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Learn from home

The MTG education team have been working hard planning some great activities and fun lessons that you can do from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will regularly update this page as sessions and activities are completed.

Virtual Museum Search

Enjoy our virtual museum search here by looking through our website and social media. Happy searching!

Mahi at MTG

Everyone loves the learning and creative fun that the MTG education team provides. Every day there’s always something new to do and explore at the museum, even if you can't visit us in person! We are going to become digital investigators and keep learning through new exciting lessons and activities provided by the educators at MTG.

Keep up to date with our weekly "Mahi at MTG" activities below - this is a very exciting chance to join us as we uncover all the magic that MTG has to offer!




This week we invite you to take part in a virtual museum search of MTG! Download your search here then look through our website and social media to find all of the items. Good Luck!

Share your findings with us by posting your completed search (front page only please) on our Facebook page or sending us a message.


*All programmes offered by the education team at MTG have strong links to the NZ curriculum.
*We wish to thank the Ministry of Education and the Port of Napier for their continuous support of education initiatives.

This week we invite you to watch the video of MTG’s Mystery of History exhibition opening here then complete the matching game - Can you match the old item to the new?. See if you can match the olden day object to the one that we use today.

We’d love for you to also find something you have at home that maybe your grandparents or parents used when they were your age. Take a pic and post it on our Facebook page and we will try and guess what it is!

*All programmes offered by the education team at MTG have strong links to the NZ curriculum.
*We wish to thank the Ministry of Education and the Port of Napier for their continuous support of education initiatives.

Tēnā koutou katoa teachers, students and whanau!

This week Mahi @ MTG is inviting you to do a magical science experiment! We would like to challenge YOU to find this post on our Facebook page and post a video or pic of you doing your own science experiment in the comments, or send it to us in a message.

Make sure you let your classmates know about this post so they can join the challenge!

Our exhibition, The Mystery of History is bursting with objects used for science experiments! Even the way that our curators and collections team look after these special objects is science in itself!

Keep tuned for more about that next week….

Watch our "Magic Trick" video here and then investigate the science behind our magic trick!

Ask yourself:

Is this what you expected to happen? Why or why not? What do you think will happen when the pencil is pulled out of the bag?

What’s going on?

No water spills out of the holes because plastic ziploc bags are made of a polymer. Polymers have long chains of molecules that are flexible. When you poke a sharp pencil through the bag, the pencil slides in between the chain of molecules that make up the polymer. The molecule chains make a seal around the pencil that won’t let the water out.

Want to go even further?

· How many pencils can you stab into your bag at once?

· Try this experiment with other materials.

*All programmes offered by the education team at MTG have strong links to the NZ curriculum.

*We wish to thank the Ministry of Education and the Port of Napier for their continuous support of education initiatives.

Tēnā koutou katoa teachers, students and whanau!

This week we are going to get creative!

At MTG we have a very special exhibition called Turuturu. Every object in this exhibition is hand-made. Feathers and natural fibres like flax/harakeke are used to make beautiful and useful objects/taonga. Objects/taonga tell many stories. They are touchstones that bring memories and meanings to life, and forge connections between the present and past. Museums collect these objects, care for them, and use them to help people understand the world around them.

When you have been outside, have you noticed the beautiful colours of autumn? In this week's task we are going to use found objects to make bird collages. Armed with scissors, head out into your garden and gather a collection of different nature supplies that you think could be used to decorate your birds with. Autumn leaves would look stunning as would shells for eyes if you happen to live close to the beach. Put all of your supplies in a box so you can store away the unused items for future art and craft projects.

Watch the video here of the native birds that we made with the things that we found in our local bubble, then have a go at creating your own.

Head to our Facebook page and post a pic of your finished creation, we would love to see it!


Hoki mai! Welcome back to Mahi @ MTG teachers, students and whanau. 

Have you ever visited our Tēnei Tonu exhibition? It's full of taonga (treasures), from a local waka to musical instruments used by traditional Māori. Could you imagine using a bone nose flute or a jaw harp?!

One of the favourite hands on experiences in Tēnei Tonu is the Poi display. You can watch a video of Māori Poi dances and follow along while swinging your own Poi.

The Poi was used, many years ago, by the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand to increase their flexibility and the strength in their hands and arms as well as improving coordination. Wāhine (female) dancers perform the Māori Poi, a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically. The Poi dance was originally used by women to keep their hands flexible for weaving and by men to improve strength and coordination required for battle. Poi are also used as a training aid for other ancient weapons like the Mere or Pātū.

Would you like to make a Poi at home with simple everyday equipment? Click here to download more information on the history of poi and instructions on how to make your own set of Poi.

Poi Image



Greetings teachers, students and whanau from the educators here at MTG. We home you’re making the most of the sunny days we are having especially now as the cooler weather creeps in.

The colder Autumn and Winter months are a great time to cuddle up as a whanau and watch movies. Here at MTG education we are big fans of the Moana movie. We love it so much that we have an education programme based on one of the main characters .... Māui!

Māui is a shape shifting trickster who wears a sizeable fish hook made of bone around his neck.

According to Māui, he used the fish hook to drag down the sun itself, pull islands out of the sea, and battle colossal monsters or taniwha.

