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Waikato Museum building turns 30

3 October 2017

HCL M01664.53 Museum and TotD IMG 0243

Images: Waikato Museum of Art and History toward the end of its construction, circa 1987, and Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato front entrance with Michael Parekowhai’s Tongue of the Dog sculpture, 2017. Collection of Hamilton City Libraries HCL_M01664.53 / Dan Inglis, archive of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato celebrates 30 years on its Grantham Street site today [3 October], with exhibitions, a series of events and a book to mark the significant occasion.

Hamilton city’s art gallery and museum first amalgamated in 1973, and moved into the iconic Waikato Museum building on 3 October 1987.

The result of years of research, planning, debate and uncertainty, it was at the time New Zealand’s most sophisticated example of a purpose-built modern museum.

The design was led by celebrated architect Ivan Mercep, of design firm JASMaD, who would later become the Head Architect of Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.

To commemorate the milestone, Waikato Museum is in the midst of four months of festivities.

The exhibition Te Haerenga The Journey: Toward Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, running until 26 November 2017, recalls some of the many highlights and strengths developed during the Museum’s three decades of operation in its current location, as well as key people and factors involved in establishing the institution.

Until 29 October 2017, the exhibition Ngaa Taonga: Treasures from Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato presents a selection of the art and artefacts from the Museum’s vaults.

A book complementing both exhibitions has also been published and is available for purchase at the Museum and from its online store.

A series of events, including collections tours and talks by curators and museum experts, is also being held until November. Go to for more details.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham is humbled to be at the helm of Waikato Museum during this time of reflection.

“To think of all the great minds who have worked for and with this institution, and the hundreds of thousands of people who have been through our doors, makes you realise what a privilege it is to be part of this place,” she says.

For more information contact:

Dan Silverton
Waikato Museum Partnerships and Communications Manager
07 838 6956
021 056 9810