This collection consists of approximately 2000 items from Australia, New Zealand (Aotearoa) and many of the Pacific island groups such as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti and Easter Island (Rapa Nui).
Significant pieces include a Tahitian mourner's costume, which was donated by Lt. Francis Godolphin Bond in 1872. There are also items that relate to the second and third voyages of Captain Cook. This material includes a contentious sheet of bark cloth said to have come from the Cook Islands, possibly 18th century in date.
Among the historical items that were acquired in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Pacific collection also contains examples of contemporary material that reflect the traditions, even changes, of modern day island culture. Examples include several dance crests from Uvol, New Britain, which were made in 1987 for a community festival that commemorates generational change every 25 years.
Genealogy, on the other hand, was made by artist Rosanna Raymond in 2007 and highlights how barkcloth is relevant to Polynesian identity today. These trousers relate to the artist’s ideas about her own mixed heritage. Rosanna refers to Genealogy as taonga, a Maori term given to items that are considered treasure.