The Petone Settlers Museum was built on the Petone foreshore in 1940 to commemorate the arrival of the first British immigrants in Petone 100 years before.
On 18 December 1938, Ivor Te Puni, a descendant of the great Te Atiawa chief Te Puni, wrote to the Prime Minister requesting that in light of the 1940 Centennial, the Prime Minister remember the Maori people who ‘gave’:
“…since we have been locked together ‘Tatou tatou’ wouldn’t it be a fitting tribute to the memory of my worthy forbear the late chief Te Puni, the head and representative of his tribe to have a monument erected at and unveiled at the coming celebrations?”
The result of this remarkable letter was the depiction of Te Puni on the arched window of this Memorial’s façade, extending his hand in welcome to the new settlers.
To mark the 70th anniversary of its opening, the museum was refurbished in 2010 and an exhibition created to celebrate the history of the local area.
Tatou Tatou commemorates the historic meeting of the great Maori Te Atiawa chiefs, Te Wharepouri and Te Puni, and the first British settlers, on the shores of Pito-one (Petone) shores in 1840. Tatou Tatou means ‘we, you and I’ or ‘all of us’.