Te Papa’s photography collection contains over 800,000 rare and beautiful images, including Māori and Pacific taonga (treasures), and vintage shots of New Zealand’s dramatic history and culture.
You’ll find fascinating photos of New Zealand’s rich flora and fauna, and some hauntingly powerful images of our people and their land. Beautiful studio-photographed artefacts, objects, and fine art, both historical contemporary, can also be found in Te Papa’s image collection.
Click on the headings below for information about each category.
Since 2001, Te Papa has been home to the collection of pre-eminent twentieth century photographer Brian Brake; New Zealand’s sole member of prestigious photo agency, Magnum Photos.
Use our Collections Online Search Tool to search and view Brake’s extensive photography archive spanning four decades, several continents and over 45,000 beautiful images.
To license a Brian Brake image, or purchase a gallery-quality print of a Brian Brake photograph, please contact Te Papa Media on the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Māori and Pacific images
Te Papa’s Māori and Pacific image collection contains the early Māori portraiture work of the American Photography Company, and Thomas Andrew’s collection of early Pacific Island photography.
Te Papa’s vast collection of Māori and Pacific objects has also been individually photographed in our imaging studio by Te Papa’s in-house photography team.
Māori and Pacific images can be searched, viewed and licensed via Collections Online.
Search for Māori and Pacific images on Collections Online.
Please note that some Māori images may not be displayed on Collections Online due to iwi restrictions. Contact Te Papa Media Sales and Licensing if the image you wish to licence is not currently displayed.
Te Papa’s in-house Imaging Team is tasked with creating a visual history of our work here at Te Papa; documenting the collections and exhibitions, research, field trips, and general goings-on here at the Museum.
We presently do not have the capability to make all of our imaging team’s media assets available to view on our website, however we're happy to discuss and show our extensive collection of in-house media assets.
Contact Te Papa Media Sales and Licensing if you would like us to check our archive for images that may be relevant to your work.