Tangata o le Moana: The story of Pacific people in New Zealand
Celebrate the culture and history of the Pacific. Tangata o le Moana tells the story of Pacific people, past and present.
Follow the highs and lows of Pacific history – from the dawn raids of the 1970s to Tana Umaga becoming the first Pacific captain of the All Blacks. Wander through diverse exhibits ranging from ancient vaka (canoes) to contemporary jewellery and modern music.
Discover the influence of Pacific people in Aotearoa in all areas of life:
on the street
on the sports field
in the recording studio
on the political stage
Enter the exhibition beneath a major sculptural work by acclaimed Tongan-born artist Filipe Tohi – just one example of how Pacific people are making waves in the art world.
Be confronted by the Cook Islands vaka Tauhunu, one of only three such vaka that survive worldwide.
Explore one of the greatest feats of Pacific people in New Zealand: becoming the first people to step foot on these shores some 800 years ago.
Discover the little-known stories of Pacific people who came here in the 1800s, at a time when New Zealand’s leaders dreamed of creating their own empire in the Pacific.
Learn about the Pacific soldiers who fought and died for New Zealand in the two world wars.
Hear Pacific migrants from the 1960s and 1970s talk about their experiences – good and bad – of moving to New Zealand.
See a Samoan fine mat gifted to Helen Clark in 2002. The gift acknowledged Clark’s apology for injustices during New Zealand’s almost 50-year administration of Samoa (1914–62).
New Zealand: Pacific?
Aotearoa is a Pacific place in location and history. But do New Zealanders consider themselves Pacific Islanders? Do you? Visit Tangata o le Moana and decide for yourself.
Sāmoan language activity book
Celebrate Sāmoan Language by learning Sāmoan words through simple activities that kids love – word searches, colouring pages, and stories.
Fijian language activity book
Celebrate the Fijian language by learning Fijian words, numbers, and phrases through simple activities that kids love – word searches, colouring pages, and stories.
Tokelau language activity book
Find out about Tokelau’s atolls, designs, and flag. As well as kupu (words) for food, emotions, animals, numbers, and body parts! Fun for all the kāiga (family).
Kia kitea ake
Collecting the spirit of Hawai'i through aloha shirts
New Zealand and Pacific collections intern Sonya Withers and history curator Claire Regnault recently travelled to Hawai'i where they collected 83 aloha shirts with a focus on indigenous Hawaiian designers. Claire Regnault reflects on the connection these designers have with their natural environment and how this inspires their designs.
Dinosaurs of Patagonia | Ngā Taniwha o Rūpapa
Meet the astonishing dinosaurs of Patagonia, South America – including Patagotitan, one of the most massive creatures ever to walk the planet. Encounter life-sized casts, and real fossils up to 230 million years old. Get hands-on with models, and create your own virtual dino!
16 Dec 2023 – 28 Apr 2024
Exhibition Ngā whakaaturanga
Countering stereotypes through co-collecting with Tongan youth
As part of our co-collecting initiative with the Tongan community, students have been considering what truly represents them and counters stereotypical representations. Curator Pacific Art, Nina Tonga highlights some of the students and their selected objects.