• Social History

The diverse range of material contained within this collection tells us the stories of the rich heritage of Tairāwhiti and includes textiles, garments, tools, furniture, equipment, toys and games and much more.

The museum also holds a large collection of surfboards, many of which are on display in the exhibition Te Moana, and a collection of material from the Star of Canada.

Search the Social History Puna Pāpori collection online

Explore the collection

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

Visit our Donations page for more information.

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

Research and access

Researchers can view collections that are not on display by making an appointment with the Museum Collection Manager.  Staff can also take small group tours through the collection storage facilities by appointment.  Please note that staff are not always available immediately and it is advisable to make arrangements as far in advance as possible, particularly if you are only visiting Gisborne for a short period.

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


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


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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