Explore the collection at Hayes Engineering Works

The vast collection at Hayes Engineering Works consists of objects connected to the site and to the Hayes family and a vast majority were actually fabricated within the property itself.

The ever-inventive Hayes family even made their own ice skates!expand/collapse

The collection consists of tools used in the fabrication of Hayes products, the original hand-made wooden patterns for components of farming tools invented and manufactured by Ernest Hayes, including early model wire strainers, rabbit smokers, standard lifters and windmills, along with examples of the finished products.  These aspects of the collection clearly display Hayes’ creative process and production systems.  Also in the collection are several miniature, working models of Hayes items, including that for a pollard cutter, used to cut rabbit poison, an essential pest-control tool for Central Otago farmers. 

Many of these objects were made with recycled materials, showing Hayes’ attitude towards waste and a distinctive ‘Kiwi ingenuity’ in being able to make something out of nothing.

A small number of items remind us that Hayes Engineering Works was not only a business, but a family.  These include a wooden pattern for part of a toy car, complete with a V8 logo and several bicycle repair and puncture kits, no doubt related to Hannah Hayes’ work, cycling throughout the area, promoting and selling Hayes’ products.

Also within the collection are a significant number of paper records relating to the Hayes Engineering Works business, including invoices, daybooks and diaries and a large amount of promotional material such as posters, flyers and pamphlets.

Please note that due to conservation reasons not all objects may be on public display at any one time. If you are interested in viewing an item, please contact the Property Manager.  

Heritage New Zealand manages its collection of historic objects in its properties from a central database.  You can find out more about the how the Heritage New Zealand collection is managed, including donating items on this website.

To see further highlights from the collection online, search for Hayes Engineering Works at New Zealand Museums