Site banner

About is the website of The Kapiti US Marines Trust and part of a major project to collect, preserve and promote World War II US Armed Forces history from 1942-1944 in the Kapiti district, north of the capital city Wellington, New Zealand.

While our focus is the history surrounding Camps Russell, MacKay and Paekakariki we also have an interest in Marines camps in other parts of the Wellington region and in the social history and friendships between Kiwis and Americans during this brief but all-important encounter.

About the Trust

The Kapiti U.S. Marines Trust (KUSMT) is registered with the Charities Commission (CC46035) and was established in 2009 by the former Mayor of Kapiti, Jenny Rowan. The Trust represents a number of local, regional and national groups with an interest in the collection, conservation, exhibition, and promotion of Marines’ History – particularly in camps Paekakariki, Mackay and Russell, in southern Kapiti, New Zealand.

Read more about the Trustees.

Annual Reports



There are a range of groups represented on the Trust including the New Zealand American Association, the Paekakariki Station Precinct Trust, Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park and the Guardians of Whareroa Farm. 

The Trust also works to connect with a wide range of heritage and the environment groups, especially those with and a particular focus on New Zealand U.S. Marines history. 

Key objectives

To benefit the local community of Paekakariki and Kapiti by telling the story of:

  1. The three Marines’ camps in Paekakariki during World War II
  2. To provide a history for future generations
  3. To enhance the Kapiti/ Wellington regional collection of Marines’ history for local, national, and international benefit
  4. To foster New Zealand/U.S. Relationships

General activities

  • Host and promote tours, exhibitions and events related to U.S. Armed Forces history in Kapiti and the Wellington region.
  • Community education through seminars, events, exhibitions and story-telling.
  • Run and develop the KUSMT website as a key focus for telling  the story of U.S Armed Forced and their association with Kapiti.
  • Further develop the Yankee Trail connecting key sites in the three former Marines’ camps:  Paekakariki, Russell and Mackay.
  • Raise funds to help the Trust achieve its goals.

Current direction

  • On-going development of the website as a central focus for our activities.
  • Work with the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and stakeholder groups to complete the Yankee Trail connecting the three former Marines’ camps in southern Kapiti.
  • Work collaboratively with other stakeholders to design, build and install interpretative signage to highlight key points of history in and around camps Paekakariki, Mackay and Russell
  • Work with other stakeholders to up-grade and maintain key Marines’ buildings and assets – particularly the Rail Air Shed currently being used by Steam Inc.
  • Restore and develop a World War II U.S.Marine’s Hut as a small tourism centre in the former Camp Paekakariki.




Attendees of the first meeting in 2009, at the US Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, to plan and announce the formation of a Trust for the Kapiti US Marines: 1942 - 1944


Past Trustee, Joan Ellis meets US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, on her visit to New Zealand in 2010.





The Kapiti US Marines Trust clinched the supreme spot at Kapiti's annual 2012 Wellington Airport community and civic awards on 7 October 2012. Read more.

+ Text Size -