Auckland War Memorial Museum's new director is an Englishman currently at the helm of the University of Glasgow museum.

Professor David Gaimster has spent more than 25 years in senior roles in national museums and policy making related to cultural property.

He is expected to arrive in Auckland with his young family in late March, after ending his six-year role as director of The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, the oldest museum in Scotland.

He was selected from more than 30 candidates from seven countries, including several Kiwi candidates.

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Gaimster said enhancing public access to collections at the museum was important to him.

"I am very much looking forward to joining the team at Auckland Museum, to lead its continued trajectory of creating a museum fit for Auckland's future."

The museum's trust board chairman, Dr William Randall, said the board was delighted with the appointment.

"After a rigorous search, we are confident David is eminently qualified to lead this Museum along its planned growth path."

Asked what the museum would say to anyone displeased a Kiwi's not at the helm of a museum focused on New Zealand history, a spokeswoman said it was important to get someone with the right skillset and experience.

"Leaders in the cultural sector and particularly museums, operate in a global market ... We are confident in this appointment."

Gaimster has co-ordinated several major international exhibitions and written extensively on medieval to early modern European archaeology and material culture, museology and international cultural property policy.

He has also led projects in London and Glasgow, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.