Mana Whenua

Experience powerful stories that celebrate Māori as tangata whenua – the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

In Mana Whenua, explore the richness of Māori life and heritage through taonga, oral histories, and contemporary art works.

Encounter taonga tuku iho ranging from weaving, carving, and pounamu pendants, to waka and whare.

Tamariki can explore te ao Māori through activities in the Te Huka ā Tai Discovery Centre next door.

When | Āhea

Permanent exhibition

Where | Ki hea

Level 4

Cost | Te utu

Free entry


All ages


30 minutes

Accessibility | E wātea ana ki
  • wheelchair accessible

  • variable lighting

  • no photography

Find out more about accessibility at Te Papa


Manu Rere Moana

The navigation of the Pacific by waka hourua | double-hulled sailing waka is one of the great achievements of human technology. This exhibition celebrates the mātauranga of celestial navigation that enabled these extraordinary voyages.

He Kaupapa Waka

See powerful photos of the waka fleet that gathered on Waitangi Day in 2020 to commemorate the 80-year anniversary of the 1940 launch of Ngātokimatawhāorua – named after the ancestral waka that made the voyage from Hawaiki to Aotearoa.

Tchakat Moriori

Explore the story of Moriori, the original inhabitants of the remote islands of Rēkohu, also known as the Chatham Islands or Wharekauri.

Guide to Mana Whenua in New Zealand Sign Language

Te Hau ki Tūranga

An exceptional meeting house at the core of Mana Whenua.


See a waka taua from the Whanganui region, used in battles during the New Zealand wars of the mid 1800s.

Guide to Teremoe in New Zealand Sign Language

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