Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Museum under construction 1930 Puke Ahu: Campus Identity Initiative

"Knowing our place" - building a sense of place-based identity on the Wellington campus.

The Puke Ahu project is a Wellington campus-wide initiative that is developing activities and resources promoting the culturally-rich history of Puke Ahu (Mt Cook). Facilitated by Massey University Strategic Innovation Fund and Massey University Living Labs, and in association with our Heritage celebrations, the cross-disciplinary team:

  • has commissioned an archaeological report
  • has published an online anthology
  • has gained kind permission from Raukura consultants to distribute Cultural Impact Report: Massey University
  • has established a kaitiaki roopu with wide membership across the campus and developed portfolios of planned activities that include:
    • identifying and publicising teaching and learning activities that allow staff and students to interact with the site
    • planning an exhibition of digitally archived materials about the site
    • developing a series of 'past to future pathways' as informative walking routes.

Kaitiaki Roopu (Steering Group)

Associate Professor Robin Peace, School of People, Environment and Planning 

Dr Fiona Shearer, School of English and Media Studies

Professor Frank Sligo, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

Dr Ingrid Horrocks, School of English and Media Studies

Debbie Snelson, Student Life Services

Dr Te Kani Kingi, Research Centre for Maori Health and Development

Dale-Maree Morgan, Maori Directorate

Associate Professor Bronwyn Labrum, School of Design

Deanna Riach, Campus Registrar

Associate Professor Rachel Page, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health

Associate Professor Wyatt Page, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health

Dr William Hoverd, Centre for Defence and Security Studies

Dr Allanah Ryan, School of People, Environment and Planning

Dr Jane Richardson, Massey Sustainability

Stephen FitzHerbert, Massey Living Labs

Key working relationships

Mary O’Keeffe, Heritage Solutions

Wellington High School

Tenths Trust



Puke Ahu Archaeology (4,808 KB)
By Mary O'Keeffe, Heritage Solutions, December 2013.

Cultural Impact Report: Massey University Wellington, Puke Ahu (2,617 KB)
By Raukura Consultants

Student information (399 KB)

Massey University Heritage Jubilee Sculpture Commission, Wellington Campus (7,354 KB)

Wellington City Council Heritage reports on Puke Ahu architecture

Army Headquarters Building (351 KB)

Former Mount Cook Police Station (214 KB)

Former National/Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery (567 KB)

HMNZS Olphert (252 KB)

National War Memorial (347 KB)

Tasman Street Brick Wall (584 KB)


Puke Ahu image gallery

Online resources

Puke Ahu Anthology Website 

If you find the good oil let us know - Art project by Maddie Leach, based on a historical barrel of oil found on Massey University’s Wellington Campus

Mt Cook, Wellington - A History - by local historian, Peter Cooke.

Mt Cook - Today and Yesterday - by Carol Comber and Peter Cooke.

Mt Cook mural a window on the past - news item, Sheyne Tuffery mural, Hankey Street.

Ministry of Culture and Heritage - National War Memorial Park

Ministry of Culture and Heritage - National War Memorial and Carillon

Ministry of Culture and Heritage - The Arras Tunnel through Wellington's Memorial Park (links to pdf)

Tātarakihi - The Children of Parihaka film

Learnz website - History of Mount Cook Pukeahu - designed for use by schools

Learnz website - Memorial Park information video - designed for use by schools

New Zealand History online - Alexandra Barracks

Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust

Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand - Story of Te Atiawa


Mclean, C. & Phillips, J., (1990). The sorrow and the pride: New Zealand war memorials. GP Books: Wellington, New Zealand.

Methven, P. (2011). The Terrace Gaol: A short history of Wellington’s prisons 1840-1927. Steele Roberts Aotearoa: Wellington, New Zealand.

Wong, A. (2009). As the earth turns silver. Penguin: North Shore, New Zealand.

Newspaper and magazine articles

Anderson, L. (2012, September 7). Street History: Wallace StreetThe Wellingtonian. 

Cann, J. (2014, March 20). Jail, riots and a war memorial. The Wellingtonian, p. 22

Hunter, K. (2014, June 10). New Zealand’s treasures of war already where they should be. Dominion Post, p. A9.

Massey University, (2013, October). The Big 50. Defining NZ: News from Massey University (Issue 26).

Wellington City Council, (2014, June 10). Help to tell our war stories. Dominion Post, p. A7.

Academic journal articles

Gruenewald, D.A. (2003). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher 32(3), 3-12. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X032004003

Pentito, W. (2009). Place-based education: Catering for curriculum, culture and communityNew Zealand Annual Review of Education, 18, 5-29. 


Placing the Personal Essay Colloquium, 2nd-3rd December 2014.

More information

For more information please contact Associate Professor Robin Peace.