Latest news 

Iwi Development Officer, Gavin Reedy, and workshop presenters, Norm Heke and Vicki-Anne Heikell at a workshop.
Iwi Development Officer, Gavin Reedy, and workshop presenters, Norm Heke and Vicki-Anne Heikell at a workshop.

Keep up to date with the latest news, events, resources and initiatives.

Read archived e-newsletters

New resource: Cultural Objects at Risk

On 26 September, Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, President of ICOM, gave a talk at Te Papa on Cultural Objects at Risk. Dr Hinz discussed ICOM’s Red List and Blue Shield systems, which are systems put in place for the protection of cultural objects in areas where there is unrest or natural disaster. We recorded the talk for those unable to attend.

Sliding racks for sale

Christchurch’s Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) Gallery is currently undergoing repair and restructure. As a result, they have a number of sliding steel storage racks (for paintings) that they no longer need and would like to sell to another museum or gallery. The racks are in excellent condition. They slide along ceiling-fixed, steel runners.

Height of all racks: 2.7m

Width of racks:
23 racks at 1m wide
23 racks at 1.5m wide
14 racks at 2m wide
5 racks at 4m wide

Supporting rails:
23 rails at 5.2m long
23 rails at 6m long
2 rails at approx 20m long

Contact Helen Calder at CoCA for further information and to negotiate a price –

Ngāti Kahungunu taonga project - can you help?

Kei aku whakatamarahi ki te rangi, kei aku whakateitei ki te whenua nei rā te reo whakamiha te rere nei ki tēnā, ki tēnā o koutou e pae nei.

Ko Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti tōku ingoa. He uri ahau nō te rohe o te moana nā reira i rarapa ai ngā kanohi o Haunui-a-Nanaia, nō Wairarapa. Ko Ngāti Kahungunu, Ko Rangitaane ki Wairarapa, ko Ngāi Tahu ngā iwi.

I am currently working on an exciting research project for the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui a Rua Trust. This project will assist the Trust with Māori heritage management issues. It focuses on portable taonga which includes photographs, paintings, archives, artefacts, and koiwi.

The aim of the project is to prepare an inventory of taonga held in public and private collections throughout the world, and to properly record them, particularly those that have not yet been recorded (eg. those in private collections). This is a vital resource for addressing the heritage management issues raised by our claimants and reported on by the Waitangi Tribunal. The iwi-based inventory will also provide a sound resource for further research surrounding Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki Nui a Rua taonga and the collections. 

I would like to ask the Kaitiaki Taonga Māori and Collection Managers of our museums if there are any taonga in their museum collections relevant to our project – that is those that may provenance to anywhere within the areas between South Wairarapa to Tāmaki (Dannevirke) region. If so, please contact me (Rongomai Te Whaiti) on 022 037 5003, 06 353 5934 or

Kāti hā, e mihi ana ki a koutou mō koutou i whai wāhi mai ki tāku e marohi nei. Tēnā koutou katoa.

All That Remains: WWI objects in New Zealand museum collections

We’re very excited to introduce All That Remains: WWI objects in New Zealand museum collections | He Waihotanga Iho mai i te Pakanga Tuatahi - 

All That Remains is a shared exhibition website that features objects from the home front and overseas. The website offers a platform for museums, galleries, historical societies, archives, iwi, and Returned and Services’ Associations to participate in the commemorations and showcase their WWI-related collections, stories, and activities to the world.

You’re invited to participate! Share your WWI-related collections items and profile your museum. You can also contribute to our collection of stories – share a WWI story, investigate a collection item in depth, or profile your organisation’s other WWI centenary activities.

Read more about participating in the All The Remains project

We’ve produced a poster and flyer that you can use to direct your museum’s visitors to see your WWI collection online. This is a great way to extend their visit beyond the physical display space.

All That Remains poster (PDF, 837kB)
All That Remains flyers (PDF, 1.5MB)
All That Remains email banner (PNG, 31kB)

Contact us for support to get involved

We hope you enjoy getting to know New Zealand’s wartime collections through All That Remains.

Te Papa collection images available for reuse

Te Papa is delighted to release some of  its collection images for reuse. Over 30,000 images are now downloadable, for free, in the highest resolution we have them. You can search for and download them at Collections Online.

