The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in a Museum

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Wellington Te Papa n

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. It is commonly known as Te Papa and Our Place. “Te Papa Tongarewa” the full Maori language name of the museum translates to “the place of treasures of this land”.

Te Papa’s collections include the following:

  • The History Collection with a large collection of historic and contemporary items from New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
  • The Fossils and Archaeozoology Collections consisting of a plants, birds, significant amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
  • The world’s largest specimen of the rare colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni).
  • The cultural collections include collections on photography, Māori taonga or cultural treasures and Pacific cultures.

Among the many historical, cultural and specimen objects in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa the following are highlights:

  • Rare colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni)
  • New Zealand nephrite
  • Early photography of Māori
  • “Cook Strait, New Zealand” by Nicholas Chevalier
  • “The Emigrants” by William Allsworth

For updates on new New Zealand Museums and new Masterpieces follow “Joy of Museums” at:

Just press the Following and Like buttons.

To help you better appreciate the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa the following guides will be helpful:

  • Historical Objects and the Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Finding Meaning at the Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Your Visit to the Te Papa Tongarewa
  • The History of the Te Papa Tongarewa


“As man disappears from sight, the land remains.” Maori Proverb



Photo Credit: 1) By en:User:JShook (en:wikipedia) [CC BY 2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons