The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has as a core responsibility the management of the national collections to ensure that they survive, that significant cultural property is acquired, and that access to the collections through virtual and actual channels is optimised.
These responsibilities are established in the Museum’s Act, which sets out the functions of Te Papa. They include to:
collect works of art and items relating to history and the natural environment
act as an accessible national depository for collections of art and items relating to history and the natural environment
disseminate information relating to its collections, and to any other matters relating to the Museum and its functions
develop, conserve, and house securely the collections of art and items relating to history and the natural environment in the Board's care
exhibit, or make available for exhibition by other public art galleries, museums and allied organisations, such material from its collections as the Board from time to time determines
conduct research into any matter relating to its collections or associated areas of interest and to assist others in such research.
Te Papa’s collections span five major areas: Art and Visual Culture, Taonga Māori (Māori cultural treasures), Pacific, History (focused on New Zealand heritage), and the Natural Environment.
The integration of these collections to explore new meanings is a key strategy that underpins Te Papa’s narrative approach to exhibitions and visitor programmes. The unified collections of the Museum are managed as a total resource and drawn upon in new and varied ways to present insights into our national identity.
Further information on Te Papa’s collections can be found here.
Make a donation or gift
Care and conservation of Te Papa’s collections
Research requests and visits