology. It's just another way to build our engagement with the community."

Sunita says she plans to develop the concept of a living museum further.

"We have the forge running and the print shop already, but want to get more traditional craftspeople working from here, as well as bringing in actors to help take visitors fully back in time. Imagine stepping into a house and being able to talk to the "lady of the house", or a maid."


The recent Government announcement that New Zealand history will be taught in all schools by 2020 is something Sunita sees as the Village having a part to play in.

"We will definitely have a role to play in that, as a resource for schools all over the country."

A new initiative at the village, "museum in a suitcase" has already proved popular says Nicoline den Bram's, one of the board members of the Village incorporated society.

"We have a suitcase which contains photos of the village, and some small artefacts from here. It can be taken to visit people who can't come here. So it has already visited people in hospice care for example, taking them on a trip without them having to leave their room."

Nicoline says the board is excited to have Sunita on board.

"She comes with a wealth of experience that will be put to good use here."

With lots of events already in the pipeline, Sunita is currently focused on November's Fun Day.

"We have plenty planned for that event already, and it will be a great opportunity for people to come to the village and see what we are up to here."

Fun Day: November 3, 10am-4pm
To stay up to date with events at the village, like them on Facebook: Taranaki Pioneer Village Inc.