Ngā Akoranga Kura - Education Programmes

Whanganui Regional Museum  education programmes are designed to support teaching and learning of the New Zealnd curriculum in English and/or Māori. Content is adapted to your preferred learning outcomes, learning areas and strands as required. All programmes include practice of Key Competencies. Haere mai ki te whakakī haere i ngā kono mātauranga. We welcome your suggestions and requests for new programmes.

Te Matapihi, Looking Into the Museum
All levels        60-90 minutes   
Visit our new museum exhibition at 62 Ridgway Street to see a fascinating array of treasured objects from the Museum collection. Taonga Māori, historic artefacts, insects, native birds, bones, animals and fossils and more will inspire curiosity and wonder and motivate further learning for ytour students. Enjoy a FREE Museum explorer then stay a bit longer to complete a hands-on activity to reinforce your negotiated learnng outcomes. Bookings essential for all school group visits.
Curriculum links
Integrates a range of learning areas
He Kahu Kounga           
Cloak of Excellence 
In Māori tradition, creating a kākahu (cloak) is a sacred process taking many months of dedicated thought and careful construction. As they work, weavers ponder on the intent of the garment; who will this kākahu protect, and how will it be worn?

Learn about kākahu, kaitaka, korowai, kahu huruhuru and other woven taonga in the Museum and find out how they are made and used. Using the taonga as inspiration, tauira (students) co-create a class kahu kounga representing their aspirations and values. Beginning at the Museum, construction of the kahu kounga will be completed at school. Finished kahu kounga can be displayed in the Museum for all to admire.
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Social Sciences: all strands; Technology; Arts: visual
Tā Tauiwi Tae Mai
Colonial Whanganui
Find out about Whanganui in colonial times. Younger children discover ways that life was different in the past through hands-on experience  of domestic chores. Older students endure the discomforts of Victorian era clothing while learning about the Treaty of Waitangi and the Sale of Whanganui. Years 11-13 investigate cultural interactions, including the New Zealand Wars, and discuss ongoing impacts on our lives today. Mā te titiro ki muri, ka mārama te titiro ki mua.
Curriculum links
Social Sciences: all strands; History;  Technology; Mātauranga Māori


He Hokinga Mahara

Family Treasures
What special items do we treasure and what do we keep to remind us of the past? We use Museum collection items to motivate and inspire students in their own investigations of the past. Treasures can be medals, photos, letters, diaries, whakapapa, important places, toys, clothing, favourite recipes, or stories and songs. Click here for downloadable student and teacher workbooks. Whakaorangia mai anō ōu tūpuna, ki ngā kōrero ā rātou.
Curriculum links
Social Sciences: all strands; Mātauranga Māori; English: all strands

Te Aitanga ā Pēpeke

Focus on beetles, butterflies, weta, spiders or any other invertebrate of your choice. Get a close-up look at preserved specimens. See the intricate body designs that match each animal to its ecological niche. Find out fascinating facts about a range of unique native invertebrates. We also provide outdoor investigations at the coast and at Bushy Park Sanctuary.
Curriculum links
Science: nature of science, living world; Social Sciences: place and environment, economic world; Mātauranga Māori

Kōwhaiwhai, Tukutuku, Whakairo
Kōwhaiwhai (painted designs), tukutuku (lattice-boards) and whakairo (carving) are traditional repositories of knowledge whose stories are handed down through the generations. Choose any one of these for your programme focus and make your own artwork in response, inspired by the stunning taonga on display. Haere mai rā ki te Whare Toi.
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Arts: visual; Mathematics: geometry; Social Sciences: all strands

Taonga Pūoro
Musical Instruments

Nā te pū o te oro te reo karanga – whakapiri mai. Hauntingly beautiful! See, hear and learn about the many different types of taonga pūoro. Hear the melancholy sound of love-longing from the kōauau, be startled to attention by pūkaea and feel the vibration of pūmoana course through your body. Make and use simple taonga pūoro.
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Arts: music; Social Sciences: all strands; Technology

New Zealand Flax

Nau mai ki te whare o Hineteiwaiwa. Explore the versatile qualities of harakeke (NZ flax) and find out about the traditional importance of this amazing plant. See the diverse range of beautiful taonga made of harakeke to appreciate the skills of old. Learn about tikanga (protocols) and conservation in our on-site pā harakeke (NZ flax plantation), develop some hands-on skills and make something simple to take away.
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Social Sciences: all strands; Science: living world

