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Te Whare Taonga o Tauranga Moana

Tauranga Museum

Tauranga Museum will be a key component of Te Manawataki o Te Papa, the transformed city centre in the heart of Tauranga.

Tauranga Museum will include a permanent exhibition space, two temporary exhibition galleries, a learning hub, discovery centre, café and museum shop.

The permanent exhibition will be carefully curated to showcase the rich cultural heritage of our region. Using modern museum technology, and by displaying taonga, objects and photos from our 30,000-piece heritage collection, the museum will breathe life into these narratives, offering an immersive and interactive experience that transports visitors through time.

Outstanding international and local exhibitions will be offered in the museum’s temporary exhibition spaces, giving the people of Tauranga and visitors the opportunity to experience world-class exhibitions right on their own doorstep.

A specially designed learning hub will offer curriculum-linked education programmes for school groups of all ages, school holiday programmes, lecture series and other events. The discovery centre will provide interactive learning and fun for all ages.

The museum café will showcase regional flavours and the retail shop will be an important aspect of the museum experience, with quality products, books and crafts on offer.

Whether you're an art enthusiast, a history buff, a seeker of knowledge, a grandparent taking your mokopuna on an outing, or a family looking for a wet weather activity, our exhibition and discovery galleries will offer something for everyone. Explore the past, ponder the present, and imagine the future—all within the inspiring walls of Tauranga Museum.

Friends of Tauranga Museum

Friends of Tauranga Museum is a free membership programme designed to build a diverse community of museum supporters in advance of the opening in 2028. By offering free Friends’ memberships, the Tauranga Museum team aims to engage with the local community, generate anticipation and excitement about the upcoming museum, and establish a foundation of support.

Membership Benefits:

  • Regular e-newsletters and updates about the Tauranga Museum project, collection stories and Friends’ events.
  • Exclusive events: invitations to Friends-only events, e.g., museum collection tours, museum update presentations, collection talks, historic walks, site visits etc.

To become a Friend of Tauranga Museum just fill in the online membership form below.

Become a Friend of Tauranga Museum

FAQ's

  • The presence of a museum embodies the soul of a city. It signifies a city's cultural maturity and civic pride, and its commitment to preserving its heritage.
  • Tauranga Museum will act as a catalyst for local tourism, attracting visitors from New Zealand and overseas and offering cruise ship passengers a high quality experience, stimulating economic growth within the city.
  • The facilities available at Tauranga Museum will enable the return of Taonga Māori to Tauranga from other museums around NZ and from overseas.
  • Tauranga Museum will include a permanent exhibition space, two temporary exhibition galleries, a learning hub, discovery centre, café and museum shop.
  • The permanent exhibition will showcase the rich cultural heritage of our region using modern museum technology, and by displaying taonga, objects and photos from our 30,000-piece heritage collection.
  • Outstanding international and local exhibitions will be offered in the museum’s temporary exhibition spaces.
  • A specially designed learning hub will offer curriculum-linked education programmes for school groups of all ages, school holiday programmes, lecture series and other events. The discovery centre will provide interactive learning and fun for all ages.
  • The investment in a modern museum reflects the city's commitment to excellence and innovation. It signifies a dedication to preserving and promoting Tauranga’s cultural heritage.
  • A state-of-the-art museum will enable us to host major exhibitions and events, attracting local, New Zealand and international visitors to return to the Tauranga city centre.
  • The decision to build a modern museum is also driven by a commitment to minimise our carbon footprint. The museum building will incorporate environmentally sustainable practices and technologies.
  • Like Te Papa and Auckland Museum, the new Tauranga Museum will feature world-class exhibitions, interactive displays, and immersive experiences designed to engage and inspire visitors.
  • While drawing upon the successes and best practices of Te Papa, Auckland Museum and other museums around the world, Tauranga Museum will have the opportunity to innovate and differentiate itself. The specific themes, narratives and artifacts showcased within the museum will reflect the unique stories and perspectives of the Tauranga region.
  • Only around 10% of the Tauranga Heritage Collections will be on display at the museum at any time. The remainder will stay in the collection store to which donors and researchers will continue to have access.
  • The majority of the objects in the collection are currently available to view online.

Yes, there will be a programme of changing international and local exhibitions in the two temporary galleries. The permanent exhibition will also be regularly updated.

  • The museum will offer comprehensive educational programmes that cover a wide range of topics, from local history to natural sciences and environmental sustainability.
  • These programmes will be designed to align with New Zealand's national curriculum standards, ensuring that they support and enhance classroom learning objectives.
  • Through interactive tours, hands-on teaching, and experiential learning activities, students will have the opportunity to explore the museum's exhibits and collections in a meaningful and engaging way.
  • Interactive exhibits: The museum will feature interactive exhibits that allow children to touch, explore and play. Children will have the opportunity to engage with history in fun and exciting ways.
  • Digital experiences: In addition to physical exhibits, the museum will incorporate technology to create immersive digital experiences.
  • Discovery Centre: the themed discovery centre will provide interactive learning and fun for all ages.
  • Family-friendly events: The museum will host regular family-friendly events and school holiday programmes.

Yes, you can. Friends of Tauranga Museum is a FREE membership programme designed to build a diverse community of supporters in advance of the opening in 2028. To become a Friend of Tauranga Museum just fill in the online membership form

Membership benefits include:

  • Regular e-newsletters and updates about the Tauranga Museum project, collection stories and Friends’ events.
  • Exclusive events: invitations to Friends-only events, e.g., museum collection tours, museum update presentations, collection talks, historic walks, site visits etc.

Tauranga’s MP Simon Bridges commissioned a poll in 2016. The Minister of Energy and Resources canvassed more than 4000 Tauranga constituents in the survey:

Do you support a museum in Tauranga? 

  • 54% Yes - if it can be done economically responsibly
  • 17% Yes - we need to be ambitious about this
  • 29% No - it's a waste of money

Tauranga City Council asked residents for feedback on a proposed museum for the city in 2017. 
A survey of 403 Tauranga people was undertaken with two questions: 

Do you support a museum in Tauranga? 

  • 40% strongly supported
  • 24% somewhat supported the development
  • 20% did not support
  • 16% were undecided

Would you be willing to pay for the museum through rates?

  • 20% were willing to pay for a museum through rates
  • 22% were somewhat willing
  • 42% were not willing
  • 17% undecided
  • Tauranga Museum is part of the Te Manawataki o Te Papa precinct development. The new development will feature the museum, a new library and community hub and a civic whare (public meeting house). Baycourt and Tauranga Art Gallery are also part of the redevelopment programme, along with the landscaping of public spaces in the area.
  • Construction of the new development started in 2023, with the Art Gallery opening in 2025, the library and community hub opening in 2026, and the museum and civic hub in 2028.

The museum is accessible by private and public transport with a bus stop in front of the museum. There are multiple car parking options around the CBD area and a new car parking building is opening opposite the museum.

Key information

Project type
Major Project

Status
Planning

Neighbourhood
City Centre

Key dates

  • Construction starts

    May 2024
  • Commissioning

    June 2028
  • Completion

    August 2028

Who's listening

Civic Redevelopment Project Team 
Tauranga City Council

taurangamuseum@tauranga.govt.nz 
07 577 7000

its on

It's on!

This project is part of the work we are doing to revitalise our city centre.

It’s on in our city centre!

Other ways to get involved

Tauranga is your city. We’re working to make it even better.

Tauranga City Council, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga, 3143, New Zealand |Terms of use|Privacy statement

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