Fresh focus for national army museum

National Army Museum/Te Mata Toa logo

3  February 2009

The National Army Museum: Te Mata Toa offers all New Zealanders a look at the world through the eyes of a soldier says Chairman of the Museum Charitable Trust, Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner.

The National Army Museum name and re-brand was launched this afternoon at its home in Waiouru. The date is conspicuous as it was on the 3rd of February, 94 years ago,  that Private William Ham became the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force’s first fatal casualty in World War I. 

“It is the personal stories of the men and women who’ve served New Zealand with outstanding courage and bravery that are told in the National Army Museum, and they are for all New Zealanders to remember,” Maj Gen Gardiner says.

“Their acts of courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity reflect the Army’s ethos and values and it is a legacy that continues to be forged today.

“Te Mata Toa reflects the continuing close relationship between the NZ Army and the National Army Museum, a relationship that is inextricably linked by our past.”

The National Army Museum operates as a registered Charitable Trust which was first established in 1977 as a National Museum Trust Board set up to launch a national Army Museum.


Note. Te Mata Toa translates into English as “Through the Eyes of the Warrior”.

For more information please contact Bas Bolyn, Media Advisor (Army) on 04 496 0285 or 021 478 574.


Operation, Management and Ownership:  Operates as a Charitable Trust. The NZ Army pays for repairs and 'bricks and mortar'; the NZDF pays for civilian staff salaries.


The Army Museum is a registered Charitable Trust. Most civilian staff are employed by Defence (Army) with the exception of the commercial activities and education assistance staff. The Army Museum also has a number of volunteers which it calls on from time to time.

The Trust Board:

The Trust Board is chaired by the Chief of Army (CA) Major General L.J.Gardiner and has overall responsibility for the Army Museum and its activities. It has delegated responsibility for short term planning and operation to the Executive Management Committee (EMC) chaired by the Executive Trustee, currently Lt Gen (Rtd) Don McIver. The day to day operation of the Army Museum is the responsibility of the Director, currently Col (Rtd) Ray Seymour.


In 1964 small Museum established at Waiouru. In 1977 a National Museum Trust Board was set up to launch a national Army Museum.


Has occurred over a series of stages. Stage II development was in 1983 (increased work and, Stage III development 1995 (Kippenberger Pavilion). Tears on Greenstone Memorial Wall. Stage IV development planned (vehicles and artillery display)
Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum: The Museum retains its official name: "QEII Army Memorial Museum", it is its popular or ‘trading’ name that is changed.

This page was last reviewed on 5 October 2010.