The first visitors to the reopened Toitu Otago Settlers Museum are praising it as magnificent.
The social history museum in Dunedin has been closed for two-and-a-half years for the $37.5 million redevelopment which has added two modern buildings, doubled its gallery spaces and brought it into the digital age.
The Maori word 'Toitu', meaning to be preserved forever, has been added.
Museum director Linda Wigley said the aim is to almost triple the visitor numbers from 65,000 a year before the museum closed to 180,00 in 2013.
Maori and civic opening ceremonies were held on Friday as part of a weekend of celebrations.
Ewa Rozecki-Pollad, president of the Otago and Southland Polish Heritage Trust, says the Otago Settlers Museum has always been her favourite museum and she was worried by the changes.
However, she says the results are fantastically good.
Ms Rozecki-Pollad says the museum is very important to the Polish community and the upgrade will only deepen that importance.