The Auckland War Memorial Museum, also known as the Auckland Museum (Māori: Ta-maki Paenga Hira), is the largest cultural history and natural history museum in Auckland, New Zealand. It is classified by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a top-class cultural monument.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is New Zealand's oldest museum. It was founded in 1852. First museum building was a farmhouse with two rooms in Grafton, a suburb of Auckland.1869 the museum received a new building in downtown Auckland. There, Paul Gauguin visited the collection and sketched some Māori artefacts, which he later also reproduced in some of his paintings.
After the First World War the plan merged to build a new museum building and the need for a memorial for the participants of the war. The building project was internationally launched in an architectural competition won by the Auckland office Grierson, Aimer and Draffin, which carried out today's museum building in a neoclassical style. It is located in the Auckland Domain, on a grassy hill, a dormant volcano, and was inaugurated on 28th November 1929. The museum was expanded twice in the south: 1950 and 2000.
The museum has important collections, especially on the history of New Zealand, the culture of the Māori and the cultures of the Pacific region. Among the collections are three complete wooden buildings, including the Hotunui, a traditional gathering house of the Māori from 1878 from the Thames region, and the Waka Tejoi Tapiri dating from 1830.
In addition, there are historical and art collections as well as an art collection. The art collection is the largest in New Zealand. The museum preserves the estate of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first starter of Mount Everest.
Another important feature of the museum is the collection of 1.5 million objects from fauna, botany, entomology and geology. One of the focal points of the exhibition is the danger of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, especially in the Bay of Auckland. A simulation shows a volcanic eruption and earthquake in Auckland Bay, which visitors will experience from a replicated living room of a bungalow in Auckland, including the earthquake-triggered shock waves.
The museum's library is one of the three largest in the history of New Zealand, with a collection of 1.2 million photographs.
The museum is also the central war memorial for the province of Auckland. It shows an extensive exhibition on the New Zealand wars, internal colonial wars in the 19th century as well as the international military clashes in which New Zealand participated.
The museum work is supervised by 100 full-time employees and 200 volunteer employees.