Flax Stripper Museum



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group



Once upon a time, the flat wetland around Foxton was covered in flax, particularly harakeke. For generations, Māori had been scraping the flax of its green matter, using the enormously strong fibres for ropes, strings, cloaks, kete and mats. The colonizing Europeans developed flax-stripping machines to clean the flax at scale. But with the discovery of synthetic materials, the bottom fell out of the flax market. The last mill in Foxton closed in 1973, but one flax-stripping machine remains (this one from 1948). From August to May, see it in action most days between 1pm and 3pm. On Harbour Street. Or call Tony Hunt who is happy to open up, (06) 363 6846.