Sporting legend Sir Peter Snell is making a golden gift to Te Papa tomorrow, donating 14 items from his personal collection.

Among the haul are two Olympic gold medals and a shoe made specially for him for the Rome Olympics.

Sir Peter, his wife, two daughters, and two granddaughters will all arrive at Te Papa tomorrow morning for a welcome powhiri, ahead of the display being opened.

The items will be part of a special display at Te Papa on show from tomorrow until July 23.

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All 14 items will be kept as permanent parts of New Zealand's national history collection.

Sir Peter Snell's famous right shoe which he wore to win gold at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa
Sir Peter Snell's famous right shoe which he wore to win gold at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa chief executive Rick Ellis said the museum was humbled by Sir Peter's donation, and excited to share the stories behind the items with young New Zealanders.

"As well as seeing those items up close and personal in the museum, Te Papa can bring Peter Snell's story to life, using video and digital storytelling.

"Every kid in New Zealand will be able to get a taste of the determination and grit that took Sir Peter Snell to the top."

Te Papa history curator Stephanie Gibson said the donated items represented not only the pinnacle of Sir Peter's career, but also the pinnacle of New Zealand sporting history.

Peter Snell's gold medal from the Rome Olympics, donated to Te Papa. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa
Peter Snell's gold medal from the Rome Olympics, donated to Te Papa. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa

She's been working closely with Sir Peter to make all the arrangements for the donation.

"Sir Peter has been so generous with his time, and we are really humbled that he has chosen Te Papa as the place to care for these treasured items."

Sir Peter was voted New Zealand athlete of the century in 2000.

During his running career he won three Olympic gold medals and two Empire Games gold medals.

He was named Sportsman of the Year Twice, and was named 1960's Athlete of the Decade by Track and Field News.

In 1962 he smashed the world records for 880 yards and 800m in Christchurch.

The times he set that day remain New Zealand records, five decades later.

The new display is a far cry from the problems with a singlet two years ago.

Peter Snell's gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics, donated to Te Papa. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa
Peter Snell's gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics, donated to Te Papa. Photo / Te Papa Tongarewa

In 2015 Te Papa bid at auction for a singlet thought to have been worn by Sir Peter at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games.

But the sale was withdrawn after there were doubts about the singlet's authenticity.

Items being gifted by Sir Peter Snell

• Rome Olympic Games gold medal, 1960
• Tokyo Olympic Games gold medal, 1964
• Shoe made by Arthur Lydiard, worn in Rome Olympics, 1960
• Three World Record plaques awarded by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), 1961-62
• Tankard for the mile world record in Whanganui, 1962
• New Zealand Sportsman of the Year Award trophy, 1960 and 1964
Sydney Olympic Games torch, 2000
• Insignia of the Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, badge and breast star, 2002
• Order of the British Empire, 1965
• British Empire and Commonwealth Games gold medals, Perth, 1962