Oranjehof - Your Dutch Connection Centre

Our Plans – Onze Visie

Our Plans - Onze Visie

The Dutch Connection will be a museum centre that's aligned with the national Strategy for the Museum Sector in New Zealand (2005).

"Museums help people understand their world by using objects, ideas and art to interpret the past and present, and to explore the possible future… Museums are places where communities come together to explore their cultural and artistic heritage, to discuss topics of current interest, or simply to pursue leisure or entertainment activity. They are shared community spaces."

Why Foxton?

Foxton was unanimously selected as the right place for Ons Museum Centrum by 11 NZ-NL societies throughout the country, for one important reason.

Our Foxton location will offer visitors a uniquely Dutch experience - a little piece of Nederland.

  • The existing replica 17th century windmill De Molen symbolises Dutch culture. Its shop offers delicacies from drop to speculaas, plus flour ground by the mill
  • The river loop will offer waterplezier with rowing boats, sailing and fishing fun
  • The wetlands waterlandschap between Foxton and the Tasman Sea - with
    well-designed walkways - hosts a unique birdlife population (UNESCO status)
  • The flat, green polderlandschap with Friesian cows is perfect for cycling. A major new bicycle track will connect Foxton, through the Tararuas, with Eketahuna
  • A Café will serve Heineken, jenever, koffie and other Dutch treats

Our Vision:

"Share, with pride, the inspirational stories about the many lively connections between Nederlanders and New Zealanders, to create a greater awareness and deeper understanding of our common past, present and future."

Our Mission:

"Create a financially sustainable attraction that will exhilarate visitors through displays, exhibitions, activities, exchanges, entertainment, education and research - in a manner that inspires enhanced collaboration and interaction between two peoples and two countries."

The Museum Creative Concept:

"Understanding and Nurturing Our Connections"

We aim to create an institution that nurtures and stimulates a deeper understanding of a common past and present - and the many long-standing and lively connections between Nederlanders and New Zealanders - to inspire us all to create a future that's shared in many meaningful ways.

  • Understand and nurture the many historic and contemporary connections between New Zealanders and Nederlanders
  • Understand the stories of the Dutch migration waves into New Zealand - the hardships and troubles encountered, as well as our successes and achievements
  • Enable the (grand)children of Dutch migrants to understand and leverage the cultural heritage and original roots that have influenced their values, outlook on life, character and personality
  • Better understand the Dutch contribution to the country's national identity and its economy
  • Achieve a deeper understanding of what enables and defines successful immigration - a topic of local and global interest and concern - and leverage the benefits it brings through the creation of a multi-cultural society
  • Better connect two small, entrepreneurial, trading nations so they can improve collaboration and achieve a better future in areas of common interest - such as science, business, the arts, multi-culturalism or international co-operation

Our Goals

  • Establish a high quality, dynamic and thriving centre that proves its potential and that is financially self-sufficient and sustainable
  • Create and manage a Museum Centre that is appealing to people from different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and all age groups
  • Unite Dutch community groups and organisations in support of the Museum Centre, by instilling a sense of national identity into the Dutch Connection and by providing Nederlanders with facilities that offer networking, participation, research and advocacy opportunities
  • Organise and curate educational and innovative displays, exhibitions, activities, events, exchanges, entertainment and research that have a positive influence on perceptions about the Dutch presence in New Zealand, and migration issues in general - enhancing learning and understanding about these topics
  • Encourage the exchange of displays, ideas and individuals between the Netherlands and Aotearoa/New Zealand to strengthen existing connections and forge new ones, to enable improved collaboration between two nations

Our Approach

As beschermers or kaitiaki (guardians), we aim to preserve and research those objects, collections of art, and information that are important to the Dutch community - on their behalf - and hold them in trust and make them accessible to society.

We aim to be an important educational, cultural and recreational resource. Museums are places where New Zealanders and visitors identify, learn about and celebrate our national identity and its formation - centres of learning that contribute long term value to communities by contributing to our social, economic and cultural well-being and development.

We will follow the modern approach for museums and to provide civic and community spaces - gathering places for people to meet and spend time with families and friends and others. We will create a meeting ground for communities, and a museum building that provides spaces that are open, transparent and accessible to visitors and to the communities of which they are part.

We subscribe to the national Code of Ethics, as set out by Museums Aotearoa.

Our Values:

  • Strongly linked into and representative of the wider Dutch Community
  • Collaborative
  • Creative
  • Dynamic and Innovative
  • Professional and Business-like

Bicultural - Multi-cultural

As our collaboration with the local Tangata Whenua in Foxton shows, we also aim to fulfill our role in the debate about the nature of our bi-cultural society and its other multi-cultural influences, and in exploring and evaluating those influences and the nature of our society.