Te Papa says it is an honour and a privilege to be able to look after and display taonga from iwi from around the country.
Hundreds of people gathered at the national museum in Wellington on Saturday to mark the opening of the Ngati Toa Rangatira exhibition.
The display includes the whale bone club and taiaha of iwi chief Te Rauparaha, who composed the haka, Ka Mate, and a range of kakahu and contemporary carvings.
Te Papa Maori curator Awhina Tamarapa said it was an important forum for iwi to showcase who they are.
She said it was an amazing honour to share this responsibility with iwi and to support them in exhibiting their vision and dreams for the future.
Ngati Toa will take up residence at the museum for the next two-and-a-half years.