You can not visit a different country and not at least take a second to stop and learn about its history.
I wasn't expecting to have to pay so much to enter the museum, but I guess they need funds to keep the doors open. There is an exhibit sponsored by Spark right when you walk it that is really cool and interactive. Since I'm visiting New Zealand I wanted to find out the history of how it came to be, and the museum broke down the treaty between the natives and the colonist, and pointed out where the land grab by the colonist was against the law. It went into some of the other wars and how the natives were excluded from them. It's got Natural history, and even an exhibit to the Chinese, how they came to be here and what their life is like culturally and how they fit into present day New Zealand.
No trip to Auckland is complete without visiting the Auckland Museum. Housed in a gorgeous historic building and located on a huge piece of land that also has wintergardens, walking trails and a duck pond to explore - this museum is well worth a morning or afternoon visit. There are dinosaurs, volcanoes and fish - and a whole section called Weird and Wonderful for children.
One of the best museums I've been to. It has a little bit of everything. The Polynesian displays were fantastic, especially the Maori stuff. They had a full size canoe and two reconstructed Maori buildings INSIDE the museum. the second floor is natural history, showing how the islands were formed, and the native plant and wildlife. The kid's loved the hands on part where they could see live Wetas (huge NZ insects), fish, and other wildlife. The top floor covers more recent NZ history. I really enjoyed learning about their involvement in the two world wars.
Best place to know more about New Zealand
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is a majestic, columned building on a grassy knoll, in a peaceful green patch in the middle of Auckland. Despite it's European architecture and tribute as a war memorial to New Zealand's finest, the uttering stunning artifices in this museum are the native Maori items, including a massive full size Maori warrior boat. This museum is worth the visit, especially if you are from the northern hemisphere and know little about New Zealand, it's history, or its indigenous people.
I showed up very late, near closing time, but they actually let me walk in for free for the remaining 20 minutes! There was far too much to cover, so I guess it was like a teaser for me - I would definitely like to go back. If I was a local and could get in for free, it would be a total no brainier, and even at $25 it seems pretty intriguing if you're a history fan!