Māui caught a great fish that turned out to be the North Island of New Zealand - Te Ika-a-Māui, the fish of Māui.

According to legend, the hook instantly transformed into the coastline of Hawkes Bay . If you stand in the Veronica sunbay across the road from MTG you can see the shape of the hook for yourself!

· Whats your favourite Māui legend?

· If you were a shapeshifter like Māui what animal would you become?

Head to our Facebook page, scroll through our feed until you find this week's "Mahi at MTG" post comment with your answers. Also, keep checking back here to find out what our favourite Maui legends are.

Koha stones


Yōkoso minasan teachers, students and whanau to another Mahi @ MTG activity!

Have you ever visited our Tēnei Tonu exhibition?

Have you ever noticed the koha stones under the waka?

Today we are going to kōrero about koha. Have you ever visited a marae, school or another special place and given a koha?

Put simply, koha is a Māori term for a gift. It’s a way in which you can express gratitude in the form of a physical gift, like money, food, or something priceless, like some great advice.

When a school visits us at MTG sometimes they bring a koha. Sometimes it’s a special waiata or a beautifully decorated stone like in the photo above.

Click here to download some instructions so you can make your own koha stone.

MAhi at MTG Art Deco

Mālō le soifua teachers, students and whanau. We hope you’re having a fantastic week.

It doesn’t seem too long ago that we were celebrating Art Deco weekend! Who doesn’t love to dress up in art deco inspired clothes and step back in time.

The MTG educators think anytime is a great time to dress up! We want you to put your glad rags on and join us playing some games from the past at home. What are games from the past you ask? Click here for more info.

Stereoscope Ed Image


Welcome back teachers, students and whanau to another Mahi @ MTG education activity!

Have you ever visited our Mystery of History exhibition?  If you have you may have noticed that there’s lots of old and mysterious objects on display that are original versions of things we use today. 

Do you know what the object is in the image above?

It’s a device people used to view stereoscopic photos as one 3D image.

On one side of the device are two lenses to look through, and on the other end is a holder for side-by-side stereoscopic cards. When you look through the lenses, the two photos appear to be a single 3D photograph.

This stereoscope is typical of those used in Victorian homes for education and amusement. An illusion of perspective and depth is achieved when the two images combine as seen through the stereoscope.

Would you like to create your own optical illusion? Click here to learn how to make your own 3D image!

Clive School Image

Welcome teachers, students and whanau to another Mahi at MTG activity.

Most kiwi kids are back in school this week and are reuniting with friends and teachers.

Above is a photo of Clive School pupils from our collection, taken in 1879. Schools were much different in the 1800s to what we have today.

• Can you see any differences in this class photo to the ones we have today?
• What do you think of the clothes they are wearing?
• Look at the expressions on the teacher and students faces. Do you think they look very happy?

In the 1800s small one-room schoolhouses were normal. It's hard to imagine, but in the 1800s a single teacher taught year one through to year eight in the same room. Rural areas were too sparsely populated to support multiple classrooms, so towns built one-room schools.

Many children did not attend school in the 1850s and those who did often only attended for a few years. Many of the teachers were untrained and education was not highly regarded in the community. Schools in the olden days were also much stricter than now.

Click here to download our online lesson and learn all about olden day classrooms.


Image: Photograph of children with a teacher at Clive School, Hawke's Bay, December 1879.
gifted by Miss Russell. Collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 4438

Toys and games


La bienvenida teachers, students and whanau!

This week for Mahi at MTG we are going to step back in time again and learn all about olden day games. Lets find out more about the games our grandparents and great grandparents played when they were younger.

One game that’s been around for years is knucklebones! Knucklebones, or Jacks, is an ancient game, dating back to prehistoric times. The first jacks were natural materials - animal bones, stones, seeds and shells.

Although knucklebone pieces were originally made from the knucklebones of sheep or goats, they were later crafted in a great variety of materials: brass, copper, silver, gold, glass, bone, ivory, marble, wood, stone, bronze, terracotta and even precious gems.

Access our online lesson all about games from the past by clicking here.


Talofa and welcome all educators, students and whanau to another Mahi at MTG activity.

While browsing through MTG's collection of photos here we came across an exquisite postcard (pictured below) that was made in 1908. It’s a lovely example of early photographic/drawn collage and is accompanied with a poetic verse.
The first government-produced postcard was issued on May 1,1873. One side of the postcard was for a message and the other side was for the recipient's address.
Postcards have many uses and are still used today to write to a friend or family member when on holiday. They can also be used to show a distant place that someone would want to go to. Postcards, in that sense, can be used as advertisements.

So, next time you visit another town or city in New Zealand why not try and find a postcard to send back home to someone you love. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful postcards you can find. And the best thing is, you don’t have to write too much on them like you would a letter or email. Keep your message brief by telling your loved one back home the things you’ve been doing while visiting a new place.

Access our postcard lesson plan by clicking here.
Image: Black and white photograph on card, printed with brown ink. Handwritten in blue ink. Gifted by Mr Geoff Harding, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 88270.

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While every endeavour has been taken by the MTG Hawke's Bay to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, MTG Hawke's Bay shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. MTG Hawke's Bay cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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