The Joy of Museums

Exploring Museums, Art & Historic Sites

Historical Objects of the 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. 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:

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


“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