You can inspire a generation of environmental guardians

You can inspire a generation of environmental guardians

Opening from 2025, the new Natural Environment and Human Impact gallery will weave together modern natural science with mātauranga Māori and Pasifika knowledge systems.  

Your gift will bring this engaging, innovative and impactful gallery to life for the benefit of us all.  

Ngā mihi nui, thank you for making your Museum an evolving place of learning and discovery. 

Is your organisation interested in supporting this kaupapa? Click here to view our partnerships page.

Toitū te marae a Tāne 
Toitū te marae a Tangaroa  
Toitū te tangata  

Nurture and sustain the domains of Tāne and Tangaroa  
And they will nurture and sustain the people  

"Right from the beginning, this kaupapa, this project, has been about dialogue and engagement with knowledge holders in the communities of Tāmaki Makaurau. So, the research and methodologies we’ve applied to developing this gallery are a step change in how the Museum has approached gallery development in the past."

Nova Paul – Mātauranga Māori Curator, Documentary Heritage  

A distinctly Aotearoa New Zealand perspective on climate change

From our place within the South Pacific, drawing on our strong partnerships with iwi and Pasifika communities, our ambition is to establish a gallery founded upon the interwoven worlds of mātauranga Māori, indigenous knowledge systems and scientific research. 

The Natural Environment and Human Impact gallery will provide immersive learning experiences, drawing on pūrākau (stories) and making whanaungatanga (connections) with te taiao (the natural environment).  

Your support will help to develop engaging collection displays and exhibits. These will reflect the holistic ecosystems of our ngahere (forests) and moana (oceans).  

This intertwined view will allow tamariki and manuhiri (visitors) of all ages to make connections between the actions of humankind and reestablishing a thriving natural environment. 


“Our tamariki may have a diminished concept of what a thriving natural ecosystem is actually like. This gallery will show what it could be, when a web of whakapapa is connected, when the ecosystem connections are thriving, everything is full of mauri, full of life. It’s an opportunity to show this aspirational vision of what our natural systems, and our world, could look like. It could provide a goal for people as they work to restore their natural environments.” 

Robert Vennell – Project Curator, Natural Sciences 

Inspiring positive action to protect our environment, and our futures

When tamariki explore and discover the links between the natural world and themselves, it can alter their perception of the environment and their place in it. 

Climate change and the impacts of biodiversity loss will affect us all.  

Your gift will help every visitor discover how each of us can play a critical role, restoring vital life systems in our own backyard.  


Ngā mihi nui – thank you. 

"We’re creating an experiential gallery, that transports visitors into an abundant, thriving, natural ecosystem. We believe that being in that almost perfect ngahere environment will encourage tamariki to then go out and explore their own backyard.” 

Liam Koka’ua – Mātauranga Māori Curator, Documentary Heritage 

Frequently asked questions

+Why did you need to create a new gallery?

The Natural Environment and Human Impact gallery is leading the way in our ambition to play an integral role in building an inclusive society of engaged and informed communities. This new gallery has been purposefully designed to inform, engage and empower local and visiting communities to sustain and protect our natural environment and biodiversity.

It will be a place for communities to gather and learn from both science and mātauranga Māori knowledge. The former gallery space was more than 25 years old, so it is also important we ensure our infrastructure is refreshed and aligned with modern museum best practice.

+Is this gallery just for kids?

There’s something for all ages in our Natural Environment and Human Impact Gallery! The gallery has been designed to inspire and engage children, through storytelling and an immersive experience. However, this gallery will be compelling and inspirational for visitors young and old.

+What makes this gallery project special?

The focus for the gallery will be climate change, biodiversity, and habitat loss, and what we are doing about it. 

The gallery will give a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand perspective on the environment. Through storytelling and whakapapa (genealogy), thousands of visitors each year will walk away with a deeper understanding of the connections between te taiao (the environment) and all living things.

We aim to increase knowledge of these issues and inspire visitors to be more engaged with their local environment. The challenges we face are great, we want everyone to feel inspired to make a difference on both local and global issues.

+Why are you blending Mātauranga Māori and modern science in this gallery?

Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) underpins this Natural Environment and Human Impact Gallery.  

An integrated, community-based approach brings a fresh way of looking at our natural environment. Our project team consists of two Mātauranga Māori curators and two Natural Science curators, with a team wrapped around them.

This way of working means, for example, that rather than taking the traditional approach where things are divided into taxonomic divisions, (ie birds here, fish here, trees here), we look at whole environments and how they all intersect. Traditional storytelling will engage and reinforce ecological connections and interdependency.

The gallery will highlight the natural abundance that Aotearoa New Zealand once had, and will provide hope that with effort and focus, we can get it back.

+When will the gallery open?

A phased opening will begin from Matariki, June 2025.

+Why does the Museum need my donation?

Auckland ratepayers (via Auckland Council) fund two thirds of Museum activities. The remaining third is generated from a variety of channels, including donations from generous people like you.  

Your gift is a way you can inspire people to care for the environment as much as you do.

Developing a deeper connection to our environment and improving our understanding of the impact we have upon it will drive the positive action needed to address the challenges we face. 

With thousands expected to visit the gallery each year, the impact of your donation will spread far and wide. 

Ngā mihi nui, thank you. 

+What will the money raised go to?

Our base-build and restoration stage is now complete (thanks to our generous funders). Funds raised from this campaign will support the next stage of gallery development where our concept becomes a tangible reality. This includes building the physical environment, creating and producing digital design and interactives, lighting and soundscapes. 

When you join our family of donors, you will help to inspire thousands to deepen their connection to te taiao (the environment).

+Can I get a tax receipt?

Yes, Auckland Museum is a registered charity and all donations over $5.00 will receive an emailed donation receipt.

Every gift, no matter the size, can make a difference for your environment and your community.

+I don’t want to donate online, can I make a direct bank transfer?

Yes you can!

Here are the details you need if you’d like to set up a direct debit or make a one-off donation using internet banking.

Bank: BNZ Bank

Account name: Auckland Museum Trust Board

Branch: Newmarket

Account number: 02-0192-0013622-00

To help us identify your donation, please include your name and the words ‘NEHI donation’ in the reference fields. If you would also like a donation receipt emailed, please email [email protected] to advise your gift is on its way.

+I have a business that aligns with this project. Who can I get in touch with about partnership opportunities?

Auckland Museum is seeking expressions of interest from businesses whose values align with the Natural Environment and Human Impact Gallery.

For more information visit our partnerships page and please contact our development team: [email protected]


With thanks to our founding partners

Is your organisation interested in a corporate partnership?
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