Sadly when the museum was re developed in the late 1990's it changed it's focus from purely a maritime museum to one with a mixture of Wellington social history with a maritime section. The change of focus has ment that much of there excellent maritime collection is now in storage and is put out on display in association with specific exhibitions. The PORT NICHOLSON's and other famous and well known ship"s bell are in the store. Having said this the museum's world class maritime collection still exists either on display, in storage or parts of which have been deposited in other institutions but sadly not on display to be appreciated by the general public. Don't get me wrong the museum is still very good but only a small part of it's maritime collection can be seen by those who have a passion for things maritime.
personally am dissapointed with the new maritme museum when it re opened i was really looking forward to going there judgeing how good it used to be i arrived in wellington on a ship and being a wet day on the 4-8 watch i was looking forward to spending the morning there but i was out of there in an hour the old one was a thousand times better signed a sadely dissapointid fan duncan
Just seen this post. I agree with KPC and Duncan. I am very glad that I visited the Maritime Museum before the changes were made. I have been there since and it is completely different. I think it is now called the City and the Sea museum. I much preferred the original. Theres progress for you. As an ex Port Line seaman many a happy time I had on Australian and the Kiwi coasts. Now just a memory.