Kia ora,

Wellington may have had a patchy summer, but the Friends programme has begun the year in great shape. By the time you read this, members of the Friends will already have enjoyed six entertaining and informative events, all attended by an enthusiastic capacity audience.

Te Papa also has had a busy summer, drawing wide notice and admiration for the fascinating Bug Lab exhibition. Internationally, there has been such huge interest in this second Te Papa collaboration with Weta Workshop, Bug Lab looks likely to become another international touring triumph, following the enduring success of Whales Tohorā, which ten years later is still touring the USA.

In late October the Friends are planning another very special away tour, this time a not-to-be missed visit to the Bay of Islands. Among the highlights, Dame Claudia Orange will take us through the new museum at Waitangi, an especially privileged visit to the home of the early missionaries Henry and Marianne Williams, and a Sunday morning walk and lunch in Russell.

In the meantime, there are some exciting local tours coming up, including further geology expeditions with Hamish Campbell and a visit to Pataka. And while Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa may be closed for the year, we will continue to bring you a rich variety of art talks by Te Papa’s curators and other speakers. So keep watch for our e-newsletter and make sure you don’t miss out.

Nāku noa, nā

Elizabeth Kay