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Culture, heritage and aroha nui.

Andrew Rintoul's huge collection of kauri gum was kept by his family, but his family loaned the taonga collection to the Auckland Museum in 1925. Both the kauri gum and taonga collections were gifted to the Museum by Andrew’s son, Alexander, in 1968, but only the gum ever came to the museum. The taonga, which have been cared for at the Auckland Museum since the 1920's, have finally returned to Andrew's home area.

In October 2019 this important collection was returned to the Museum from Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. The Museum is delighted to be able to share this magnificent local collection with visitors to the museum.


The journey home of the taonga was captured in a documentary which you can view in the exhibition. Footage captures the cultural significance of these taonga to our community. The pōwhiri at Waihaua Marae is electrifying as local iwi Te Uri o Hau welcome these taonga into the wharenui to be blessed before they travel to the Museum. The film offers a unique glimpse into te ao Māori.

Other taonga in the Museum

Other pieces of tools, weapons and jewelry discovered over time in the local area have been entrusted to the Museum's care. We also hold some textile pieces, including a cloak (korowai) donated by Gordon Coates, locally born Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1925-1928.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of the Taonga Māori collection is on display.  Please let us know if you have a specific interest in the collection so we might arrange access.

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