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“great place to visit”
Review of MTG Hawke's Bay

MTG Hawke's Bay
Ranked #21 of 78 things to do in Napier
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: MTG Hawke's Bay is at home in the heart of Napier forming the cultural centre of this stylish city for over 150 years. MTG Hawke's Bay is a place where people, objects and ideas meet. MTG inhabits three buildings of distinct character - an art deco masterpiece, a modernist gem and a light-filled gallery that looks out across the magnificent Hawke Bay. MTG Hawke's Bay is home to a nationally significant collection of art and objects that form the foundation of distinctive exhibitions and a world-class research facility. The MTG Theatre hosts a lively programme of film and performing arts. MTG Hawke's Bay uses its collection to tell the stories of New Zealand with assurance and style. This is the place to get a fresh perspective on the stories you know including the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake. Here too the art that adorns our walls and the objects that fill our homes come together alongside precious photographs and documents to creatively illustrate the life stories of successive generations of New Zealanders. Visit our fabulous little shop selling a range of MTG publications and merchandise inspired by the magic of the Museum collections. MTG Hawke's Bay welcomes visitors from all over the world to share in the complex and fascinating history of New Zealand through the lens of a distinct and characterful region.
Reviewed 4 April 2018

whilst staying in Napier we were advised to visit the museum to go and see the items from the 1931 earthquake. What a sad but fantastic sight to see. It was hard to believe what did happen there, the quake, then the fire. You also got to hear accounts from survivors of that time. It was very humbling to listen to and to see what had survived. A great place to visit for all the family to remind you just what can happen but survive.

Thank Lynn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"earthquake exhibition"
in 18 reviews
"art gallery"
in 13 reviews
"survivor stories"
in 6 reviews
"great museum"
in 6 reviews
"basement level"
in 4 reviews
"free museum"
in 3 reviews
"tea cups"
in 3 reviews
"small museum"
in 5 reviews
"maori culture"
in 4 reviews
"local artists"
in 4 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 13 reviews
"interesting displays"
in 3 reviews
"big earthquake"
in 3 reviews
"on display"
in 6 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 3 reviews
"helpful staff"
in 3 reviews
"marine parade"
in 9 reviews
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16 - 20 of 248 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018

We really enjoyed the variety of the subject matter in the museum. The story of the earthquake is particularly moving and very well told but so it the Maori musicians story!! Excellent. We enjoyed it all very much and it is FREE.

Thank UK2Travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 March 2018

Free museum. great exhibit on the earthquake in the basement. a few interactive pieces. free wifi as it adjoins the library.

Thank captmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 March 2018

This is a lovely museum and a must when visiting Napier as it will take you through the full history of the 1931 earthquake which hit this area. Napier is such a lovely town and you will see how everything was rebuilt over the years. Run by volunteers who are just lovely people.And its free to get in.

Thank cr159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 12 March 2018

The MTG had 3 floors of displays. I headed down to the basement level because I wanted to visit the earthquake display. I spent about 25 minutes looking at this display which included pre and post earthquake photos of Napier, various quotes from residents about their experiences on that day, how they coped, when help came, and how the clean up was organized. There also was a short video in which a senior recalled what he was doing on that day, what he felt, and what he saw which held my attention for its full length. On the blown up wall photos of the damaged town citizens' quotes definitely conveyed how the disaster affected them. Quotes like "the smell was awful; the dead were lined up for ID in the hall; my bedroom was a shambles - had I been in it I would not have survived; help came 2 days later." After the earthquake Napier became a tent city as tents were raised along the shoreline providing temporary homes for the homeless. Across the street from these tents, the photos showed the main streets piled high with debris. Interesting, the Norfolk pine trees along the shoreline still stood. This display could be expanded to show the rebuilding of Napier with its focus on the Art Deco style - the features of that architectural style and how the builders interpreted it for Napier's CBD. Visitor's may miss this earthquake display as there only was a small sign for it by the stairs heading down. Of course, visitors who grabbed a MTG Visitor's Guide will see this gallery identified on the layout.

Maori artifacts were prominently displayed on the ground floor and visitors would naturally meander into that gallery first. One display not seen in other museums was a musical instrument that missionaries had discouraged Maoris from using resulting in its use thus being forgotten, but presently Maoris were trying to re- learn how to play that instrument again. There were the expected Maori sculptures, but unfortunately, the sculptures were stand alones with no corresponding pictures to show how these had been placed in the original setting - so no context of use. An aged outrigger with paddles was also on display.

The top level was the least interesting for me. The importance of high tea in Napier during the early 20thC was the theme of one gallery. The display was attractive with many shelves holding a good collection of teacups and plates used for high teas. The information boards explained the importance of keeping British traditions alive in Napier homes. This floor also had an art gallery with a revolving art display by local talented artists.

Visitors to Napier can't miss the MTG as it has a prominent position at the corner of Tennyson and Marine Parade. The Art Deco Design shop is next door and the iSite Center is kiddy corner across the street. The washrooms in the MTG came in handy during our half day visit in Napier.

The MTG building itself is eyecatching and easy to spot. I was encouraged to enter the museum when I saw the sign outside advertising free admission for all. In the lobby another sign welcomed cruisers to the museum/gallery which was why I was in Napier. It was a nice touch! This museum is a good attraction to visit while spending time in Napier.

1  Thank retireeVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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