Te Papa Visitor Code of Conduct

Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Papa Tongarewa. We welcome you to Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa).

In order to protect and respect the taha wairua of taonga, kaimahi, and the buildings and to facilitate an enriching experience for all visitors, all visitors must abide by the following Code of Conduct as a condition of entry.

The Code of Conduct may be changed from time to time without prior notice.

Terms of entry and opening hours

Entry into Te Papa is free, but Te Papa may charge you for admission to certain exhibitions and/or events from time to time. Te Papa welcomes koha (donations).

Te Papa is open daily between 10am and 6pm, except Christmas Day. Te Papa staff may ask you to begin leaving up to ten minutes before closing time.

Te Papa may change operating hours, alter exhibitions, close specific areas of the museum, or impose additional requirements for entry which Te Papa considers are reasonably required at any time without prior notice.

Consideration for others and security

Te Papa expects you to be considerate of others at the museum. We ask that you are mindful of your noise level, including through the use of any electronic device (including phones). You may be asked by Te Papa staff to reduce your noise level at any time. Please do not play music on personal speakers in the museum.

Te Papa asks that you do not sleep in the museum. If you are found sleeping, you may be approached by Te Papa staff and asked to continue your visit at the museum, or leave.

Te Papa Hosts and Security are easily identifiable by their Te Papa identity passes and uniform. They are authorised by Te Papa to require you to comply with this Code of Conduct, as are other Te Papa staff.

Te Papa does not tolerate abuse or violence. You may be refused entry, asked to leave (without refund or compensation), and/or escorted from Te Papa (and in serious cases, Police may be notified) if:

  • you fail to comply with this Code of Conduct or the directions of Te Papa staff given in connection with this Code of Conduct;

  • you abuse, threaten, resist, or intimidate Te Papa staff or other visitors;

  • Te Papa staff believe you are intoxicated; or

  • Te Papa staff believe that your conduct causes or is likely to cause risk, annoyance, or disturbance to other people, taonga, or property.

Security cameras are in operation throughout Te Papa for the protection and safety of our visitors, staff, taonga, and property.

If asked, you must allow our Security staff members to search your bags when you enter the museum or a certain exhibition. If, on searching your bag, Security staff find any item that may be a risk to the collection, building, staff, or other visitors they will remove it, and return it to you when you leave the Museum. If Te Papa staff consider the item may be illegal, Police will be notified.

Health and safety, and the protection of taonga

The health and safety of visitors is a priority for Te Papa. Te Papa will take reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety of all visitors.

In the interests of health and safety, you must not:

  • visit Te Papa if you are unwell and likely to be contagious to others;

  • smoke (including electronic cigarettes) or vape anywhere in Te Papa (this includes Bush City, the Amphitheatre, and the indoor and outdoor carpark);

  • leave any children in your care unattended. All children under the age of 14 must be actively supervised by an adult who is 16 years or older at all times;

  • run within the museum;

  • sit on tables, stairs, or anywhere that could cause disruption to other visitors;

  • disregard any safety signs or barriers;

  • block or obstruct public areas such as entrances, doorways, foyers, lobbies, corridors, stairways, or escalators in any way;

  • climb on walls, monuments, barriers, and columns;

  • use any laser pointer or laser pen for any purpose within Te Papa, unless specifically approved by Te Papa in advance;

  • set up tripods or camera extension poles;

  • bring drugs, alcohol, weapons of any kind, or any other item deemed dangerous by Te Papa onto the premises; or

  • tamper with fire and/or life-safety devices, such as fire extinguishers or fire alarms.

When using a mobility scooter, please turn down the speed and be mindful of those around you. Due to the spatial restrictions of certain exhibitions, you may be asked to transfer into a wheelchair from your mobility scooter.

Animals are not permitted inside Te Papa, except for certified service dogs. Service dogs must wear their appropriate vest and the owner should have their dog’s valid ID card on them.

