Ōtaki has a rich heritage of Māori and early European settlement, spiced with the arrival of Chinese workers. The stories of these early beginnings enrich the present and the future.
The Ōtaki Museum, set up in 2003 is run by the Ōtaki Heritage Preservation Trust and feature changing exhibitions, we also research Ōtaki history, collect and hold objects of interest.
The museum is housed in the 1918 Bank of New Zealand building in Main Street, Ōtaki. This building is an historic and prominent building in Ōtaki's Main Street and has been restored by the Trust from its near derelict condition to a state that reflects and respects its historic beginnings, incorporating fine timber panelling, an elegant staircase, stained glass windows and pressed metal ceilings.
The building was the Council Chamber for the Ōtaki Borough Council from 1967 to 1989 and housed the local service centre of the Kapiti Coast District Council until 1998. The Kapiti Coast District Council continues to own the building with the Trust being responsible for internal restoration, decoration and maintenance