Our collections policyTe kaupapa here mō ngā kohinga

Te Papa is responsible for developing and managing the National Collection. We ensure that significant cultural property is acquired, that the collections survive, and that they are as accessible as possible through actual and virtual channels.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992 describes our principal functions, including those regarding collections.

The Collections Policy provides the guiding principles for developing the collections, and their care, management and use.

Collection policy (116.85 KB)

The Collections

Te Papa Collection spans five interrelated core thematic areas:

  • Mātauranga Māori histories and cultures

  • The unique natural environment of New Zealand and people’s interaction with it

  • Art and design, particularly the art of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific in a regional and global context

  • The culture of Pacific peoples in New Zealand, the Pacific rim and in their contemporary locations;

  • New Zealand histories, cultures and peoples in a national and global context.

By integrating our collections, we discover new meanings within them. This enables us to present fresh insights into New Zealand’s national identity, through narratives in exhibitions and public programmes.

Natural history collections review

In September 2018, Te Papa asked a panel of international experts to review the care of its natural history collections.

Five of the world’s leading experts in collection care provided their expert advice in this report.

Te Papa has adopted all of the report’s recommendations. We look forward to maintaining ongoing links with the panellists.