The Maritime Museum Foundation

          incorporating the Bill Laxon Maritime Library Foundation

Background to the Foundation

The Foundation was established in 2006 as the Bill Laxon Maritime Library Foundation for the express purpose of supporting the library collection of the NZ National Maritime Museum. The library includes the significant collection of the late Bill Laxon who was one of New Zealand’s foremost maritime historian and for a number of years was the deputy chair of the NZ National Maritime Museum Trust Board[1].

The Foundation is independent of the NZ Maritime Museum (NZMM) and the Bill Laxon Maritime Library itself and operates under its own trust deed and its own trust board.

Recognising the need for support to the museum and the wider New Zealand maritime heritage story, the trustees and the museum agreed in 2012 to rename the Foundation as the Maritime Museum Foundation and to extend its scope to three sections:

(a)    Bill Laxon Maritime Library

A dedicated section of funding to continue with the objectives of the Bill Laxon Maritime Library Foundation, maintaining funding support specifically for the library objectives.

As the Foundation did not extend its scope beyond that of a maritime library focus until July 2012, funds collected to that date are held exclusively to support the maritime library and related projects.

(b)   Collections

Funding the purchase of objects of maritime heritage or maritime interest that could be displayed at the national maritime museum or elsewhere.  This section of funding can facilitate the purchase of items that are not suitable for direct accession by the museum and thus requiring curatorial responsibility to international museum best practice standards – for example boats that might be used and or displayed other than at the national maritime museum.

(c)    Maritime history related education and broader objectives of the museum (excluding operational costs)

This category of funding is to assist the museum to promote and fund education opportunities, special exhibitions and maritime heritage events that might be located at the national maritime museum or elsewhere with the core focus of New Zealand’s maritime heritage.

The Foundation’s funding policy

helpThe Foundation is currently seeking to establish a capital base and welcomes donations. The Foundation is a registered NZ Charity (CC10423) and is registered with the Department of Inland Revenue as a donee organisation – donations are tax-deductible under New Zealand law.

To support maritime research and heritage in NZ and to donate and/or to join our mailing list please contact the Hon Secretary. Please include your mailing address

< Funding Policy >

[1] Bill Laxon was instrumental in the establishment of the NZ National Maritime Museum.  July 1973 as Chairman of the Auckland Maritime Society, he sent a letter to the Auckland Museum Council to ask for backing for the establishment of a maritime museum. The first meeting of a steering committee for the Auckland Maritime Museum met in September 1974 and the Maritime Museum Society of New Zealand was established in December 1975.  In November 1981 the Auckland Maritime Museum Trust Board was formed and in August 1993 the New Zealand Prime Minister opened Hobson Wharf as the New Zealand National Maritime Museum.  Obituary