Kohi Pōneke – We Collect Wellington

Introducing Kohi PōnekeWe Collect Wellington,’ an online series showcasing new taonga and objects collected by Wellington Museum. 

We will be sharing with you treasures from our collection store and highlighting objects on display in Te Whanganui-a-Tara that celebrate the people and the events that have shaped the character and soul of Pōneke and the region. 

Poly 1

Before you ask, no, it doesn’t do Zoom… 

Wellington’s tech sector has always been forward-thinking. Designed by Wellington Polytechnic staff, Neil Scott and Paul Bryant, and students in 1980, Poly 1 was advanced for its time and built for secondary school use.  

Scott and Bryant saw the need for educational computers in schools and successfully pitched the concept to the Department of Education. 

The Development Finance Corporation and Lower Hutt-based software company, Progeni Computers Ltd. joined forces to create Polycorp. The Poly-1 was an all-in-one unit, with a distinctive fibreglass casing, colour display and 64KB of RAM.   

However, Poly 1 never reached its true potential, in 1981 the Department of Education’s agreement to purchase 1,000 computers a year for five years fell through.  

In 1989, Poly-1 was discontinued and Polycorp wound up around 1990 after both the DFC and Progeni Computers became insolvent. 

This machine was built by Polycorp around 1981 and is currently on display in Te Whanganui-a-Tara at Wellington Museum

Nicky Hager’s Hard Drive

213 hammer blows later, this is, or what’s left of Nicky Hager’s hard drive that contained copies of files seized in an unlawful police raid of his home in 2016.  

In a dramatic end to the drawn-out legal battle, police destroyed the hard drive. An officer smashed it with a hammer 213 times before handing it to the investigative journalist.  

After a 2016 High Court decision that a raid on his home had been illegal, Wellington-based investigative journalist Nicky Hager received this hard drive containing copies of his files from the police. The hard drive had been struck 213 times with a hammer to ‘delete’ other police files on it before it was handed to Nicky.  

Find what’s left of the hard drive on display now in our new exhibition Te Whanganui-a-Tara at Wellington Museum. 

Donating to Wellington Museum

All proposed donations go through an approval process – we cannot accept all items offered to us, although we appreciate the generosity of potential donors. 

To offer an object or taonga to Wellington Museum, contact us first at collection@experiencewellington.org.nz. Our curatorial or collections staff will then get in touch with you. Please do not bring objects or taonga to Wellington Museum without contacting us first.

Read more about our collections policy and what happens to approved donations here.


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