Over 14,000 images are available under a Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND. If you aren’t familiar with Creative Commons it can look a little complicated, but what it means is you can use those images if attribute the image (we help you do that at each download page). You can’t make money from using the image, and you can’t change the image. Might sound a little restrictive but there is plenty you can still do, like use it in your homework, on your blog, print it and hang it on your wall…

But even better are the 17,000 images that downloadable for any use, any use at all. These images have no known copyright restrictions. Again it would be good if you attributed the original maker of the work, and link to the page on Collections Online so others can find it, but that isn’t mandatory.

We’ve made these images available under these licences for quite a while now, but it hasn’t been easy to download high resolution copies of them up to this point. This new development fixes that. You can search through the collections for reusable images by ticking “with downloadable images” on the search box. Then just look for the Download button beneath the images.

We’ve done a lot of work on researching copyright but we’re still working on through the collection so expect more to be released over time. And of course we need to have digitised the item!

We’ve also been digitising our collection for a while now, and technology has changed over the years. This means some of our images are super high resolution, others, which may have been done a few years ago with old technology, maybe aren’t so big. But we thought we’d still make them downloadable in the meantime anyway, so you can use them. We’ll keep working through our collections digitising new items, and sometimes making better images to replace some of the smaller scans. If you do download images from the collections, we’d be really interested to know how you are using them. Maybe leave a comment on the Download page, or tweet us at @TePapaColonline, we are really interested to see what creative things you do with the images, or how they are helping you with research, homework, or brightening up your room. Start searching and downloading at Collections Online.

New public programmes resource online

We’ve developed a handy checklist to help guide development of a public programme. This resource was developed in collaboration with Rachel Ingram, Learning and Programmes Manager, Museum of Wellington City and Sea. It can be downloaded from our website for free.

Developing a public programme - checklist (PDF, 350kB)

New fundraising resources available online

We have two new resources available for free download on our website.

Where to find funding - in a nutshell (PDF, 250kB)
Collecting Fundraising Data - a simple example (PDF, 253kB)

Update on National Services Te Paerangi grants programme

The first half of our financial year (1 July 2013 - 30 June 2014) has been a great one for grants. We have supported 32 Helping Hands Grants, 20 Travel Subsidy Grants, 4 Professional Development Grants and 3 Strategic Project Grants. Many museums, galleries and iwi organisations have important projects underway and it has been exciting to be able to support them.

Here's a snapshot:

The Helping Hands Grant programme has been particularly active. This year we have helped museums purchase photo display panels, mannequins and lighting to improve displays, funded brochure printing and street signage, and supported applications for a multitude of storage solutions.

Rakiura Heritage Trust and Mairangi Arts Centre both used the Helping Hands Grant to purchase archival storage materials to continue working on projects supported by National Services Te Paerangi’s Expert Knowledge Exchange programme.

North Otago Museum used a Professional Development Grant to send a staff member to the Australian Society of Archivists Conference in Canberra, while Whangarei Art Museum applied to send a staff member to the 15th Korea Foundation Workshop for Curators in Seoul.

Whanganui Regional Museum and Corban Estate Arts Centre were two of our successful Strategic Project Grant applicants. WhanganuiRegionalMuseum completed a significant piece of work towards their World War I commemorations programme, whilst Corban Estate Arts Centre conducted a review of their trust board.

A number of projects are in progress or will be delivered over the next few months. We look forward to bringing you an update on the progress of these projects too.

Please note that we are not accepting any further grant applications this financial year. An exception to this is Travel Subsidy Grants for attendance at Museums Aotearoa 2014 only.

We will accept applications again from 1 July 2014 for Helping Hands Grants, Travel Subsidy Grants and Professional Development Grants.  An announcement of dates for the next contestable Strategic Project Grants round will be made soon after.

In the meantime, have a think about your organisation's needs, and get ready to apply from July. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss, or get some advice on, your future grant application.

New resources available online

We have two new resources available for free download on our website.

How to write an exhibition proposal (PDF, 316kB)
Tips for making effective labels (PDF, 923kB)

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Community

Auckland War Memorial Museum would like all museums and heritage organisations to know about the Cenotaph Community Programme. Their message follows:

Kia ora tatou,

We would like to let you know about this project and we hope to hear from you if you think that your centenary activity could link at all with our Cenotaph project.

Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph Community – Supporting regional and national WWI community activities

We aim to maximise community engagement with Cenotaph by providing a readymade and flexible service to benefit our national and regional partners such as RSA, libraries, national war memorials, schools, local interest groups, and museums. Realising that resources and needs will vary, our offer will include portable resources, displays and versatile film promotional pieces.

The Cenotaph Community Programme will: 

  • In collaboration with local partners, set up and host Cenotaph display stands complete with Auckland Museum WWI experts and Cenotaph access points (4–6 per annum over the four-year commemoration period). Visitors keen to share their family history and objects will be welcomed and encouraged to add content to Cenotaph.
  • Provide online resources such as a short film which tells the story of Cenotaph while encouraging engagement. Ideal for partners who would like to share the opportunity via their own website or community programme.
  • Develop a registry of interest – community interest in WWI and Cenotaph will be very high and we would like to ensure that people have a central area to register their interest in Cenotaph online, onsite or offline. This will enable us to keep people informed about upcoming Cenotaph events in their region and online.

Cenotaph Community will take the form of a national campaign, online information and support, brochures on site and an expert team at selected events to promote long-term engagement with this vital resource.

The local events will promote Cenotaph and encourage online access while also providing people an opportunity to register their interest in attending a future regional event where they can meet a WWI expert, discuss their stories and upload content to Cenotaph.

The events are in conjunction with local partners and will respond to local needs. The offer of support may vary from online resources, small display stands or the larger event presence. In summary – we aim to support New Zealand communities and provide a selection of Cenotaph-based programmes to suit their needs.

I want to learn more about my family history…

I want to share my story...

I trust this provides some clarity around Auckland War Memorial Museum WWI commemoration plans. The public will benefit from their connection to a well thought out and welcoming commemoration space, improved access to the wonderful Cenotaph Database and nationwide access via Cenotaph Community.

Essential to our funding applications is the need to provide letters which demonstrate a community voice, backing and support. We would be most grateful if you could provide a letter of support, with particular reference to your relationship, experience and connection to WWI, Cenotaph and Auckland War Memorial Museum.

If you would like to learn more about Auckland War Memorial Museum’s plans please contact Toni Mackinnon, Manager Learning and Engagement, Auckland War Memorial Museum, on

Free collection recovery guides

The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, has produced All is not lost: the collection recovery book – a guide for disaster planning and recovery.

This spiral bound flip-book provides quick, basic instructions on salvaging materials damaged by water, fire, earthquake, insect infestation, or chemicals.

The materials covered include books, paper, framed works, photographs, electronic materials, furniture, musical instruments, ceramics, metal and stone, organic materials, plastics, and textiles.

We have a number of copies of this excellent book, which we would like to donate as a resource to small museums. We are grateful to the Australian High Commission, whose generous support allows us to supply this resource free of charge.

Copies of All is not lost are available on a first come, first served basis, one per museum.

Contact us for your free copy of All is not lost

New! He Rauemi Resource Guide 18: Caring for Māori Textiles

We’ve produced a new resource guide – an update of Caring for Māori Textiles. Our thanks go to Te Papa Conservator Rangi Te Kanawa, who wrote the text, and museum graduate intern Christen McAlpine who managed the project.

One free copy of Caring for Māori Textiles has been mailed out to all museums – if you haven’t received yours, let us know. Further copies are available for purchase. You can also download this resource guide, and all our others, from our website for free.

Download Caring for Māori Textiles (PDF, 3.3MB).


30% off valuation services at Webb's

Need a few objects or your whole collection valued? Look no further. We have brokered a deal with Webb’s just for you. If you mention this deal when you enquire about valuation with Webb's, you’ll receive 30 percent off the overall cost.

If you need 15 or fewer items valued, you can send photos and descriptions to Webb's. This reduces the cost because no site visit is necessary. The valuation will be completed and supplied within 10 days. Discounted costs for valuations with no site visit are:

  • 1–5 items: $150 + GST
  • 6–15 items: $295 + GST

If Webb's staff think that an item requires a site visit or further inspection, they’ll discuss this with you and adapt the quote to suit. 

For more than 15 items, Webb's recommend a site visit. Visiting does increase the cost, but with 30 percent off, you’ll still get a very good deal.

For more information:

Powerhouse Museum object name thesaurus

Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has developed an extensive object name thesaurus, and has agreed to share it with museums and galleries in New Zealand.  This is a great tool for establishing standardised terms for cataloguing collections, and also makes searching a lot easier.