The museum is fortunate to hold a fascinating and extensive photographic collection.  This collection is continually growing and provides much insight to life and physical changes in the Tairāwhiti region.

Search the Photography – Whakaahua collection online

Explore the collection

Explore the photography collection on our online database. We are continually updating and improving the online collection and regularly add new photographs.

The photographic collection is continually growing and relies on donations from the public. We are always interested in assessing photographs which capture the stories of our region and its people.  You can donate a print/negative/slide/file or you can have it copied by our photographer so that you can retain the original print or family album.

Visit our Donations page for more information.

See our Recent Acquisitions page for information about new additions to the collection.


The museum  displays works from the photographic collection in semi-permanent and short term exhibitions.


Researchers wishing to access our photography collections need to contact the Curator of Photography make an appointment.

Please note that staff are not always available immediately. It is advisable to make arrangements as far in advance as possible, particularly if you are only visiting Gisborne for a short period.

Access to the archive is free, and many of the images are available to purchase for research, personal use or publications.

Charges for Photographic Prints

Photographic Publication and Display Application Form

Researchers who are unable to visit in person can make their enquiry by email, letter or telephone

Dudley L Meadows Curator of Photography Kaiteki Whakaahua

Contact Dudley for photograph research collection enquiries and appointments

Other On-line Photography Resources

Gisborne Photo News

A full-text archive of Gisborne Photo News, a monthly serial published by Logan Publishing Company between 1954 and 1975.

For two decades residents of Gisborne and East Coast, North Island, New Zealand Aotearoa used to look forward to the latest issue hitting the bookshops.

Published at a time of rapid social and cultural change, the pictorial serial captured personal and community events through photographs and lively commentary; a snapshot of the carefree and heady years from Babyboomers to the first of Generation X.

The digital reproductions of all images and text in this archive are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 New Zealand license. To order higher resolution copies of images from the online archive or from selected original images gifted to Tairāwhiti Museum contact the Curator of Photography.


Search 30+ million New Zealand items across 300+ collections in one place.

We welcome ideas for new projects and exhibitions so if you have something in mind, please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!

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