1906 International Exhibition

Home Industries Court

  • The Home Industries Court featured "work of the individual", rather than the products of firms and factories.
  • On display was a wide range of exhibits produced either in private homes, by students attending the colony's technical schools, or by school children and apprentices.
  • A series of competitions were held in various classes, and the number of entries was large.

The aim of the Home Industries Committee was to create "a love for emulation"1 which would be of permanent educational advantage to the community. A display of the energy and ability of individual workers could only enhance New Zealand's reputation as a country of rapidly developing commercial and industrial prosperity.


Among the larger classes of exhibits were many examples of wood carving - furniture, mirrors, clocks, canoes, ships’ models, walking sticks, caskets and musical instruments. Most of these exhibits used native timbers. There was also an especially beautiful collection of needlework, from plain sewing to elaborate embroidery, and including some very fine hand-made lace. Of particular interest was a large lace collar, created with native flax (phormium tenax). Other types of materials on display included copper and brass repoussé work and brushwork.

Students’ work

The technical school students’ exhibits demonstrated their skills in carpentry, plumbing, metalwork, joinery, coach-building, cabinet-making and construction work. Wellington Technical College showed a complete model cathedral, with every detail carefully worked. The Auckland College’s exhibit featured dressmaking and millinery, while Canterbury focused on woodwork, furniture and copper work. One bay was devoted to sign writing and marbling, while many colleges also displayed paintings and other art work. School children contributed art, handwriting and mapping works.



Related links


  • [1] Cowan, J. Official record, page 169