Inspiring the next generation at The Elms

Volunteer educator Julie Green with a group of children from Tahatai School at The Elms. Photo: Robin Percy/The Elms.

Do you have an interest in telling stories about Tauranga history?

The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga is asking you to become one of the volunteer educators who love to share the stories of this historic place.

The Elms manager Andrew Gregg says engaging with young people about Tauranga history is a role Elms volunteer educators do really well and find rewarding.   

“Every year more than 2000 students visit The Elms and experience a programme run by a handful of wonderful volunteers,” says Andrew.

The Elms is an important place of first contact between tangata whenua and Pākehā in Tauranga so class visits are a relevant and an interesting way to help immerse students in New Zealand’s Histories Curriculum.

Class visits are well supported by schools across the Bay of Plenty and their teachers.  

“We are fortunate to have teachers like Bev Corbett, who relate incredibly well to young people and can spark their interest about the history of the area,” says Andrew.

“Bev has developed programmes that are exemplars for the heritage sector and have been adopted by museums in other regions.”

Bev is humble about her role and passionate about opportunities for learning at The Elms.

“I’ve always just been part of a team. The Elms is a unique site and ideal for student group visits,” says Bev.

“There are buildings including Archdeacon Brown’s library dating from the 1840s and where a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi was kept.

“There are gardens of national significance, rare and unusual objects from The Elms Collection, and stories that keep students engaged.”

“We need more volunteer educators who enjoy engaging with young people and want to share the history of this very special place to grow our popular education programme,” says Andrew.

“Volunteers are given training and our recently-refreshed programme makes engaging with students and teachers stimulating for our guides.”
There is also professional development for the volunteers provided by Tauranga City Council’s Heritage Collection programme specialist Megan Hoskin.  

Megan shares her knowledge and provides ideas and tips for teaching about the Elms in the context of the New Zealand Histories curriculum.

“Volunteering is a wonderful way to keep your hand in teaching while enjoying the beautiful, peaceful atmosphere of the Elms as part of our heritage community.” says Megan.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer – email: Or phone 07 577 9772.


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