Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Maori name for the Museum, Tamaki Paenga Hira, mean?
Tamaki Paenga Hira means Auckland’s memorial to fallen chiefs and their gathered taonga. Tamaki is Auckland, the net of Maki. Paenga is to ceremonially layout, heap together on a marae, a margin, a chiefly boundary and a reference to those fallen in battle.
Hira is numerous, abundant, important, of consequence, great.
During the Taumata-a-Iwi’s deliberations a name was sought that would capture former Director Dr Gilbert Archey’s Whaowhia (fill with treasures) and the Maori Language Commission’s 1992 title, Te Papa Whakahiku. Under the name Tamaki Paenga Hira we draw together those earlier meanings in a new name, which is uniquely of our region and universally representative of our collective history and peoples.
Where can I find information on Maori Culture?
Te Kakano, the Museum’s Pacific Resource Centre provides resources on the Maori and Pacific Collections. Visitors have access to a database, books and various multimedia displays on Maori Culture. Te Kakano staff are on hand to answer any queries you may have and also point you in the right direction to gaining further resources. Te Kakano is located in the west wing of the Maori Gallery, He Taonga Maori.
The Library also has extensive manuscript and pictorial collections for further research. The manuscript collections include rare books, manuscripts and archives as well as maps, charts, plans, periodicals, newspapers and ephemera. The pictorial collections include photographs, paintings and drawings.
How do I access the Museums Maori manuscript collections?
The Museum’s manuscript collections are accessible through the Library. The Library has extensive holdings of manuscript material on Maori subject matter. The manuscript collections cover all tribal areas and include significant collections such as the George Graham Collection.
There are several finding aids available to researchers who wish to use the Library’s manuscript collections. These include the Library Database, Maori name index, Manuscript inventories, Gudgeon index, and Nga Pou Arahi (Tribal Inventory of Maori Manuscripts). Library staff, including the Kaiarahi Librarian Maori, are available to help with any enquiries you may have in person or by correspondence.
How do I find out if my family’s taonga is on display?
The Museum’s Pacific Resource Centre Te Kakano offers visitors access to an electronic database with information about the history of objects in the Museum’s Maori and Pacific Collections. The database holds information on over 500 treasures selected from the Maori and Pacific galleries. Researchers may use a variety of ways to access information on the collections, including a keyword search, a virtual gallery, and a geographic search.
If I wanted to find out more about the Museum’s Maori Collections, who should I contact?
The database is a good resource for finding out information about taonga on display. However, if you would like to find out further information about the Maori Collections that is not in the database, you should contact the Curator Maori .
Does the Museum have a Maori cultural performance?
The Museum’s Maori cultural performance group are the face of Ngati Whatua o Orakei, the home tribe tangata whenua of Auckland – Tamaki Makaurau – and through them you can experience a taste of Maori Culture. Their compelling performance offers visitors an insight into Maori traditions, genealogy whakapapa, and spirituality taha wairua.
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