Museum of Waitangi

Te Kōngahu

Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi holds a stunning collection of stories and taonga (treasured objects) that bring to life the history of Waitangi, Aotearoa New Zealand’s most important historic site.

The history of Waitangi is brought to life through world class exhibitions using interactive technology to offer a museum experience like no other. Learn about the history of Waitangi and its significance to both Māori and non-Māori people. Understand how the Treaty of Waitangi became the founding document of New Zealand and marvel at the taonga on display as you discover their significance to the story of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dedicated museum with gallery and learning centre for Waitangi

Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi was officially opened on 5 February 2016 by New Zealand’s Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae. As is customary in Māori culture, the building was opened with a dawn ceremony led by northern Māori leaders. The museum was blessed and formally named Te Kōngahu, a Ngāpuhi (northern tribe) word for an unborn child. The name is said to represent the promise or potential of the new nation born here at Waitangi through the signing of the Treaty.

The museum, designed by Whangarei architects HB Architecture and built by local firm Henwood Builders, was part of a $14 million redevelopment of the Treaty Grounds. The museum includes a learning centre and hosts thousands of students every year, as well as supporting schools around the country through virtual and online education programmes relating to the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand’s history.

The museum also features a temporary gallery with changing exhibitions running throughout the year, including touring exhibitions from other museums and galleries around New Zealand. Enhance your experience at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds by visiting Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, all included in your day pass.

Waitangi Museum Med Res-27

Long-awaited home for precious taonga (treasured objects)

As well as holding some of New Zealand’s most precious stories and taonga (treasured objects), the museum building itself has been described as a treasure, having been thoughtfully designed to fit gently into the surrounding landscape. Before entering the building take a moment to admire the artworks adorning the front facade, the courtyard and the seven pillars, all created by Carin Wilson (Ngāti Awa and Tūhourangi).

The story told by the museum reflects the fact that New Zealand’s story is ongoing, with both historical and modern viewpoints captured from people of all walks of life. This demonstrates that the Treaty of Waitangi is a living document that continues to be referenced in daily life by all people of New Zealand.

Collections

Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi is home not only to a large number of precious taonga that can be viewed throughout the main exhibition Ko Waitangi Tēnei – This is Waitangi, but also houses a collection of thousands of items not on display. If you would like to learn more about these collections or make a time to view them, please contact our Curatorial Manager Caitlin Timmer-Arends at caitlintimmerarends@waitangi.org.nz.