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The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum

The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum is accessed through the Kawerau Library, Jellicoe Court and can be visited during Library opening hours. As of 1 January 2009, the Kawerau District Council took on the management of the Museum. The Museum has accumulated considerable donated historic memorabilia and photographic material which needs to be preserved, correctly catalogued, and displayed to the public in a professional manner. Contact for the Museum can be made by email to or by phone to:

Irene Sandle              or            Susan Harris
Museum Curator            Library & Museum Manager
Ph 07 306 9041            Ph 07 306 9041

Previous to this, the Museum was managed and run by the Kawerau Historical Museum Trust which disbanded in 2010. The Trust was established in 2000 by a group of concerned residents in response to a growing concern that because of the changing direction of the Pulp and Paper Industry and its effect on the Kawerau township, the history of the establishment of the area was in danger of being lost to the present and future generations.

The Museum holds a wide range of resources relating to the history of Kawerau. Resources include local historical newspapers and newsletters, as well as photographs and ephemera. We have begun the process of digitising this material and some of this can be viewed online at Kete Kawerau. However, the bulk of our collection can only be accessed by appointment with staff. To make an appointment, please contact us so staff  can prepare items for your visit or material required. The initial two hours of research time is free of charge, after which fees apply. Below is a pdf of information around requesting Museum material, including fees and charges plus the forms needed to make an information request and/or a reproduction (photos) request. Please contact Museum staff if you need assistance with these forms.

Customer Request Information For Museum Requests Click

Information Request Form Click

Reproduction Request Form Click

Please be aware the bulk of our collection is still under copyright restrictions meaning requested material cannot always be supplied depending on the nature of the request. 

Current Displays

Inner Galley Closure

The inner gallery of the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum is currently closed until further notice as part of the project to move the collections and staff workroom to 16-18 Jellicoe Court. Displays are still currently available for viewing on the outer Museum walls in the Library, the Library foyer and the windows of 16-18 Jellicoe Court. Staff are still able to be contacted in the Museum office.

The Establishment Of The Golf Club

Between 1962 and 1965, a great deal of investigation was undertaken on forming a golf club and course for Kawerau. On 19 July 1965, the Club was formed, though the course wasn't available to play on until 1966. To mark this milestone, we have put together an exhibition  which is currently held with Museum staff in their office while the Jellicoe Court building display is being developed.

Treasures From The Tradewinds

In 2013, the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum and Norske Skog Tasman started a project to digitise bound newspaper copies of  the Tradewind which was the Tasman Mill employee newspaper 1965-1991. In 2016, we completed this project with the bound copies now housed at the Museum. This project means these resources will be available as a community record for generations to come. In order to share some of this record, we have put a small selection of the treasures we found in our digitisation journey in the Library foyer.

Kete Kawerau

The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum supports the website Kete Kawerau which collects the stories and images of Kawerau. Visitors can view and use Kete Kawerau at the Kawerau District Library or go online at to add your own material. Kete Kawerau has been created to capture and preserve the historical and current memories, stories, and activities of the Kawerau community and we need you to share your stories and images, past and present. This site was launched September 2010.

Collections Are Like Pets: Objects Of Affection...

Are you a secret gatherer?
Do you accumulate Barbie dolls or beer bottles? Perhaps Star Wars memorabilia or 1930s postcards?
Are you an artist making exquisite objects?
Are you a local group with something to display?
Would you like to share your passion with your community?

The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum is a community museum dedicated to collecting, researching, displaying and engaging with our community’s stories, both past and present. We offer a cabinet within the museum for community members to display their collections, changing every few months. This is a great opportunity for all you secret collectors out there to share the objects of your affection! Currently our cabinets are displaying material relating to Kawerau College, but if you are interested in displaying your collection, please contact Museum staff.  

Naming Of The Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum

The Museum was named for Sir James Fletcher (1914-2007) who joined the family business, Fletcher Construction Company Limited in 1937. In 1953 construction of the Pulp and Paper Mill and the township of Kawerau began by a consortium company of Fletcher Construction Company Ltd. Auckland, Merritt Chapman and Scott New York, and Raymond Concrete Pile Company Delaware generally referred to as FMR. After the Government had accepted the tender from the Fletcher Group, the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company Limited was formed as a joint venture with the New Zealand Government. Sir James Fletcher was Chairman of the first Board of Directors.

Sir James Fletcher was knighted for his services to industry and the community in 1980. He was the Chairman of the Fletcher Trust since its inception. The Museum has received valuable assistance from the Trust over the past few years and in recognition of the history of the Fletcher family and the community of Kawerau, the Museum Trust named the Museum in his honour.