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Museum exhibition tells story of Kaikoura earthquake

Kaikoura Museum's latest exhibition will tell the story of the town's November 2016 earthquake and its impact on the local community.

The museum is launching New Normal on 15 December – the same day State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura reopens to the public.

The exhibition, which examines the impacts of the Kaikoura earthquake on the district’s people, landscape and natural environment, will be open to the public on the following day.

New Normal was a collaboration between Kaikoura Museum and the Kaikoura community, who were invited to help tell the stories of the historic event.

“If you look at the geological history and the creation of Kaikoura, it has always constantly changed – on a continuum. However, humans tend not to notice geological change until it literally hits them in the face,” says exhibition storyteller Te Awhina Arahanga.

“Just a little after midnight on the 14th November 2016 Kaikoura was to feel the brunt of the largest and longest earthquake ever recorded in New Zealand. All that was normal changed within 120 seconds.”

Within the formal display will be more than 30 "mini exhibitions” contributed by the people and community organisations of Kaikoura.

“The result is an insightful and fun exhibition which not only looks at the effects of the earthquake on our landscape and natural environment but also has humour, connection and some very personal elements as well,” says museum manager Stephanie Lange.

New Normal was made possible with support from the Lotteries Earthquake Relief Fund.

Kaikoura Museum opened in November 2016 and visitors have compared it to a ‘mini Te Papa’ – New Zealand’s stunning national museum.

It is home to numerous interesting, quirky and uniquely Kaikoura exhibits, including a fully-restored cabin from the Taiaroa ship that sank off the Kaikoura coast in 1886.

The development of the award-winning museum was a collaboration between the Kaikoura Historical Society and architecture practice Pearson and Associates.

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