If you are considering donating an object or objects to Puke Ariki’s collections, we want you to be in touch with one of the curators before bringing the items to the Museum.

Contact us first on curators@npdc.govt.nz, or simply complete our online form below.  Alternatively, call (06) 759 6060 to be referred to a curator.

You can then tell us about your special items and their significance, and we can decide if Puke Ariki should be their new home.

Note that Puke Ariki only collects material relating specifically to Taranaki peoples, places and histories.

Thank you!


Frequently asked questions

How does Puke Ariki decide what to collect?

  • Puke Ariki collects taonga and objects linked to Taranaki. They may have been made in Taranaki, they may be associated with the iwi of the Taranaki region, or other peoples or groups living in Taranaki in the past or present.
  • We consider who made and used the item and its significance to their life story, and to Taranaki.
  • It is important that we know who owns it now, and who has owned it in the past.
  • The object needs to be in a reasonably strong and sound condition, although it may be old.
  • If we already have the same or a similar object in our collection, we might not accept another example.
  • We prefer to collect original material, not copies, unless the original no longer exists or its location is unknown.
  • We have limited capacity to accept very large items.

How do I donate objects?

We are pleased that you are thinking of donating items to Puke Ariki’s collections, but please do not bring them to us yet.

First, please complete this form. It is important to include a photograph of your object if you can, to help us understand what you are offering to the collection.

A curator will contact you to let you know if they would like you to bring the object in to show them, or if it cannot be accepted. They will talk with you about the object and its history. 

If the object is of interest, you will be asked to complete an Interim Receipt, and leave it at the Museum while the curatorial team make a formal decision about whether it will be accepted or declined.

What if I have a large collection to donate?

Please email us first, curators@npdc.govt.nz, or phone us on (06) 759 6060. It is helpful if you can provide a list of the items in your collection, or we may need to view your collection at your home.

What happens after I have donated my object?

We will ask you to complete a Deed of Gift, transferring legal ownership of your object to Puke Ariki. This transferral includes copyright, unless you state otherwise.

The object will then be registered and put on our collections database, which is accessible to the public. Researchers may request to view your object.

The object might be included in our displays, but we cannot guarantee this. 

For information about taonga Māori donations, see the relevant section below.

What happens if the Museum does not want my object?

If the curatorial team declines the object, and you have indicated on the Interim Receipt that you would like the object returned, you will be contacted by email and must collect the object within four weeks.

If you have indicated on the Interim Receipt that you would like the object to be disposed of if declined, we will do so on your behalf, as long as it is practical to do so.

What information do I need to provide with my objects?

We need your contact details, and details about the object such as where and when it was made if known, who used or owned it, any associated stories, and information about its significance to Taranaki’s past. If it is a natural history specimen, we need to know where and when it was collected, and by whom.

What are the legalities around donating objects?

If your item is accepted into the collection, you will sign a legal document called a Deed of Gift, which transfers ownership from you to the Museum, and unless you state otherwise, transfers copyright to Puke Ariki also. The Museum then has the right to make decisions about the handling, care, storage, display and deaccessioning of the item, in accordance with the Puke Ariki Heritage Collection Plan.

The Deed of Gift constitutes a legal statement by you that you hold full and clear title to the object, and that there are no other legal claims by other persons or entities to the object. You indemnify Puke Ariki against any claims associated with the object’s ownership status. In signing, you also acknowledge that Puke Ariki is not legally bound to return your donation to you or any of your family at any time in the future.

Can I lend my objects to the Museum?

The Museum does not accept loans except in very specific circumstances, for example, for display in an exhibition. 

What if I have taonga Māori to donate?

Taonga Māori that have been in your family or gifted to you can be offered to the Museum. If you wish, they can be placed under a Kaitiaki agreement in which you provide details for their custodianship, with designated individuals in your whānau, hapū or iwi having primary access.

If you have found a Māori taonga, for example in your garden or at the beach, you must bring it to the Museum. Any taonga found after 1976 fall under the Protected Objects Act, and the Museum is required to register them with Manatū Taonga, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

Taonga tūturu are defined in section 2 of the Protected Objects Act as objects which relate to Māori culture, history or society; and which appear to have been manufactured or modified in New Zealand by Māori; or brought into New Zealand by Māori; or have been used by Māori; and which are more than 50 years old.

Please see the following website for more information: Taonga Tūturu | Ministry for Culture and Heritage (mch.govt.nz)

What if I have a natural history specimen to donate?

Puke Ariki welcomes donation offers of natural history specimens, however some donations are governed by the Wildlife Act 1953 and the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978. These acts protect our native wildlife and cover every native bird, reptile, amphibian, fish or mammal that you might bring into the Museum. All native wildlife in our collection must be listed under the Museum’s Wildlife Permit and registered with the Department of Conservation.

If you have any native taxidermy at home you will also require a Wildlife Permit. For further information please contact the Department of Conservation.

If you find a dead native bird please do not bring this into the Museum. Instead contact your local Department of Conservation to organise disposal.

Donation Form


Offer of Object(s) for Donation to Puke Ariki

Thank you for offering an object donation to Puke Ariki. We will contact you as soon as possible after receiving this form. Please do not bring your object/s to the Museum until we have responded.

The Museum’s curatorial team assess the objects in terms of their significance to the Taranaki region, and the Puke Ariki Heritage Collection Plan.

The Museum has an obligation to receive taonga tūturu found after 1976, under the Protected Objects Act.

Your contact details

Details of your object(s)

Please provide as much detail as you can including photographs of the item(s), which you can do below.

e.g. country, city, suburb, name of beach, etc.

Please provide as much information as possible about the object’s origins – where and when it was made, its use and cultural meaning, and associated people, as known.


Photographs should provide an indication of scale e.g. add a coin, ruler, etc. File types we accept are png, jpg, gif, pdf, and docx.

Privacy Statement

By completing and submitting this form, you are providing Puke Ariki (New Plymouth District Council) with personal information. Your personal information and any other information that you provide will be kept as part of the Museum’s internal records of the history of the object(s). You have rights of access to, and correction of, your personal information, in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. All such requests can be made by emailing enquiries@npdc.govt.nz or by writing to: Puke Ariki, Curatorial and Collections Coordinator, 1 Ariki Street, Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4340, New Zealand. More information on our privacy policy can be found here.

Agreement and authorisation