Highlights

100 years of New Zealand radio broadcasting

100 years of New Zealand radio broadcasting

On the 17th of November 1921, Robert Jack made the first radio broadcast in New Zealand from the University of Otago. Commercial radio broadcasting began in February 1922 from a Wellington station, with stations hot on their heels in Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Whanganui, Gisborne and Auckland. This highlight explores radios and radio paraphernalia from MOTAT’s collection; from 1920s crystal sets used to listen to those early broadcasts, to early valve radios powered by large batteries before the advent of electricity in homes, Bakelite mantle radios, portable radios following the invention of transistors, and car radios to bring the music to your road trip.

See inside

See inside

Taking inspiration from MOTAT’s current exhibition Tūhuratia Exploded, we take a look inside to see the inner workings of familiar items with a selection of objects from across MOTAT’s collections, including cutaway engines and planes, dismantled phones, computer parts and drawings.

Your next stop is...

Your next stop is...

From horse-drawn buses to motorised public transport, destination blinds have guided people to places for nearly 200 years. This selection is from MOTAT's Road Transport collection. Automated LED lights are used today on buses and trains, however these examples were manually operated. Which destination would you like to visit?

COVID-19 Collecting

COVID-19 Collecting

These items and audio recordings are a part of our Covid 19 collection which aims to document this time via the innovations created in New Zealand since March 2020.

Best Reached By Rail

Best Reached By Rail

Advertising posters designed by the New Zealand Railways Department’s publicity studio encouraged Kiwis to choose rail for their holiday transportation.

Featuring vivacious figures and picturesque landscapes, these sometimes quirky posters offer a chance to reflect on how New Zealanders of the past holidayed and explored their own ‘backyard’.

This highlight showcases the full collection of rail posters from the Richard Croker Collection. Twelve of these posters feature in Best Reached by Rail at the Walsh Memorial Library from 3 August 2020 - 20 July 2021

MOTAT Fun: Search our collection by colour!

MOTAT Fun: Search our collection by colour!

Discover the MOTAT collection by searching by colour, found on the Collections Online homepage! We've got you started by selecting a few objects tagged with green - everything from 'khaki' to 'sea green'.

Glass plates and lantern slide negatives

Glass plates and lantern slide negatives

A selection of glass plate and lantern slide negatives digitised by the Walsh Memorial Library, showing Aotearoa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Selection of Cliff Tait photographs

Selection of Cliff Tait photographs

A selection of photographs from the Cliff Tait Collection. Depicting various aspects of Tait's solo flight around the world on the Airtourer - 'Miss Jacy'.

Richard Croker collection

Richard Croker collection

A selection of collection of colour renderings and reports created for the Auckland Rapid Transit project (1973-1976) from the Richard Croker Collection.

HirstLens New Zealand Ltd

HirstLens New Zealand Ltd

Donation by TechLab NZ Ltd of first and second generation HirstLens NZ equipment with accompanying archive showing examples of business records, marketing ephemera and pictorial items.