Establishing Oranjehof truly was a community effort in collaboration. And still today, running a successful place that has been called "Aotearoa’s finest example of how a museum can be a living community space" means working together with lots of groups.
Working closely with mana whenua, through the Te Taitoa Māori o te Awahou trust and its Piriharakeke museum in our building, is just one example of us collaborating.
But also... We wouldn't attract as many visitors - without De Molen next door, and its cafe with speculaas en stroopwafels to go with de koffie. And the Manawatu Dutch Club provides the volunteer guides for museum tours and exhibitions - which make Oranjehof come alive!
Many others - throughout the country - are mentioned on our 'Partners' page.
A huge thanks, to you all! We zijn enorm dankbaar!
A Bit of History - A Few Individuals
In 2005 a Dutch museum Trust was set up in Auckland, to initiate the establishment of a place to tell the story of the Dutch in New Zealand, led by Maatje Keldermans.
Following on from that group, the Dutch Connection Museum Trust became responsible for setting up the Oranjehof Dutch Connection Centre in Foxton, next to windmill De Molen.
You can find more detailed info, in our Constitution.
Foxton was selected unanimously by the Federation of NZ NL Societies, as the ideal spot for Oranjehof, since there also was a river and flat green countryside that looks like a polderlandschap. Plus we had the unflinching support of Horowhenua District Council, which aims to turn Foxton into the tourism centre of the region.
The 2006 team started out with two co-chairs:
- Yolande van de Wetering and Arjan van der Boon, who still hold that position.
Today, the other Trust members include:
- Bart van der Kwast
- Jos Berkhout
- Koenraad Kuiper