The building now known as the Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa took more than a century to complete.

The nightclub licence came to an end by 1997, and the Taking the Cure exhibition had opened in the redeveloped north wing.

In 1998 Tudor Towers officially ceased to exist, with the removal of the 30 tonnes of steel that was the dance floor.

The vieiwing platform after it was reinstated on the building. Photo/File
The vieiwing platform after it was reinstated on the building. Photo/File

Over the next eight years the Tarawera exhibition was relocated to the southern wing, the Rotorua Stories cinema and a new cafe was installed and the mud bath basement opened.

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By 2006 the Rotorua Museum Centennial Trust was established to drive fundraising efforts for the completion of the Bath House building to its original design.

The development was broken down into three phases and cost about $22 million.

Turrets being lifted onto the Rotorua Museum building in 2011. Photo/File
Turrets being lifted onto the Rotorua Museum building in 2011. Photo/File

Stage One was completed in 2006 when the north wing viewing platform was reinstated, the original platform being removed following the 1931 Napier Earthquake.

Stage Two saw the extension built onto the north wing of the building, adding what is now used as a gallery space, and an upgrade to the air conditioning system.

In 2008 Prime Minister and Minister for Art, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark announced a major grant to complete the final stage of the Rotorua Museum Centennial Project.

The $7.5m grant enabled the Rotorua Museum Centennial Trust to complete Stage Three of the project, the south wing extension and refurbishment.

Work began on that final and most significant phase in 2009, and saw the building completed to the original footprint proposed by Dr Arthur Stanley Wohlmann in 1902.

The south wing was named after Rotorua historian Don Stafford to acknowledge the important contribution he made to the museum and wider community. It opened in 2011.

Former museum director Stewart Brown said the thing he liked most about working in the museum was engaging with the community "and the range of objects they would bring in".

Museum staff clean up a flood in the basement near the mud baths exhibit. Photo/File
Museum staff clean up a flood in the basement near the mud baths exhibit. Photo/File

"The majority of the objects are at the offsite storage facility and there are still a few items to be removed.

"For the removal of the summer sculptures, we had to reinforce the floor and build special crates to relocate them. Some of these moves can be highly complicated."

The Rotorua Museum team is continuing to work with the community where it can, Brown said.

"Working with researchers, providing education services and helping put together exhibitions, we're using our specialist skills out in the community."