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Heritage New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Historic Places Trust) is the lead agency for heritage issues, identifying and protecting sites of historic heritage value.

Heritage includes archaeological and historic sites such as battle-sites, shipwrecks, whaling stations and goldmines, as well as a large portfolio of heritage buildings and properties.

Heritage New Zealand had almost 235,000 visitors to their staffed properties during the 2015/16 financial year with a 97% satisfaction rate of the experience.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision's (formerly the New Zealand Film Archive) holds a diverse collection of more than 750,000 items, dating back to 1895 and spanning Aotearoa’s sound and moving image history.  The collection encompasses items made during the earliest years of cinema, audio recording and television, alongside contemporary film, TV, advertisements, music videos, computer games, and radio productions. They also archive documentation and props with a connection to film, TV and radio making in New Zealand.

There are between 500 – 600 museums and galleries in New Zealand which care for more than 40 million items relating to our history and national heritage.  Generating in excess of 1000 public exhibitions and publications, and attracting over 8 million visits each year, museums and galleries are currently ranked as the top attraction for New Zealand’s overseas visitors.

Many museums and galleries receive partial funding from local government.  The Ministry also provides some contestable funding each year under the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund.

Te Papa is one of the most visited museums and galleries in Australasia. Here are some Te Papa statistics for 2015/16:

2015/16 by the numbers

  • 1,784,939 visitors to Te Papa – the most ever!
  • Over 3 million visitors to Te Papa websites
  • 26,541 students participating in Te Papa learning programmes
  • In October 2016 the millionth visitor came to Gallipoli: The scale of our war
  • 60 ancestral remains of Māori and Moriori ancestors brought home from overseas
  • 274 museums, galleries and iwi assisted by Te Papa’s National Services Te Paerangi
  • 151 years young – our great-grand-museum the Colonial Museum opened in 1865.


Updated on 19th December 2016