A rich resource has been opened up to the public with Te Papa putting part of its national collection online for free download.

From this week, 30,000 high-quality, high-resolution images are available for free download and reuse from Te Papa's Collections Online website, as part of its commitment to providing open access licensing to images in the national collection.

Browse the Te Papa collection here

As well as the 30,000 already available, Te Papa will release more images each year.


Similar initiatives had been successful in museums and galleries elsewhere in the World and Te Papa said it was the first museum in Australasia to do so in such large quantities.

"These images from the national collection are a fantastic resource for New Zealanders," said Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson.

"Te Papa is the national museum, so it is important that our nation's taonga are accessible to as many New Zealanders as possible."

Te Papa chief executive Arapata Hakiwai said the museum hoped to encourage people to use the images in education, research, innovation, personal enrichment and as creative inspiration.

"As kaitiaki (guardians) of the collections, this goes a long way to meeting our strategic priorities of increasing access to, and sharing our nation's treasures."