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About the project

The Pacific Collection Access Project (PCAP) is a three year project that will:

  • improve knowledge and understanding of the Museum’s Pacific collection;
  • improve the safety of the Pacific collection; and
  • increase the public access and engagement, especially for Pacific source communities, with the Museum and its Pacific collection.

The project is initially focussed on the collections of 13 island nations/groupings which will be worked on in alphabetical order over the next three years. They are: Cook Islands, Easter Island, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawai’i, Kiribati, Niue, Pitcairn Island, Sāmoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna.

Items such as tools, ornaments, musical instruments and carvings will be brought out of storage to be examined, cleaned, measured, photographed and re-housed into safe and accessible storage. Improving information about each item in our Museum’s records is crucial, and where possible priority will be given to languages, dialects and specific cultural knowledge for each island nation through the inclusion of appropriate names and terminologies.

The project is an endeavour of partnership and discovery where the Museum and Pacific communities will work together to:

  • enrich information about Auckland Museums Pacific collection;
  • build a collecting strategy;
  • share and exchange knowledge and programming about individual works, and the cultures they came from.

Out of this exchange knowledge and stories long hidden will be uncovered and perhaps connections renewed.

Unique project name for each island nation

As the team start to work on items from each Pacific nation, the first step in the community engagement process will be to find leaders from Auckland based Pacific communities who can suggest an appropriate project name using their own Pacific language and terminology. This will give each component of the project its own unique identity.


Over the next three years over 5000 items from 13 island nations/groupings will be worked on, and are currently scheduled in the order below:

Cook Islands

May – early September 2016

Easter Island

September 2016


September 2016 – July 2017

French Polynesia

July 2017 – September 2017


September – October 2017


October 2017 – June 2018


June – August 2018

Pitcairn Island

August 2018


August – November 2018


November – December 2018


December 2018 – March 2019


March – April 2019

Wallis and Futuna

April 2019


If you have connections with one or more of the island nations/groupings and would like to contribute to the project, see how you can get invovled.