Museum of Waitangi set to open doors


The Museum of Waitangi, set to open its doors to the public on Sunday, will be officially blessed tomorrow morning ahead of the opening ceremony later that afternoon.

The state-of-the-art museum has been designed as part of the $14 million redevelopment programme at Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It was funded with help from the Lottery Grants Board's Significant Project Fund, Lottery Environment and Heritage, Foundation North, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Waitangi National Trust.

According to Waitangi National Trust chief executive Greg McManus, the grounds have been designed to be a special place where Kiwis can explore the stories of Waitangi.

The museum will hold a number of exhibitions, and is set to open with a selection of rare photographs documenting Waitangi protests over past decades.

Historian and consultant Dame Claudia Orange says the museum will serve a duty of being both personal and political, and cover the Waitangi history from 1840 up until today.

"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."

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mataparae and Prime Minister John Key will both attend the proceedings, and the Maori name for the museum will be announced.

The museum will then remain closed to the public until Sunday so as not to detract from the mana of Waitangi Day on Saturday.