Museum of Waitangi opens its doors today
05 February 2016
Northern Māori blessed the new Museum of Waitangi this morning announcing the maori name of the museum: Te Kōngahu.
The Govenor General Sir Jerry Mataparae will open the museum during the official ceremony at 3pm today. The Museum will permanently open its doors to the public on Sunday, 7 February following Waitangi Day celebrations.
The state of the art, architecturally designed museum and education centre is the cornerstone of the $14 million redevelopment programme at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, funded with help from the Lottery Grants Board’s Significant Project Fund, Lottery Environment and Heritage, Foundation North (formerly ASB Community Trust), the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Waitangi National Trust.
Waitangi National Trust, Chief Executive, Greg McManus says: “The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a special place for New Zealanders and everyone is excited to unveil the new museum. It’s been challenging at times but we’re proud of the work we’ve done and thrilled to finally share the museum with the nation.”
“I expect the new museum will be a big drawcard for visitors. It’s our hope that every Kiwi will visit Waitangi and our new museum will be another reason to come to this very special part of New Zealand - the birthplace of our nation,” he says.
The two-storied museum houses the inaugural and permanent exhibition Ko Waitangi Tenei: This is Waitangi. The exhibition explores the stories of Waitangi - the people, the place and the Treaty. The exhibition also includes taonga from museums and private collections across the country, as well as content from around the world including Canada, USA, UK and Australia.
The museum will regularly host temporary exhibitions and opens with a collection of rarely seen photographs documenting protest action at Waitangi over the decades.
Historian and consultant Dame Claudia Orange says: “The new museum is an important place to tell the stories of Waitangi - from the personal to the political. The exhibition spans the history of Waitangi from before the signing of the Treaty in 1840, right up to present day.
“These stories will come to life through the collection of taonga and display of more than 500 images – which have been shared through significant loans by Te Papa, Auckland War Museum, Whanganui Museum and private lenders. Ko Waitangi Tenei: This is Waitangi is a world class exhibition that is both immersive and interactive,” she says.
In addition to the new museum, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds will also offer a new all-inclusive Day Pass and during summer visitors can enjoy a twilight Hāngi & Concert, perfect for those wishing to have a full Waitangi experience.
The Day Pass includes admission to the Waitangi Treaty grounds and entry to the new Museum of Waitangi, a 50 minute Guided Tour and a 30 minute Cultural Performance – adults $40, New Zealand residents $20 (ID required) and children (under 18 years) are free. Hāngi & Concert - adults $105, children (5-15 years) $50.