The category 1-listed historic place suffered damage in the 7.8-magnitude quake on November 14 and was closed as a precaution after engineers found cracks.
Engineers have said the museum, housed in the Tudor-style Bath House in Government Gardens, needs to remain closed until the full picture of the damage emerges.
Around 20 staff will lose their jobs and will be offered redundancy or the option of other roles with the Rotorua Lakes Council or local tourism operators.
A report from the engineers is expected in April but museum director Stewart Brown said the building which draws thousands of visitors a year would close indefinitely. Read more »