New Zealand Museums Standards SchemeNgā Kaupapa Whaimana a Ngā Whare Taonga o Aotearoa

Reach new levels of professionalism with our free, practical, and user-friendly scheme. See where your museum, gallery, or iwi organisation is doing well, and where it may need improvement.

The Standards Scheme is:

  • free

  • practical

  • user-friendly.

Organisations can participate in the Standards Scheme through either:

  • a formal review process

  • or by using the free manual as an operations and governance guide.


The Standards Scheme is made up of five modules:

Governance Management Planning (240.16 KB)

Care of Collections and Taonga (182.78 KB)

Public Programmes, including exhibitions (131.08 KB)

Customer Service (149.78 KB)

Relationships with communities (112.43 KB)

To complete the Standards Scheme review process you’ll need to participate in all five modules. If your organisation doesn't have a collection, some parts of the 'Care of collections and taonga' module will still apply.

Free manual

All New Zealand museums, galleries, and iwi organisations are entitled to one free copy of the Standards Scheme manual.

Download the Standards Scheme manual (457.77 KB)

Download the Standards Scheme manual (200.61 KB)

or email us to request a physical copy:

What are the benefits?

There are a number of benefits to using the Standards Scheme. These include:

  • guidance in meeting approved standards of museum practice

  • knowledge that you are doing a good job, and awareness of where improvements need to be made

  • confidence, for donors and lenders, that your organisation can properly care for its collections

  • reassurance, for funders and sponsors, that your organisation manages its resources responsibly

  • assurance that your organisation is committed to honouring the responsibilities of the Treaty of Waitangi Te Titiri o Waitangi.

The review process

In the formal review process, you’ll:

  1. review your own practices against the standards in the manual

  2. be visited and assessed by peer reviewers.

Here's that process in a little more detail:

  1. Either download your free manual using the links above, or request a physical copy.

  2. Complete the registration and self-declaration forms (downloadable below) and send them to us.

  3. Complete the modules, then send them to us via email or post.

  4. We’ll assign two bicultural peer reviewers to you. They’ll visit your organisation and meet with you and other relevant staff.

  5. Your peer reviewers will provide you with their report, which will include recommendations for future development.

  6. Once the peer review is complete, a follow-up process will be put in place.


Download and complete the following forms, in Word or PDF format:

Self-Review Declaration Form (70.15 KB)

Self-Review Declaration Form (250.88 KB)

Self and Peer Review Registration Form (55.34 KB)

Self and Peer Review Registration Form (71.34 KB)

then send them to us at:

National Services Te Paerangi
Te Papa
PO Box 467


Contact us

Contact National Services Te Paerangi for more information about the New Zealand Museums Standards Scheme.

Phone: 0508 678 743