Kia ora, happy New Year,

We hope you have had a wonderful summer break and are now refreshed and looking forward another exciting year at Te Papa with the Friends. 2019 has begun on a high note, with Lucinda Hawksley’s captivating talk, Bitten by Witch Fever. Who knew that arsenic played such a colourful and deadly role in 19th century Britain?

The Committee were delighted to welcome over 600 members to our December Preview of Terracotta Warriors – Guardians of Immortality. This fabulous exhibition is proving hugely popular, with visitor numbers already soaring to 70,000. Make sure you access the Friends discount rate for entry and special events by booking through our website. I am really looking forward to the exclusive evening viewings and sampling some delicious dumplings.

The Friends’ Front of House promotion during Terracotta Warriors is now running until the exhibition closes on 22 April. A huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who will be working to raise awareness of the Friends. If you are visiting the museum between 1 pm and 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, do come and say hello to our volunteers in the Wellington Foyer, or serving tea within the Kerry Ann Lee installation.

Behind the scenes, we have been busy planning our programme for 2019. As a taste, come and enjoy the first of our exciting workshops Paintvine paint + wine night in the gallery, refresh your Te Reo, and join us on our popular tours to local galleries and artist studios. As a garden lover, I am really looking forward to Steven Desmond’s lecture, Mirrors and Torrents, Water in Historic Gardens, on Sunday 24 February, in association with WeDFAS. If you are finding it too hot to work in your own garden, this is sure to inspire you.

So, look out for our e-newsletters and website and remember to book early, to ensure you don’t miss out.

Ngā mihi o te Tau Hou ki a koutou katoa

Elizabeth Kay