Why Oranjehof?

Over the last 60 years or so, Dutch immigrants and their families have made a tremendous
contribution to New Zealand’s culture, business, sports and science. But our story has never been told.
We’re missing from the pages of history. Michael King in his bestselling ‘History of New Zealand’
talks about every other migrant group – except the Dutch.

With our Oranjehof museum we will have a place of our own to show and celebrate what
we’ve achieved in innovation and artistry – with lots of hard work and heaps of clever-clog smart thinking.

We’re often called the ‘Invisible Immigrants’. That label doesn’t apply any more.
With Oranjehof right next to De Molen, we have an iconic place where all things Dutch come together.

This is where visitors can make connections with the Netherlands, family, neighbours and long lost friends.
A place to connect to the past and create a better future.

How come we chose a small heritage town like Foxton for a Dutch national centre?
You wouldn’t be the first to ask! You’ll find Dutch folk everywhere New Zealand, though mostly
in Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch. But during our search throughout the country for a
museum site, we kept coming back to Foxton.

There’s nothing quite so Dutch as a huge Stellingmolen, the windmill there.
There’s a river and flat green paddocks, Friesian cows and an abundance of watervogels or
wetland birds. Plus the Tasman Sea nearby.

When we asked the Dutch clubs around the country?
They told us unanimously that this was the place for us – onze plek …

What’s in a Name?
‘Oranje’ is orange, the Dutch national colour. ‘Hof’ is a space shared by several houses,
a court, a bit like the place you’re now entering. Say ‘o-ran-yer-hoff’ (roll the ‘r’, soften the ‘f’).

We reckon it’s a good name for any storybook – ons levend verhalenboek.

What’s on?
Come and visit. Make sure you have a chat to the members of our volunteers Hofhouding – the courtiers –
who can explain more to you, from their personal experience. We’re a Dutch Connection Centre…!

  • -Discover the stories of friends, family and neighbours
  • -Explore the globe with Abel Tasman
  • -Experience ‘gezellig’ in a Dutch living room
  • -Play games and dress up
  • -Take a photo of the kids in traditional costume, on a bike
  • -Delve into interactive displays
  • -Have a sniff at childhood memories
  • -Pick up some Dutch language
  • -Taste traditional delicacies
  • -Immerse yourself in exciting art and design
  • -Link up with the past, and build a future with more ‘Dutchness’

Arjan van der Wetering and Yolande van de Wetering
Co-Chairs of the Dutch Connection Museum Trust