Taonga Māori and artefacts that tell the stories of the Waipā District.

We have been growing and refining the Museum’s collections for  80 years.

At the heart of our collections are taonga Māori and Pasifika artefacts, as well as heritage material related to Waipā’s colonial period and the New Zealand Wars. The Museum archives contain examples of our documentary heritage, including historic photographs, maps, whakapapa and family histories.

We rely on the generous offers of heritage items from the public and we welcome donations of artefacts and archives that fit within the scope of our collections. Every item offered to the Museum is assessed against a range of criteria. This includes having a strong link to Waipa’s heritage, relevance to our current collection – and our ability to house and preserve it long term.

If you are interested in gifting something for the Museum collection, we would love to hear from you. Let us know as much as possible about your item – please don’t bring it to the Museum without an appointment, as staff cannot take any collection items at reception.

Access to the collections

Less than 10% of our collections are on display in the galleries at any one time.

With over 8000 artefacts and over 200 linear metres of archives, it would be impossible to fit everything into our exhibition spaces. Many of the items in storage are also very fragile and are not robust enough to be on display for long periods. Most of the collection is held in secure storage, but can be accessed by appointment. If you are interested in viewing a particular artefact, please get in touch with our Collections Manager.

We are now able to offer public outreach programmes with our objects. Contact our Collections Manager to see what we can offer as a public talk or community programme.

We also welcome enquiries from anyone researching local history. We hold a wealth of knowledge within the Museum archives collection – or we can point you in the right direction if needed. Find out more about research at the Museum.

A gentle reminder when wanting to view artefacts or archival material please make an appointment. We have limited space for viewing and our staff require time to retrieve the correct materials before your arrival. For further information about viewing, please contact us phone 07 872 0085.

Caring for our heritage

The Museum is committed to providing access to local heritage for future generations. We use preventive conservation techniques to ensure the best possible standard of care for heritage items in our collection. Because of their fragility, some items will not be exhibited in the galleries – but can still be viewed by appointment.

Family heritage at home

There are many online resources to help you care for your family treasures. You can find information and preservation guides on the National Library’s website and Te Papa’s National Services website. If you have something you would like restored by a professional conservator, have a look at the website of the NZ Conservators of Cultural Materials.

You are also welcome to get in touch with us for advice.


New Requisition for the Museum

Our most recent acquisition to the collection is a Whāriki from renowned weaver Kahutoi Te Kanwana, from her exhibition “Te Ohanga Ake” recently held at Te Awamutu Museum. Enlarge Images of whāriki mount made from recycled exhibition stools Typically Whāriki are housed flat or hung up, but due to our limited space it was decided the best plan was to roll, the woven kiekie was tested for its durability and suitability for this method of storage. The first step was to create a core for the whariki to be rolled onto, and we did this by “upcycling” old Museum stools, and covering these in ethafoam to create a deep and sturdy base. The next step was to cover the core in Tyvek to create a barrier between the object and the foam core. Tyvek is used as it is a pH neutral material that offers waterproofing, mitigation from dust, breathable and suitable for most Museum objects. Enlarge Image showing complexity of storing rolled taonga After preparing the base, I used extra Tyvek to roll the Whāriki on to, meaning that every revolution of the Whāriki had a barrier layer, and minimised any friction that may occur between the fibres. The whāirki is maurua (double joined) and required extra padding along the way, ‘tissue sausages’ were added to prevent any lumps or bumps being transferred between the layers. The last touch was to add Tyvek bows to hold it all together. Enlarge Whāriki ready to be stored with taonga collection Megan Denz, Collection Manager 20 SEPTEMBER... read more