On this page, you can learn more about our commitment and work towards sustainability - including our recent three-year Sustainability Action Plan.

What Does Sustainability Mean at Auckland Museum?

Honouring our commitment to kaitiakitanga in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland War Memorial Museum takes a proactive stance on environmental sustainability. It is a key principle in our 20-year Future Museum strategy.

Raising Awareness

Raising Awareness

As part of our sustainability strategy, we are committed to raising awareness about the importance of preserving our climate through our public experience, exhibitions, education and activities.

View some of our recent work raising awareness about sustainability below.

Growing Research

Growing Research

Auckland War Memorial Museum contributes to research that helps us understand environmental change and biodiversity loss. 

Learn more about how we support research through our collections, partnerships, and projects below.

Being a Kaitiaki for Current and Future Generations

Being a Kaitiaki for Current and Future Generations

Auckland War Memorial Museum acts as a kaitiaki for current and future generations, caring for the iconic heritage building and our taonga. Through this, we are working to protect and safeguard our cultural and natural heritage for today and for future generations. 

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities

Auckland War Memorial Museum plays a role in building more cohesive and sustainable communities. A key way we do this is by always keeping entry to the Museum free for those living in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland.

We are committed to the Auckland Plan 2050 by contributing to Belonging & Participation. See below for more of the ways we are meeting this commitment.


Sustainability Action Plan

Our three-year Sustainability Action Plan focuses our attention on the areas we can influence and have the most significant positive impact. The plan sets the foundation for our long-term net-zero target by 2050 and reinforces our organisation-wide commitment to reduce our impact on the environment and inspire others to do the same.

Tuia ki te rangi
Tuia ki te whenua
Tuia ki te moana
Tuia te here tangata
Ka rongo te Pō,
Ka rongo te Ao.
Bind the tapestry of life which affirms humanity’s connection to the natural world. To the celestial realm, to the early realm, to water for sustenance for all life forms, and to remember to keep everything in balance.

Sustainability Plan



Tamaki Paenga Hira has a unique role to play in contributing to New Zealand's environmental, social and economic sustainability efforts.

We have an active commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and the impact of how we deliver our activities and operate our buildings.

However as a public museum, the Museum has an important role to play in public education, sharing information and highlighting the need for action to achieve environmental sustainability, through our public experience, exhibitions, education and activities. New galleries are scheduled to open in 2023/24 which explore the Human Impact on the Natural Environment.

Also what people may be less aware of is the critical role Auckland Museum plays in research, collecting the evidence required in order that environments and landscapes can be protected and restored. This research builds a base of evidence that informs the understanding of human impact on the environment in Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa. With over 170 years of collecting, the Museum’s collections of natural and human history provide a unique base line for measuring change over time, and its scientific fieldwork and partnerships with others provide rich data source for research into environmental change and biodiversity loss.

Museums protect and safeguard cultural and natural heritage in the wider world. AWMM is a kaitiaki for current and future generations of this iconic building, collections and taonga. Free general admission enables cultural participation for all Aucklanders with the aim of supporting social cohesion.

2020-2030 has been set out as a decade of action: global action, local action, and people’s action. Our role is to inspire people to action.

AWMM has developed a 3-year Sustainability Action Plan that outlines our approach.

Kea, Nestor notabilis (Mountain parrot). Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. LB4352.


We will work with our staff and volunteers to better understand and quantify the carbon impact of our work, and to develop and adopt more sustainable ways of working. By creating a strong culture of sustainability, we will raise and maintain awareness and provide the necessary resources and training to deliver long-lasting change. Our Green Team members are the cross-organisational green champions from within our Museum whānau (family) who will help share and promote best practices and information. We will inspire and engage our people to act for sustainability by encouraging active participation, at work and home.

Teloschistes chrysophthalmus. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. AK230277.

Poor Knights giant wētā, Deinacrida fallai. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. AMNZ18805.

We have an active commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and the impact of how we deliver our activities and operate our buildings.

We will reduce the negative environmental impact of how we deliver our activities and operate our buildings, targeting a 60% reduction for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, and net zero by 2050. We will substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. We will adopt sustainable travel, business and building practices. As we look ahead to a staged renewal of galleries, we will future-proof the infrastructure that supports our collections and visitor experience.

As institutions of education, museums provide inclusive quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. As a trusted civic leader and source of information, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum will promote public awareness about the effects of climate change and the need for action to achieve environmental sustainability. We embrace our role in promoting awareness and conservation of the cultural and natural heritage through our exhibitions, education and activities.

The period 2020 to 2030 has been set out as a decade of action: global action, local action and people’s action. Museums have always played an important role in creating spaces for people to debate, learn and share ideas. We will engage our public to ensure they understand how they can best contribute at a personal level and become agents of change.

Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community. Tāmaki Paenga Hira will continue to provide free general admission for all Aucklanders to enable cultural participation. We provide an open and permissive approach to our online audiences globally. Tāmaki Paenga Hira is a safe, inclusive and accessible public space that contributes to building strong, socially cohesive and sustainable communities in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, strengthening civic engagement and community participation.

North Island brown kiwi, Apteryx mantelli. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. LB4225.

True jellyfish. Cnidaria Scyphozoa. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. MA656268.

Sustainability is at the heart of the work museums undertake.

Museums have a key role in protecting and safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage. We are a repository for tangible cultural heritage such as our iconic Grade 3 heritage building and the taonga and collections for which we are a kaitiaki, and intangible cultural heritage such as the knowledge behind them. Our collections provide a rich resource for creating knowledge and understanding.

Achievements of Note

The Museum has made big strides in recent years as part of our commitment to sustainability. As of April 2018, Auckland Museum was in the top 5 CEMARS® and carboNZero CertTM certified organisations nationally in our carbon reduction efforts. 

Since 2010 we have….

- Reduced our carbon footprint by 45%

- Reduced our electricity usage by 47%

- Reduced our consumption of natural gas by 55%

- Reduced our waste to landfill carbon emissions by 70%

Our next phase sees us focus on being sustainable with our building works programme, the reuse of exhibition materials, and a major focus on recycling and reduction across the organisation. We will also engage with Aucklanders on environmental issues through our exhibitions, public programmes and education activities.

As a society we can no longer take a back seat on climate change and, to negate the worse effects, we must come together and act quickly.


The Museum is pleased to offer visitors an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, courtesy of Vector. The charger is located at the southern end of the Museum, with two reserved carparks for the use of the station. The service is free of charge and part of the Museum’s commitment to sustainability.


In 2014, the Museum installed 189 solar panels on the Eastern and Western sides of the Museum roof, making it one of the largest grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) installations in the country. The amount of renewable energy generated by the panels (65,000 kwh per year) is equvilent to the power consumed by around eight average households. Click here to see the Museum's solar generation at work today.


Auckland Museum were the first museum nationally to sign the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment as part of TIANZ. This commitment aims to ensure economic, environmental, social sustainability as part of the tourism industry.