The Museum had its beginnings in 1969 when a group of transport and technology enthusiasts got together to mount a display of items as part of the Cook Bicentennial Celebrations in October of that year. This group became part of the Gisborne Museum and Arts Centre and was housed in a barn at the back of that museum in Stout Street.
The group later moved to leased land at the back of the A. and P. Showgrounds at Makaraka and remained there until 1989, taking the original barn with them and adding another one as well as erecting other buildings to house the ever-growing collection. In 1984 the transport and technology section became an incorporated society of its own right, and was renamed as the East Coast Museum of Technology.
The chance to own its own property came in 1988 when the Museum purchased the former Kia Ora Dairy Factory premises at Makaraka. The original barn and the new one were dismantled and moved to the new site, and since that time two more barns and two large sheds have been added to greatly expand the display areas.
The adjacent Makaraka railway station site was also purchased and is being developed into a vintage railway, which includes the Matawhero railway station, the Makaraka railway goods shed, and the Kings Road railway station. The Gisborne railway station telephone exchange and two rural exchanges have also been acquired.
The Museum is a non-profit organisation and is run by a dedicated group of volunteers. Without their tremendous efforts the museum would not exist. The museum welcomes newcomers. If you're interested in the work we do and think you would like to join us, come along and meet the committee and volunteers on Sundays or contact us.
ECMoT is happy to accommodate clubs with similar interests and goals. We already have great working relationships with the Amateur Radio Club and Genealogy Society, and the Model Railway Club operate from their clubrooms on the museum grounds on Saturdays.
If you would like to contact the museum, our mailing address is:
East Coast Museum of Technology
PO Box 971