Open daily, 10am–5pm, Free

419 Great King Street Dunedin, New Zealand

Pacific Cultures


Level 1

People and cultures across Oceania


  • The pintle and gudgeon from the infamous HMS Bounty, remembered for the mutiny of Fletcher Christian and other crew members against their captain, William Bligh
  • A feather cape that belonged to Queen Lili'uokalani (1838–1917), the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai’i
  • Lapita pottery sherds from Kamgot in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea
  • A turtle shell mask from Torres Strait, with incised details and cassowary feather attachments
  • Door carvings and a roof finial from a New Caledonian round house owned by William Ockelford Oldman, an English ethnographic art collector and dealer


New Zealand has strong links, both past and present, with the peoples and cultures of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.

This gallery celebrates these links through a significant collection of objects, including the only moai statue from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in New Zealand.

Former Otago Museum Director H D Skinner played a large part in building up the internationally significant Polynesian collection. He used his connections with missionaries, civil administrators, dealers, collectors and politicians to bring objects to Otago.

Facts and figures

  • 1071 objects on display
  • Oldest object is probably around 35 000 years old (a waisted adze from Kosipe)