Te Papa is responsible for the physical and spiritual protection of our taonga. In order to protect taonga, you must:

  • not interfere with any exhibit or touch any taonga, unless signage or Te Papa staff permit otherwise;

  • remove your shoes before entering Te Hau ki Tūranga, the whare whakairo/carved meeting house located in Mana Whenua, Level 4;

  • not bring certain items (including but not limited to flags and banners, sport and recreational equipment, balloons, open flames, and plant material including flowers) into Te Papa unless expressly permitted by Te Papa staff (these items must be stored in your bag or in the self-service lockers provided); and

  • store bicycles, scooters, and skateboards in the racks outside, behind Quake Braker.

Te Papa's fire alarm is a constant audible alarm signal. In the event of a fire alarm:

  • you must immediately evacuate by the nearest fire exit, using the stairs (elevators and escalators will be inaccessible);

  • if you require help to evacuate, seek the assistance of Te Papa staff;

  • you must comply with any instructions from Te Papa staff; and

  • self-service lockers will be closed immediately (Te Papa staff will help retrieve your items from the lockers after they have been permitted by emergency services to re-enter the building).

Use of self-service lockers

You are welcome to leave coats, bags, and other small items in our self-service lockers while visiting Te Papa.

Access to special exhibitions may be subject to restrictions on bags and luggage. You will be directed to store your items in the self-service lockers or you may be refused entry into the exhibition.

For more information, please see our self-service locker terms and conditions.

Unattended and lost property

You must not leave any of your property (including bags, wheelchairs, pushchairs, and prams) unattended at any time in Te Papa, including in any outdoor areas. Te Papa may remove and/or destroy unattended property without warning in the interests of safety and security. You will not hold Te Papa liable if we remove or destroy any property that you have left unattended.

If lost property is handed in to Te Papa, we will store items for three weeks. If they are not claimed within this timeframe, Te Papa may (at its discretion) donate the items to charity, dispose of them, or hand them over to our local police station.

If you have lost property, please visit our Information Desk on Level 2, or fill in our lost property enquiry form and we will contact you.

Film, photography, 3D imaging, and audio recording

You are welcome to use your camera to take non-flash photos and videos for personal, non-commercial use when visiting Te Papa.

You must observe signs indicating artworks or exhibitions that cannot be filmed or photographed and adhere to those photography restrictions. No photography is permitted of Te Hau ki Tūranga in Mana Whenua on Level 4.

For more information, including regarding photography equipment and commercial photography, please see our photography rules at the bottom of this page.


You are welcome to park in Te Papa’s carpark at your own risk. We will not be liable for any loss or damage to your vehicle or other property.

For more information, please see our parking terms and conditions.

Food and drink

For the protection of our taonga, you are not allowed to consume food and drink inside the museum, except in designated places. Unflavoured water is permitted.

You may consume food and drink outside, in the forecourt and amphitheatre, and on Level 1. Please dispose of your uneaten food and packaging responsibly.

Visitors attending functions, events, conferences, and meetings at Te Papa cannot take food or drink through the museum to their venue at any time after 10am.

Te Papa holds licences for the sale and supply of alcohol. In supplying alcohol, Te Papa is committed to compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 and applicable licence conditions.

External tour groups

Tour groups unaffiliated with Te Papa are:

  • only allowed to explore the museum from 10am;

  • not permitted to sell goods or services inside Te Papa; and

  • required to give way to official Te Papa tour guides.


Te Papa is unable to provide object valuations, estimates of value, or authentications of any property or taonga in the museum.

Charitable solicitations, leafleting, and signature gathering inside or by the entranceway of Te Papa is not permitted unless prearranged with Te Papa.

Te Papa does not take any responsibility for the Westpac automated teller machine or the New Zealand Post Box located in the Level 1 Entrance Foyer.

Photography and filming

For personal use

Throughout most of Te Papa, you’re welcome to use your camera to take photos and video for personal, non-commercial use.

This includes photos of:

  • people, with their permission

  • events

  • most collection items, including borrowed works

  • most exhibitions

  • Te Papa interiors.

Look out for this sign indicating objects or exhibitions that cannot be filmed or photographed. This may be for cultural reasons, because of copyright, or to protect the objects.

Selfie sticks are permitted in Te Papa. Other equipment such as tripods, monopods, and lighting require permission.

Contact us to request permission.

For commercial use

Unless you’ve received permission from us, you must not sell or profit from the photography, film, or video you take at Te Papa, or use it for commercial purposes.

Commercial photography and filming