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Saturday 25 October- Sunday 2 November

Free entry

Celebrating Everything Polish

Museum of Wellington City & Sea stages a Celebration of Everything Polish this October to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of New Zealand’s first refugees in November 1944.  The 733 Polish children and their 102 guardians came to Wellington before moving to a camp in Pahiatua after a harrowing journey from Poland through Russia and Iran.

Alongside a private reunion for the remaining 340 Polish children, the Museum will host a series of events and a photo exhibition as part of a week-long festival to mark the occasion.

In collaboration with Pahiatua Polish children's community in New Zealand, The Polish Association of New Zealand, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, Wellington City Council and Museum of Wellington City & Sea. READ MORE

Wednesday 29 October


Free entry

Refugees and Immigrant Workers in Wellington & The Arrival of Polish Refugees 1980-1983

Join Mr Stan Mantreys to hear the story of New Zealand’s post World War II venture into the unknown area of accepting refugees and migrants, during the period of a shortage of labour in New Zealand.

Then hear Mr Eric (Zdzisław) Lepionka’s journey of when he arrived in New Zealand at the end of WW2 with 733 other Polish child refugees and their 102 guardians from war torn Europe. After being invited to become a New Zealand citizen, as with the other Polish children and caregivers, Eric started his new life in New Zealand, where he worked, lived and raised a family in Wellington, the city which he calls home.

In partnership with Labour History Project and National Library of New Zealand.

Saturday 1 November

5pm - 8pm

Entry by koha

The Big Halloween

Capital E and the Museum present a frightful Halloween special for kids!

Unearth the hidden treasure and spooky secrets of Chaos Cove – a safe sanctuary for littlies. Test your nerve and explore Eerie Island where sea shanties fill the air and pirates roam unguarded. Huddle together in the Ghoul’s Galley (you’ll be safe there), but don’t get caught, you might be forced to walk the plank. In the midst of it all, for the braver soul, a haunted shipwreck, The Nameless, lies in the darkness undisturbed… waiting, its crew rumoured to wander the wreckage. We won’t be there to guide you through the dark and treacherous trail, so bring a torch! It’s no time to be afraid of your own shadow.

There’s something for the whole family at Wicked Wharf this Halloween…what will you find? Get your costume ready (there are plenty of prizes to be won) and we’ll see you there…if you dare!

Wednesday 5 November


Free entry

Migrant Settlement

Judi Altinkaya shares her findings on the journey of migrants to New Zealand. 

Migrants have majorly transformed our Kiwi society over the years.  The migrant journey is not always an easy path. When we look across the history of migration to New Zealand, the challenges for migrants settling into living and working here are not new.  Altinkaya asks the question, “what is new is how the New Zealand Government supports these challenges today?” Find out how, and why in this unique discussion.

In partnership with Labour History Project and National Library of New Zealand.

Wednesday 12 November


Free entry

'Jocks’ of All Trades

Come along to hear a discussion on Scottish migrants with a special focus on Wellington’s Scottish people.

Rebecca Lenihan shares a presentation examining the occupations of New Zealand’s Scottish migrants from 1840-1920. Lenihan poses the questions, “was there significant occupational change in individuals’ own lives pre- and post-migration, or between fathers’ and sons’ employment? And “did the occupational profile of New Zealand’s Scots change over this period?”

Located at the National Library of New Zealand

In partnership with Labour History Project and National Library of New Zealand.

Wednesday 19 November


Free entry


'House Girls' in World War Two New Zealand

Hear the unique story of women’s wartime work in a discussion with Charlotte Macdonald.

People from New Zealand's Pacific empire were part of the war effort, as workers and as fighters. Not well known in the story of women's wartime work. Find out more of the history of women from the Pacific employed as domestics in New Zealand homes. This talk tells part of their story.

Located at the National Library of New Zealand

In partnership with Labour History Project and National Library of New Zealand.

Sunday 16 November



Monumental Crawl

Take a walk through Wellington’s statuesque landscape with Dr Mark Stocker (Curator, Historical International Art, Te Papa). Stroll through the streets and hear the stories behind the public sculptures that illustrate our capital city.

From Mansfield to Seddon, Ballance to Fraser - Monumental Crawl with Dr Mark Stocker is a fascinating trail of true history tracing the stories behind the statues.

Duration: 90mins (starts & finishes at Museum of Wellington City & Sea for tea, refreshments and chat)

In the case of truly terrible weather, you'll find a cancellation notice on and on the LitCrawl Facebook page.

Wednesday 26 November


Free entry

Migrating to New Zealand – what do we bring with us and what do we leave behind?

Join Pushpa Wood in a discussion focusing on the hard decisions when migrating to a new country.

This talk will explore some of the dilemmas when migrating to another country; opportunities and challenges such a move presents, what some of the deciding factors are, and the occupations, employment conditions and impact of migrating workers.

Located at the National Library of New Zealand

In partnership with Labour History Project and National Library of New Zealand.