National museum Te Papa plans to split into two parts; one part capturing the current operation's focus and a new "Museum of the Future".
Staff and collection areas will be loosely split between the Museum of Living Cultures and the Museum of the Future, according to documents obtained by the Dominion Post.
The living cultures museum "largely captures what [Te Papa] is currently doing", while the future museum intends to "challenge and empower people to have a positive impact on the future".
Te Papa chief executive Michael Houlihan said the new structure would mean a greater turnover and more interactive exhibits.
Art and New Zealand's contribution to science would get more space, Mr Houlihan said.
While the change will future-proof the museum, it is also partly to reduce costs.
Te Papa receives $32.5 million in government funding each year and $2.25m from Wellington City Council and has been under pressure to streamline its operation.
Between 115 and 137 jobs have been disestablished and about 123 created.
Te Papa spokeswoman Tina Norris said it was too early to say how many people would be made redundant.
But Service and Food Workers Union spokesman James Sleep said he suspected the process had been muddied to obscure the number of eventual redundancies.