President’s Column: December 2022

President’s Column: December 2022

This being my last column for the year, let me wish each and every one of you a very fulfilling next couple of months. May at least some of the encumberances of the last two years lift; families move a little more freely; grandchildren and children be visited or come to visit; parents celebrate with their families. I hope you will find it rewarding not to be stuck inside keeping your distance and not having to wear N95 masks. Humans are a social lot.

I have been remembering various Christmasses spent with family and taking grandchildren to various places. One that was always popular was the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, in part because it had a playground within the museum and a place to eat lunch in a courtyard. It has one exhibit that is particular challenging since it does not look back, as do the old railway train and its wooden carriages, vintage aeroplanes hanging from the ceiling, and a room devoted to the Wiggles.

It is a diorama of Sydney Cove with the Opera house, the railway station, the old warehouses and the ferry wharves. It shows the inundation that will overtake Sydney Cove with various increased sea level rises. It came to mind with the international conference dealing with global climate change going on in Egypt at this moment, sponsored by Coca Cola and at a centre built by Lamborghini.

What the Powerhouse museum had done in this one exhibit is to become a museum of the future. What would Te Papa do to become a museum of the future? What would its collection look like if it collected exhibits which might become significant in the future? More difficult but maybe no more so than predicting which artists will go on to become collectable. Should Te Taiao look at the future of the natural world in Aotearoa as it does the past?

The past is always a little easier. We are just finishing 2022 off with all that we have learned during its passage. Welcome soon to 2023. Do look out for all that the Friends will have to offer for you in the new year. We have a lot of exciting ideas being mulled over. As you know, what we have been able to offer has been limited the last two years but we hope to present another great programme in the new year. It’s for you.

Koenraad Kuiper.