Media Release: Luminaries production material

7 December 2020


The Luminaries production material gifted to Hokitika Museum

Hokitika Museum staff will be busy in the New Year assessing and cataloguing production materials from the BBC/TVNZ production of Eleanor Catton’s “The Luminaries”. The generous donation from Lisa Chatfield and production company, Southern Light Films, will enhance the costume items from the production that are already part of the Museum’s collection. Currently in storage in Auckland, staff are enthusiastically preparing for the arrival of the items in Hokitika.

Museum staff look forward to assimilating the collection into future displays at the Hokitika Museum.

Lisa Chatfield, explains, “We feel privileged to be able to offer items from the series that should be preserved and made accessible to the public. We are particularly pleased that the majority of the costumes, that were designed and handmade for the series by Costume Designer Edward Gibbon and an extraordinary team of talented New Zealander’s, are able to form the most significant aspect of the collection. The Hokitika Museum is the natural home, and it is a great opportunity to ensure the experience of the The Luminaries TV series has an on-going life beyond the screen.”

Assistance to negotiate the donation was provided by Judith Taylor, Museum Development Advisor, National Services Te Paerangi, Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand. “The donation will be a wonderful basis for developing museum programmes and exhibitions. The costumes and other props can illustrate parallel stories about 1860’s Hokitika and are a resource for the development of creative workshops based on the crafts in this legacy collection and in filming making.,” says Judith.

Mayor Bruce Smith adds, “It’s brilliant that Hokitika Museum will have these items for display. A lot of visitors are aware of the history of the area through watching The Luminaries on TV and it will be exciting for them to see the costumes and props in person.”

Other information

Items donated include, but not limited to:

  • Costumes for the characters: Anna, Lydia, Emery, Crosbie, Carver, and supporting cast including the 12 men who represent the signs of the zodiac.
  • Selected film props and games from the House of Many Wishes.
  • Pieces of the House of Many Wishes set designed by Felicity Abbott including hand painted windows, plinths and selected furniture.



Media enquiries to:

Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor