Otago Settlers Museum
The Otago Settlers Museum is a regional history museum in Dunedin, New Zealand. Its brief covers the territory of the old Otago Province, that is, New Zealand from the Waitaki River south. It is New Zealand's oldest and most extensive history museum. It is located in the heart of the city close to other prominent buildings such as the Dunedin Railway Station, some 500 metres from the city centre ( The Octagon).

Founded in 1898, the 50th anniversary of the Scottish settlement of Otago, by the Otago Early Settlers' Association, by 1908 the museum was located in a building in Queen's Gardens Dunedin, designed by John Burnside. Originally concerned only with European settlers, initially just those who arrived between 1848 and the first of the Otago gold rushes in 1861, the institution gradually enlarged its scope to include later arrivals and eventually Māori. At that point the word 'early' was dropped from the name of the Museum and the Association. Its collections evolved reflecting these changes but remain focused on the historical period, i.e. since James Cook's first visit to southern New Zealand in 1770. In 1927 the museum took over the adjoining building, also designed by Burnside, vacated by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The institution sometimes struggled financially finding little support from the city council. Comparable museums in two other New Zealand cities, Auckland and Wellington, were closed after the second world war and their collections dispersed. The country's interest in its own history was at a low ebb. The period 1949 to 1977 has been called 'Decline and Fall?' and the museum might have died. The buildings were extensive, the collections considerable and varied, comprehending furniture, apparel, technology - including household appliances and vehicles - as well as archives and works of art. Maintenance and even heating presented formidable challenges. In 1978 a new Director, Seddon Bennington, embarked on a programme of renewal. A later Director, Elizabeth Hinds, continued the museum's resurgence. The Dunedin City Council provided grants increasingly covering costs and in 1991 took over the museum's ownership and operation. A neighbouring building, formerly the New Zealand Railways Bus Station, designed in 1939 by James Hodge White (1896-1970), was acquired. This structure, one of Dunedin's more notable examples of art deco architecture, is now used to house vintage transport and related machinery. It lies directly to the south of the old museum, to which it was linked in 1994 by a concourse designed by Francis Whittaker. In 1995 the directorship of the museum was combined with that of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, an innovation which was controversial. In 2008 this was reversed and the city council re-established the museum's separate directorship. In 2006 the city council decided to proceed with extensive additions to the north and east of the Burnside complex to consolidate the collections on a single site and to provide better conditions for their storage and exhibition. Further extensions are planned, including a controversial observation tower at the museum's northern end. On 4 April 2008 a burst water main caused flooding and damage to the museum costing $45,000 to repair. No artefacts were found to be irreparable. The museum's E class Fairlie steam locomotive Josephine is popular. It is the oldest preserved steam locomotive in New Zealand, dating from 1872, and when it was saved for preservation in the late 1920s, it became New Zealand's first preserved locomotive, decades before the heritage movement truly began in this country. The museum also possesses the youngest preserved steam locomotive in New Zealand, J A 1274. It entered service in December 1956 and was both the last steam locomotive built by the New Zealand Railways Department (at Dunedin's Hillside Workshops) and the last new steam locomotive built for operation on the national network. It was officially withdrawn in November 1971 and was saved for preservation, moving to the museum a few years later. Among the museum's collection of paintings are works by the surveyor of Dunedin Charles Kettle, the surveyor John Buchanan, artist Alfred Henry O'Keeffe and a notable group by George O'Brien. The museum also houses a research centre and is home to an extensive collection of photographs of European pioneers. A bust of a former Provincial Superintendent James Macandrew is located outside the Burnside building.

Chinese garden
A traditional Chinese garden has been constructed on land immediately behind the museum's transport wing, and opened to the public on 8 July 2008. It is one of very few such gardens outside China. This garden is partly a gift of Dunedin's sister city, Shanghai, and has been designed in consultation with landscape architects from that city.