Our names and leaders over time 

Our names over time

1865–1907 

Colonial Museum

1907–72 

Dominion Museum

1972–92 

National Museum 

1992–present

Museum Of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa)


The National Art Gallery kept its name from 1936 until 1992, when it became part of Te Papa.

Our leaders over time

Dr James Hector circa 1868, Wrigglesworth, James (1836–1906), Wellington. Purchased 1916. Te Papa
Dr James Hector circa 1868, Wrigglesworth, James (1836–1906), Wellington. Purchased 1916. Te Papa

Directors of the National Museum
Directors of the National Art Gallery
Chief Executive Officers of Te Papa
Kaihautū (Māori leaders) of Te Papa

Directors of the National Museum

Below is a list of Directors of the National Museum until it became part of Te Papa in 1992. Before then, its name had changed from Colonial Museum (1865) to Dominion Museum (1907) to National Museum (1972).

Also see Chief Executive Officers of Te Papa.

1865–1903 

Sir James Hector

1903–13

Mr Augustus Hamilton

1913–14

Mr M J McDonald, Acting Director

1914–28

Dr Allan Thomson

1928–47

Dr W R B Oliver

1947–66

Dr R A Falla

1966–80

Dr Richard K Dell

1980–89

Dr John C Yaldwyn

1989–92

Dr Michael Volkerling, Executive Director National Museum and National Art Gallery

Dr Alan Baker, Director National Museum

Ms Jenny Harper, Director National Art Gallery


Directors of the National Art Gallery

The National Art Gallery was established in 1936. Below is a list of its Directors until it became part of Te Papa in 1992.

1936–47

Committee of Management of the National Art Gallery

1948–68

Mr Stewart B Maclennan – with the Committee of Management of the National Art Gallery

1968–78

Mr Melvin (Pat) Day 

1979–89

Mr L H (Luit) Bieringa 

1989–92

Dr Michael Volkerling, Executive Director National Art Gallery and National Museum

Ms Jenny Harper, Director National Art Gallery

Dr Alan Baker, Director National Museum

Chief Executive Officers of Te Papa

Since development of Te Papa began in 1992, the leader’s title has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

1993–2002

Dame Cheryll Sotheran

2002–03

Ms Pat Stuart, Acting CEO

2003–2009

Dr Seddon Bennington

2009–2010

Mrs Michelle Hippolite, Acting CEO

2010–2014

Mr Michael Houlihan

 2014–Present

Mr Arapata Hakiwai, Acting CEO


Kaihautū (Māori leaders) of Te Papa

Since 1995, Te Papa’s Chief Executive Officer has shared leadership with a Kaihautū (Māori leader). Their partnership reflects the Museum’s commitment to biculturalism.

1995–2000

Mr Cliff Whiting  

2000

Mr James Te Puni, Acting Kaihautū

2000–07

Mr Te Taru White  

2007–08

Mr Arapata Hakiwai, Acting Kaihautū

2008–12

Mrs Michelle Hippolite  

2012– October 2013 

Mrs Rhonda Paku, Acting Kaihautū 

October 2013 - Present

Mr Arapata Hakiwai