The Auckland Star of 1 August 1944 published an article on the gradual return to the public eye of various collections of the city's treasures. While air raid shelters were created in the depths of city buildings, tunnels under Albert Park, and Anderson-style bomb shelters dug in school grounds, precious objects were buried (such as the statue of Sir John Logan Cambell from Campbell Crescent, the statue of a Maori chief from the Maori Centennial Memorial atop One Tree Hill, and artillery spanning the Land Wars through to World War I from Albert Park, beneath fifteen feet of earth at the sites they graced before the war).
The first four folios of William Shakespeare's woerks, books printed by William Caxron, and a number of fifteenth century volumes, "rare books of New Zealand interest, manuscripts of histrorical importance, and the bound issues of early Auckland newspapers" were placed in twenty large cases, and sent to a large basement of a ferro-concrete building in Te Awamutu from August 1942 until a few months before the Star report. City Librarian John Barr made regular journeys south to make sure the collections had come to no harm while in storage, in waterproof wrapping.
The authorities at the Auckland War Memorial Museum found a number of storage places, "over a fairly widely dispersed area," including the specially-strengthened basement of the Museum itself (some of the natural history specimens), a 10 feet deep hole at the back of the museum for flammable specimens (those stored in spirits), a stone building and private house in the suburbs, and "more of the material was stored in a brick fire-resisting farm institution in the Papatoetoe district."
The museum's greenstone collection from the Maori section was secreted "in a cave-cum-tunnel in scoria country on private property in the South Auckland district," formerly used as a storage place for explosives. An air-circulating plant was specially installed, "and the entrance barred with a strong steel door embedded in concrete."
The museum's research collection of insects was placed in the safe-keeping of the DSIR plant research station at Mt Albert.
For those collections remaining at the museum, some were rendered safer in case of aearial bombardment, such as the thatch removed from various native houses on display. As at the time of the report, all the exhibits were back at the museum and on display, apart from the insects (still being used and studied at Mt Albert.)