Te Tā Pikitia

Come and enjoy a totally hands-on print programme incorporating literacy and visual communication. Students use antique wooden poster type and old Wanganui Chronicle advertising graphics to create and print colourful illustrated posters. All ages, from five-year olds to adults, have great fun experimenting with old printing technology. Success is guaranteed!
Curriculum links
Technology; Social Sciences: continuity and change, economic world; Arts: visual

Ngā Mahi Hangarua

Tiakina te taiao. Education for sustainability provides essential skills for the future of young New Zealanders. Learn how to make a great range of recycled creations out of everyday waste and make your own recycled paper to keep. Use artistic examples from the Museum to inspire your own “upcycled” creations or wearable arts using recycled materials.
Curriculum links
Technology; Social Sciences: place and environment, continuity and change, economic world; Science: material world; Arts: visual

Kōiwi me ngā Whēua
Skeletons and Bones

Investigate skeletal structures common to all vertebrate animals including humans. Working as hands-on “scientists”, students compare and identify bones from a wide variety of animals to discover similarities and differences. We use the exhibition House of Bones and additional hands-on activities.
Curriculum links
Science: nature of science, living world; Health and Physical Education

Explore the construction and decoration of  this amazing hand-made bark-cloth, traditional to all Pacific cultures. See and touch tapa art from different islands, then make your own artwork using traditional wooden tapa-boards. Learn how to make tapa printing blocks using everyday materials.
Curriculum links
Technology; Social Sciences: all strands, Science: material world; Arts: visual; Mathematics: geometry

Ngā Tākaro
Toys and Games

Tākaro mai! Come and play! High or low impact, coordination or strategy-enhancing, well-known or obscure, traditional games are favourites for all ages. The games include individual, pairs or team-building games to practise perseverance and motor skills. Explore toys and games with no batteries or screens from a range of cultures and time-periods. Learn how to make your own simple toys using everyday materials.
Curriculum links
Social sciences: all strands; Technology; Science: physical world; Mātauranga Māori; Health and Physical Education

Traditional Stories

Kia hoki tātou ki ngā kōrero ā kui, ā koro mā. Parables of old, portals of history, encapsulating and enchanting! Pakiwaitara are stories passed down through the generations to ensure historical links are not forgotten and moral lessons are imparted under the guise of entertainment. Let us transform your class into part of our interactive storyboard as you learn!
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Social Sciences: place and environment; English: listening and speaking

Whakatere Moana, Whakatere Awa
Waka and Voyaging

Te Mata o Hoturoa, the Museum’s waka taua, inspires the admiration of all. Learn how magnificent waka like this were made and used, and the meanings of the whakairo (carvings) used to adorn it. Ocean voyaging waka hourua (double-hulled sailing waka) brought Māori ancestors from the Pacific Islands to Aotearoa, using the stars and sky for navigation. Find out how these ancient ocean-voyaging skills are beng revived and practised today. Ko ngā ringa ki te kakau o te hoe kia tetere ki mua!
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Arts: visual; Social Sciences: all strands; Technology

Te Awa Tupua
Whanganui River

E rere te Awa Tupua, the Whanganui River, our region’s life-force, flows through our lives. The well-known saying “…ko au te awa ko te awa ko au…I am the river and the river is me..” expresses how Māori identify with the awa. Find out about relationships with the Whanganui River from the past to the present, and discuss how we can uphold the health and well-being of the River today.
Curriculum links
Mātauranga Māori; Social Sciences: all strands; Science: planet earth, living world

Ngā Manu o Whanganui
Whanganui Birds

Come face to face with giant extinct moa. Find out about the demise of the moa, huia and other species. Learn about the special features of our endangered wildlife and discuss how we can help to prevent them following the moa into extinction. This programme can be used to prepare your class for a visit to Bushy Park Sanctuary.
Curriculum links
Science: nature of science, living world; Social Sciences: place and environment; Mātauranga Māori

Ngā Pou Kōrero
Whanganui Walks

Amazing parks, monuments, memorials, statues, and heritage buildings are found throughout Whanganui. Experience a guided history tour of Queens Park, Pākaitore/Moutoa Gardens or Central Whanganui city. Content, delivery-style and learning outcomes are negotiated according to location, class-level, and time available.
Curriculum links
Social sciences: all strands; English: all strands


On 26 May 1904, following four days of continuous heavy rain, the Whanganui River rose to flood level. At the height of the flood over four feet of water spilled into on Taupō Quay and most of the businesses in the area were abandoned. This photograph shows the river peaking just below the Town Bridge.