Long-term exhibition
Level 4
People and history 

Inside Passports Exhibit
Inside the Passports exhibit.

Passports explores and celebrates the remarkable stories of the people who migrated to New Zealand. Focusing on all nationalities other than Māori, this exhibition presents the objects and ideas the migrants brought with them and examines how they adjusted to the new land.

The New Zealand story is about journeys and arrivals. A thousand years of people leaving home to come here. In Passports you can meet the immigrants that have come here over the last two hundred years. Who were they? What did they bring? What did they leave behind? How would you fare in their position?

A compelling mix of artefacts, video, and interactive displays tells the newcomers’ moving stories - from the cramped steerage on board an 1840s sailing ship, to fearful flight from war-torn Europe, and more recent voyages into the unknown down-under. 

The cultural richness and diversity of the regional lifestyles of British and Irish migrants are screened on video and maps. Images of other regions, including China, India, Dalmatia, Greece, and the Pacific tell of other regional lifestyles. The community gallery features a regularly changing exhibition that highlights the contribution made to New Zealand by different ethnic communities.  

Interactive and thought-provoking, Passports is a catalyst for New Zealanders to understand how aspects of their national character can be attributed, in part, to the cultures of the immigrants to this country.