API Terms of Use

If you use our API to access collection data and images, you need to follow our terms of use.


The main things to know when using the API:

  • Guest keys let you try out the API

  • To use the API for anything more, request a registration key

  • Each API key is limited to 10 requests per second

  • Treat taonga appropriately

  • Good attribution helps everyone

  • API metadata (excluding images) is licensed CC BY 4.0 and Te Papa waives its right to attribution.

  • Images may have many different licenses, so check the associated metadata before reusing them.

Best practice

While not part of our terms of use, Te Papa requests that you follow these guidelines when using the API.

Images of taonga and tūpuna

Images of taonga and tūpuna are of significant cultural importance. Use these images and associated information in a respectful manner.

Read the advice linked below or contact collections.api@tepapa.govt.nz if you have questions.

Concepts to understand – New Zealand Intellectual Property Office

Attributing images

When displaying images from Te Papa collections, please also display the data from the caption or captionFormatted fields, and if possible link back to the collection item’s page at https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz.

Attributing data

API data is licensed Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), and we waive the right to be credited. If you want to provide an attribution, the follow options are suitable.

If sharing without adapting the data:

Source: Data supplied and licensed for reuse by Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (collections.tepapa.govt.nz) under a CC BY 4.0 International licence.

If sharing and adapting the data:

This [work/product/application/etc] uses data sourced from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

If incorporating media, add:

Media is made available under licenses according to their legal, moral, and cultural status.

Talk to us

If you have questions or feedback about the API, our data, or usage, email collections.api@tepapa.govt.nz.

Avoid caching data

Te Papa’s collections data is constantly being updated. To ensure you’re using the most accurate data, you should not cache or store any content returned by the API for more than four weeks.

Terms of use


  1. You may not use the Te Papa logo on your website or product without our specific written permission.

  2. You may not use the following phrases in the hostname of your website or application: “tepapa”, “tepapatongarewa”, “monz”

  3. You may not violate or attempt to violate the security of the API or Te Papa’s websites.

  4. You understand that the API is provided as-is with no guarantee of access or technical support.

  5. You may not use API data or the API service for any illegal or defamatory purpose of any nature. You may not use the API service to juxtapose Te Papa collection images or data with illegal or defamatory material of any nature.

  6. Te Papa may extend or alter these terms at any time by updating this page.

Use of the API key

  1. Guest keys can be used without registration. Guest keys are only intended for short term use for evaluation purposes, and expire after 30 minutes.

  2. Assigned keys can be requested using the form at https://data.tepapa.govt.nz/docs/register.html. You will need to provide a name, organisation, and email address.

  3. Assigned keys are for use by you and the named organisation, and may not be shared with third parties without our specific written permission.

  4. Assigned keys are to be used for a single concurrent implementation (such as a single website or tool). If running multiple implementations, register for another key.

  5. We will not share personally identifiable information provided when registering for a key with anyone else.

  6. We may occasionally contact you using your email address, only with information relevant to using the API.

  7. We log all uses of the API for the purposes of monitoring service load, and analysing and improving the service.

Provision of service

  1. We limit the number of requests any API key can make to 10 per second to manage overall service performance.

  2. Due to development or maintenance, the API may not be available at times. In the event of planned downtime we will attempt to notify registered users, though we cannot guarantee this.

  3. The API may be upgraded over time with new features or structural changes. When this happens, we will notify users at your provided email address and in the API documentation. We will attempt to keep new versions of the API backwards-compatible, though we cannot guarantee this.

Use of metadata and media

  1. Metadata and media available through the API are constantly being updated. You understand that the same request may return different results at different times.

  2. All metadata available through the API is licensed Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) and can be reused for any purpose. In addition, Te Papa waives its right to be credited.

  3. We make media available under licenses according to their legal, moral, and cultural status. You must check and abide by the rights metadata associated with each media object if seeking to reproduce or reuse it. Additionally, when the media object has the rights statement:

    1. "All Rights Reserved", you will provide access to the image media object the url provided by the API, rather than a stored copy. If the media object is an image you will display the image at a maximum of 1000px on the longest side

    2. Any Creative Commons license statement, you may copy and store the media object.

    3. "No Known Copyright Restrictions" or "Creative Commons 0", you may use the media object as you choose, but we ask you to consider the best practice guidelines above.

  4. To use commercially media objects with “All Rights Reserved”, “Creative Commons BY-NC-ND” and “Creative Commons BY-NC” statements, contact our Media Sales and Licencing Department.


  1. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the API’s metadata or media.

  2. Except to the extent required by applicable law, in no event will we be liable on any legal theory for any special, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages arising out of use of the API. In particular, we will not be liable for the following:

    1. Accuracy, completeness etc of the API’s metadata or media.

    2. Any infringement of privacy, publicity, copyright or other rights, including of copyrights to metadata or media made available through the API under conditions not approved by the rights holder.

    3. Any use by third parties that go beyond the rights expressed in these terms of use.


API key: A unique and confidential code allowing access to the Te Papa API. A guest key can be used for 15 minutes, while an assigned key is permanent.

Collection item: Collection items are acquired by Te Papa and accessioned into Te Papa’s collections. They are represented by records accessible through the API.

Implementation: A service developed by the User, using the Te Papa API.

Media object: A digital image or other digital media served by a link available in API metadata.

Metadata: Descriptive data that identifies and describes Te Papa’s collection items (Objects) and images/other media (Media), as well as relevant people, organisations and collaborations (Agents), locations (Places), collection events (Field Collections), written narratives (Topics), and associated categorisations (Concepts, Taxa), and the relationships between those entities.

Record: Structured metadata made up of key/value pairs, with a unique id within its endpoint.

Te Papa: The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the entity formed by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992.

You: The holder and user of the API key (whether a guest or assigned key).