Black and white photo of the cast of 'Te Kooti Trail' on location.

Taonga Māori Collection

Items held at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision that are considered to have significant Māori content are known as the 'Taonga Māori Collection'.

The Taonga Māori Collection is comprised of both audio and visual material that originate in Aotearoa covering a range of genres, events and subjects including records of karanga, whaikōrero, iwi and hapū histories, pōwhiri, marae and kapa haka, Waitangi Day events (dating from 1913), weaving demonstrations, tukutuku, whakairo and many more.

Hero image: The cast from 'Te Kooti Trail'.

Image from 'The Spirits and Times will Teach', Tangata Whenua.

'The Spirits and Times will Teach', Tangata Whenua - Mai i te maui ki te katau: Tuaiwa Hautai Eva Rickard (Tainui Āwhiro), rātou ko Herepō Rongo (Tainui Āwhiro), ko Michael King. (Pacific Films, 1974)


The Taonga Māori Collection began in the early 1980s, when the then Film Archive acquired a collection of unedited images filmed by James McDonald in the 1920s for the Dominion Museum.

McDonald travelled with Sir Apirana Ngata and Te Rangihīroa (Sir Peter Buck) to Gisborne, the East Coast, Rotorua, Ruatāhuna and the Whanganui River. He recorded images of whānau, hapū and iwi 30 years before urbanisation brought significant changes to the Māori world.

The Taonga Māori Collection consists of many different kaupapa including the following:

  • Broadcasting
  • Education
  • Government
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Art
  • Medical
  • Oral interpretation/traditions
  • Treaty
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Marketing
Still from 'Te Rua'.

Still from Te Rua - this image is housed in Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision's Documentation Collection, as part of the Jonathan Dennis Collection. (Barry Barclay, 1991)

Explore audiovisual material from the Taonga Māori Collection:

Ngā Taonga Kōrero is a collection of our oldest te reo recordings, with waiata and haka performances.
Turangawaewae marae, Ngaruawahia, Waikato.
The story of te reo on air and the broadcasters who championed te reo Māori on radio.
Microphone against a wooden Māori carving.
Radio interviews with wāhine Māori broadcast in 1993, to mark the International Year for the World's Indigenous Peoples and the centenary of Women's Suffrage.
Highlighting the speeches, waiata and haka delivered to the 28th Māori Battalion on their return to Wellington in 1946.
This 45-minute documentary shares some of our country's unique stories through its audiovisual treasures.

26 August 2022

Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho is a five-part online series about the practice of archiving taonga Māori.
Mai and Khali select a videotape from the vault.

23 June 2022

Every year Ngā Taonga celebrates Matariki with a short video loop featuring items from the collections.
Matariki night sky

5 February 2015

Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngāti Porou) delivered a strong message to Pākehā New Zealand when he spoke at the 1940 Treaty Centennial celebrations at Waitangi.
Apirana Turupa Ngata leading a haka at the 1940 centennial celebrations at Waitangi.