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“A mixed experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of MTG Hawke's Bay

MTG Hawke's Bay
Ranked #22 of 68 things to do in Napier
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Vicenza, Italy
Level Contributor
75 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A mixed experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

This is strange: an expensive new building without a soul. A missed opportunity to create a contemporary Decò, working on the city style heritage. A maori collection that's not up to any other Museum (unless they want to compare with Te Awamutu tiny one). Lot of space with no apparent use, collections with little interest...

So why the "very good" rating? Because the Earthquake exposition is beautiful, captivating and moving, and nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was worth the visit by itself. On the first floor there was a nice gallery of pictures (not sure if it was temporary or permanent) with a number of interesting works. And the staff was truly friendly and helpful.

Also the historic Decò building is beautiful, with a superior style compared to most of the buidings on the CDB.

So if you don't mind the ridicolously overpriced ticket pay a visit.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank R_Zanetello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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182 reviews from our community

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English first
Wodonga, Australia
Level Contributor
89 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Interesting and worth a look”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

This was definitely worth a look if only to learn about the 1931 earthquake. Also enjoyed a couple of the other exhibitions. Impressive building and friendly staff

Visited June 2014
Thank Clearclearclear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
95 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“So much to see”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

There's a huge amount to see here, but the highlight for me was the earthquake exhibition. I took a tour with the guide, who gave us a lot of insight and background into the disaster and the aftermath.

I'd also highly recommend the earthquake survivors film.

Visited June 2014
Thank bluecastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
71 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Earthquake exhibit a good feature”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014 via mobile

We visited on a Saturday afternoon and got there just in time to see an engaging video from earthquake survivors. Then downstairs to the earthquake exhibit and a friendly staff member providing some additional information and interpretation for us. The rest of the gallery was pretty hit and miss, we cruised through it quite quickly as it didn't really engage us. Overall fairly average, you'd have to work hard to get value from the $15 admission given what's currently on show.

2 Thank David0000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level Contributor
192 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A bit disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014

MTG stands for Museum, Theatre, Gallery. I had assumed that the $15/adult entry fee would include a walkthrough of the museum, a film at the theatre and a trip to the gallery. Turns out that the theatre is extra and rather than playing films about the history of Napier, it's just like a regular movie theatre, playing the latest blockbusters. The museum itself contains some interesting artefacts from local maraes in the Taonga section, a just-opened display of the Forerunners, and a basement-level display of the 1931 earthquake. The gallery has three rooms displaying local artists, one of which had only two pieces in a vast space.

I'd expected quite a bit more content for the admission price; it took us only a little over an hour to see everything, including reading all the descriptor cards. The earthquake display, in particular, has so much unrealised potential for interactive activities that would have really made it a memorable experience.

Positive points were the very friendly staff at the welcome desk and the great look of the building from the outside. The collectors have also made what seems to be a good effort to source a cohesive display of pieces for the Forerunners exhibit, which has just opened. However, the negatives definitely outweighed the positives in this case.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank SLKrivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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