Museum Collections

Museum Collections

Kiwi North is the home to Whangarei Museum, which was founded circa 1890. The collection holds over 40,000 items including early settler social history, natural history specimens and Maori taonga.

Collections of special interest:

The Fraser Collection of Maori taonga – important treasures to the Ngati Awa and Nga Puhi, the first peoples of Te Tai Tokerau/Northland.

The Museum collection also consists of a 200-year-old waka, a fine collection of korowai (cloaks) and beautiful bone, stone and wooden artefacts representative of early Maori technology.

Extensive natural history displays of Northland’s fauna – including internationally renowned Fairburn Insect Collection containing over 20,000 specimens that were collected between 1890-1980.

Photographic collections chronicling early Maori and settler life in Northland, Whangarei District and New Zealand from the early 1900s – photographers include F. G. R. Radcliffe and Margaret Matilda White.

Military collections – Muskets, cannon balls from the Ruapekapeka battle of the 1846 Northland wars, Northland Regimental colours, and items from the sinking of the R M A Niagara at the head of Whangarei Harbour by German mines in 1940.

Social History Collection – objects relevant to the Whangarei District since early European settlement, including agricultural and farm machinery, relics from the early commercial traders, medical equipment, domestic objects including clothing, porcelain, furniture and musical instruments, and material and cultural artefacts collected by 19th Century travellers to the Pacific Islands, Australia and Africa.