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“Remarkable museum for a small city.”
Review of MTG Hawke's Bay

MTG Hawke's Bay
Ranked #20 of 72 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.
Holland
Level 6 Contributor
197 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Remarkable museum for a small city.”
Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile


The fifteen dollar entry is quite high but so is the quality - a lot of bigger city places don't get it this right. The earthquake display in the basement is moving and well. explained. When we visited there was a really good temporary painting exhibition centred on images of the home which was very well curated while the main rooms had a number of quirky and interesting exhibits. We have no idea what the old museum was like but most places we know would be proud of this new one.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Walpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBMAG, Manager at MTG Hawke's Bay, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Hello WaldeckP, Many thanks for visiting MTG Hawke’s Bay, and for your thoughtful and positive review. We’re so pleased you enjoyed your visit, especially the exhibitions ‘Architecture of the heart’ and ‘1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake’. We are very proud of MTG, and are made more so by the great feedback we’ve been receiving from visitors and locals alike. Best wishes and thanks again, MTG Management Team
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Palmerston North
Level 6 Contributor
225 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Expensive and over rated”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

This was an activity we were looking forward to after earlier visits to the old museum were remembered as enjoyable. The building looks quite impressive from the outside and has a welcoming entrance way but that is about all that we found to be positive about this activity.
The first shock was the cost-$15 per adult. Fortunately by visiting today we were told we could get in for half price. Compared to our "entry by donation" museum at home in another provincial NZ city (apart from special visiting exhibits) we wondered how fantastic this was going to be....and we were seriously underwhelmed by the exhibits including the famed earthquake exhibit which was very average. The layout was not easy to follow even when given a map. The former boutique cinema here appears to have been taken over and will only be showing film festival movies from now on.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank silverthreads101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBMAG, Manager at MTG Hawke's Bay, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Hello Silverthreads101, thank you for taking the time to write your review, and we’re glad you like the new MTG Hawkes Bay building. We’re sorry to hear you were disappointed in your experience and hope that in the future you will find more exhibitions and activities to your liking in our changing programme of events. I should just mention that the MTG Century Theatre has not been taken over, rather, we have a wonderfully full programme of music, film and much more. Currently the New Zealand International Film Festival is screening (until November 3). Best wishes, MTG Management Team
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Hastings, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Prefer the old one”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Not overly exciting or interesting at all to be fair. No charge for the kids, but nothing there for them either. Lots of things hidden away behind glass with little info, and movies with no sound. For the money its a bit hollow and wouldn't go again or recommend.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank orangetaniwha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBMAG, Manager at MTG Hawke's Bay, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Hello Orangetaniwha,
We’re sorry to hear you’re not keen to recommend or visit MTG Hawke’s Bay after your first trip. Hopefully some of our exhibitions and events in the future will appeal to you more and we’ll see you here again. While our current programme focuses on a range of more adult subjects – including works from our fine arts and archives collections – children are really enjoying the 1931 Earthquake exhibition and the making virtual ceramics with the interactive terminals in the Elizabeth Matheson exhibition. We’re also receiving great feedback on our new education programmes which encourage different ways of thinking and allow children and young people to explore this fabulous collection.
We hope you have a better experience here in the future. Best wishes from MTG Management team
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Napier, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The new Museum - Theatre - Gallery in Napier, Hawke's Bay”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

The new Museum - Theatre - Gallery (MTG) in Napier, Hawke's Bay has just opened after a major rebuild, and my opening day visit lived up to it's promise. The new building is light and spacious with the new exhibition 'Architecture of the Heart' celebrating the home as a site of common experience, a great start. The scale of the new building seems just right for a city of our size.

As a local citizen, I look forward to experiencing some further cultural experiences (film, music, exhibitions) arranged by the invigorated young staff who were very hospitable on the opening day.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank starpath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBMAG, Manager at MTG Hawke's Bay, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Hello Starpath, Our team were delighted to read your review – thank you! We’re so pleased to hear you enjoyed the opening festivities and in particular the fabulous exhibition ‘Architecture of the heart’. We are loving being back ‘home’, with the added bonus of this wonderful new building – a fitting home for the marvellous Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust collection, so we love hearing that so many locals and visitors think it’s great too. We look forward to hosting you again – perhaps during the NZ International Film Festival which is currently on at the MTG Century Theatre. Best wishes, MTG Management Team
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Hastings, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“The new name for this beautiful building is the MTG”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

The MTG - Museum, Theatre, Gallery in Napier has just opened. It is not worth the $15 entry fee per person (no concession discount), though it is having a school holiday special of $7.50 at the moment. We were not allowed to take any photos - fair enough as far as the art gallery component is concerned but our Aussie friend wanted to be snapped standing beside the moa - I did so and the alarms didn't go off. The staff said it was "copyright" and that no other museum lets you take photos. Rubbish. The earthquake section is downstairs in a cramped badly lit basement and only covers the Napier part of the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthqauke. There is nowhere to sit and watch the videos which was difficult for our elderly visitor. The lighting is so bad it is impossible to read the labels (and I had had my eyes checked the day before) because they are low down (even too low for wheelchairs I would think) and because the font is tiny. The labels throughout the display were very poor. The Maori section ones were not in English as well. The only reason this isn't a one star review is because the new Century Theatre is stunning and the building itself is beautiful. We left through a side entrance that was open - wish we'd come in that way - wouldn't have had to pay $45 for the 3 of us and I fell over on the polished concrete steps outside - they were wet from rain. We will NOT be back.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank rosieterry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBMAG, Manager at MTG Hawke's Bay, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Hello Rosieterry,
Thank you for taking the time to review MTG Hawke’s Bay, and for visiting. We’re sorry to hear you and your group did not enjoy your experience and will take your comments on board. Great to hear you loved the building and the MTG Century Theatre – we do too and are excited to be hosting the New Zealand International Film Festival here in the theatre over the next two weeks.
Best wishes the MTG management team
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