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Exclusive look at Te Papa's new nature zone featuring 700-year-old moa egg

The country's national museum is undergoing its biggest change since it opened 21 years ago.

1 NEWS has been given exclusive access to Te Papa's new nature environment zone, which will open in May.

After nearly one year of construction, it's been revealed the area will be called Te Taiao Nature, and will feature the world's largest intact moa egg.

The 700-year-old egg, found on a burial site in Kaikoura, will be at the heart of the exhibition inside a nest made from recycled wood cuts.

Te Papa says it refers to the life force that is now gone, and the museum's head of science, Susan Waugh, hopes those visiting will also learn about other birds also at risk.

"The nest is really the point which they find out that things are hanging in the balance and then the next step of the exhibition explains where they can get involved," Ms Waugh said.

Te Taiao Nature will feature over 1,200 collection items, but not everything in the exhibition will be here for the first time. Fan favourites like the colossal squid and the popular earthquake house will be back.

The $12 million project will open to the public on May 11.

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The new edition will feature the world's largest intact moa egg. Source: 1 NEWS