Kia ora and welcome to The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga, one of the Bay of Plenty’s oldest heritage sites. As a place of early contact between Māori and Pākehā, this historic site remains at the centre of Tauranga’s history and identity today. Encompassing category one listed heritage buildings and nationally significant collections – all set within a diverse and tranquil garden setting – this one hectare property is a must-see destination for visitors to the region.

The Elms Foundation

The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga is owned and operated by The Elms Foundation, a registered charitable trust dedicated to the preservation and promotion of this historic site. Today The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga engages the community in a range of onsite activities including:

  • Guided tours through the mission house and library – both registered as Category 1 by Heritage New Zealand
  • Garden tours with a focus on the heritage trees and native specimens found on the one hectare site
  • Educational school visits with an emphasis on learning outside the classroom
  • Community Events such as hosting the Vintage Car Show and Night Owl Cinema
  • Weddings in the Chapel and grounds
  • Photographic shoots and filming
  • Devonshire teas hosted by local volunteers

The Elms Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees and operated by a team of staff and dedicated volunteers.

Our Objectives

The Elms Foundation’s key objectives are to:

  • Become a must-see destination for Tauranga
  • Reach more people – retain existing visitors and reach new and more diverse ones
  • Inspire our visitors – inform, amaze and provide a feeling of serenity and ambience
  • Develop the grounds to the point that they are an attraction in themselves
  • Increase access to and engagement with the historical collections and the stories they represent

These objectives inform our decision-making and guide our daily operations in the preservation and guardianship of this taonga (treasure).