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Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Ta-u-rangi (HBMT) collection at MTG Hawke’s Bay.

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We do not have a precise figure as much of the archive is counted by box rather than individual item. Our estimate is around 90,000 individual items.

A Stone Age flint hand tool from Egypt (acc no 45/42)

The Stage Coach used on the Napier –Taupo road (ID 51879)

We have some buttons in the collection.

You will need to make an appointment (see contact details). Appointments have to be booked in advance. When contacting us please be specific about your interests. It is not always possible to browse through a large number of items. For example, for dress enquiries we can get out a maximum of six outfits for any one enquiry because of space limitations.

Archives and photographs can be accessed by appointment with the collections team. Call to book a time +64 6 835 7781.

Access to stored collections is free of charge but we do charge for photocopying or any other costs.

You can take your own photographs (subject to copyright restrictions) if they are only low quality images for research purposes. We reserve the right to insist on high quality photography being done by our in-house photographers, for which we will charge. See the ordering photographs and reproductions section for more information.

Yes, but note that it is not always possible to get an appointment immediately. Please contact us as soon as possible, especially if you are visiting Hawke’s Bay and we will try to fit around your travel dates.

Try a local antique dealer or auctioneer, many of whom have good object expertise.

Museum staff cannot provide object identifications over the phone or via email or letter. Try a local antique dealer or auctioneer, many of whom have good object expertise.

Taonga tuturu found after 1976 are the property of the Crown in the first instance. The Ministry for Culture and Heritagedecides who should have custody of such objects, and ownership by any interested party can be claimed through the Maori Land Court.

Taonga tūturu means an object that:

    (a) Relates to Māori culture, history, or society; and

    (b) Was, or appears to have been:

    (i) Manufactured or modified in New Zealand by Māori; or

    (ii) Brought into New Zealand by Māori; or

    (iii) Used by Māori; and

    (c) Is more than 50 years old

The Ministry is legally responsible for the recording and custody of the taonga tuturu, facilitating claims for ownership and any conservation treatment required. When someone finds a taonga tūturu, they should either take it to the nearest public museum that will notify the Ministry of the find, or contact the Ministry directly. In the case of a taonga tūturu found on Department of Conservation land, the finder should let the Ranger or DoC office know.

Please contact us first before bringing taonga tūturu into the Museum so we can make sure a specialist staff member with the appropriate expertise is available. We are unable to accept taonga tūturu at the front counter. We will keep the object here at the Museum while the Ministry processes the recording and ownership enquiries.

If you wish to apply for ownership or for more information on the Protected Objects Act please see the Ministry website.

No. Try a local antiques dealer or auctioneer.

No. For some subjects, we will refer you to other institutions. For example, an enquiry about tree species is best dealt with by the Department of Conservation.

The Museum cannot answer enquiries that demand a lot of research time, such as a precise family history query. We will suggest ways in which you can do your own research but cannot do the work for you.

The Museum does not generally offer editorial services, such as fact checking or reading manuscripts. Such work is only undertaken for a fee.

We lend original items to museums, art galleries and other institutions with appropriate security, environmental conditions and storage conditions.

Contact the Museum to discuss it. We are always grateful to be offered material, but are strict about what we accept. Generally, we only accept objects that say something unique and specific about Hawke’s Bay and its people or wider New Zealand, objects that do not duplicate items already in our collections and objects which come with rich supporting information.

The best place for information about your own fragile or old objects is the New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Material website. They have a directory of conservators throughout the country who specialise in different types of material. Access staff may be able to advise you on preventative conservation to prevent your objects from deteriorating but we recommend you to speak to a conservator.

The decision to add something to the collection is helped by our collecting development policies. This document shows us where the collections strengths lie and where there are gaps.

Disclaimers and Copyright
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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