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New Zealand’s 20th century history 

Aotearoa New Zealand changed dramatically in the 20th century. Discover what united and divided us, and shaped our lives today. Decide whether New Zealand really is a ‘slice of heaven’.

The 1900s saw Māori, women, and gay people all stand up for their rights. The country fought in two world wars – and then took a stand against nuclear weapons. The state grew – and shrank again. Find out about these and other historic events in this kaleidoscopic view of New Zealand life from the century that was.

Plan your visit

Long term exhibition
Free entry, Level 4
10am–6pm every day, and until 9pm on Thursdays

Read about parking, FAQ, and related exhibitions.

Educator with kids

For teachers

Find out about our education programmes and the free teacher preview.

See more objects in Collections online

Collections online

Find out about 20th century items in Te Papa's collections.

Exhibition content

Get shopping!

Buy Health Stamps postcardPurchase Slice of Heaven merchandise online.

Access the shop

Have a go at our interactive games


Can you survive in the early 20th century, identify famous New Zealanders, and guess which decade you're in?


Watch videos

The stories of the 20th century could be told through images alone.

Watch these valuable resources

Te Papa thanks the following for their generous support.

Major Partner


Supporting Partner

 Radio NZ Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero


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