A new phase for Katherine Mansfield House & Garden

On Sunday 14 October we celebrated not only KM's 130th birthday, but also 30 years since Katherine Mansfield House & Garden opened to the public as a museum.

Since the House was restored under the stewardship of founder President Oroya Day, it has become a Wellington icon, and a place of pilgrimage for students and fans of Mansfield from New Zealand and all over the world.


The House before and during restoration, 1980s.

However, as is to be expected after 131 years standing and 30 years as a museum, the House is in need of some TLC and invigorated exhibition spaces. At a special function held on KM's birthday we were delighted to announce that with the support of Lottery Environment and Heritage and the Day Family Trust, in 2019 we will be undertaking refurbishment and redevelopment of the house.

Refurbishment will incorporate external restoration, including a refreshed paint job and some work on the roof. Inside, we will be undertaking a gentle refresh and refurbishment. We will be installing insulation and new heating methods in a way that is sympathetic to a Category 1 historic place, and moving the staff kitchen out of the original scullery, allowing better preservation and scope for exhibiting.

In addition to refurbishment, we will be refreshing all exhibition spaces in the house. KMHG will still be the Victorian house museum that our visitors love, but it will be refreshed to provide a more engaging and informative visitor experience.

The House will be closed for around three months Monday 29 April 2019 to carry out this work. A specific reopening date will be announced over winter 2019.

Introducing Te Whare Tāre

At our birthday celebrations we also announced the publication of Te Whare Tāre, a te reo Māori translation of KM's well known story, The Doll's House.

The translation was prepared by Dr Karena Kelly of the School of Māori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. Karena has done a thoughtful and beautiful translation of this beloved story. We are very proud KMHG has been able to contribute to the body of NZ literature available in te reo Māori, and hope that this publication will be only the first Mansfield story that we translate. 

We were privileged to have the book officially launched at the birthday function by Her Excellency, the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand.

Te Whare Tāre is currently available in store at KMHG, and on our website.