Within New Zealand, the Taonga Māori collection is of equal significance to that of the Te Papa Tongarewa. It is a cultural and research resource of the first order having the most comprehensive range of types and periods of material and is essential for the whole spectrum of studies in Māori art and material culture.
This segment has a very high level of use by scholars, students, artists and Māori visitors, and dates from the early decades of the founding of the Museum. The focus to date has been on acquiring first quality “masterworks” from all tribal and geographic areas of New Zealand as well as representative material culture items.
Current priorities include the continued collections of aspects of contemporary Māori art, specifically those fields that derive from, relate to, resonate with, or bear reference to the traditional arts and existing collection strengths.
This will be complemented by a proactive programme of Māori social history collecting that seeks to show Māori participation in New Zealand life throughout the 19th century and up to the present day.
Pataka Māori Court © Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira