President’s Column: July 2019

President’s Column: July 2019

Ngā mihi

It may be darkest midwinter, but the Friends and Te Papa are certainly not in hibernation.

We were thrilled to welcome over 400 members to the Friends very first museum Take Over night. A huge thank you to all of Te Papa’s management and staff, who worked so hard to ensure such a fabulously successful evening.

Thank you also to those who attended the Friends AGM on 18 June. Ian Crowe Director Museum and Commercial began the meeting with an update on Te Papa news. Over the summer, Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality drew 198,000 visitors, including 1,332 school groups, and just one month after opening, Te Taiao had already attracted 75,000 visitors.

At the AGM we were delighted to introduce the new Friends Secretary Nicola Kirkup and committee members Marion Crawshaw, Con Flinkenberg, Kevin Isherwood, Koenraad Kuiper and Sharon Taylor-Offord. They are looking forward to getting to know you, so please come up and say hello at an event soon. You can read about some of the new committee here.

Our warmest thanks to retiring Secretary Carla Wild, and long serving committee members Jan Blayney, Diana Halsted and John Stevens. Thank you also to Heather Macfarlane, Adrienne Olsen, and Sheryn Shackleton, who stepped down at the end of 2018. The commitment and enthusiasm of is key to the continuing success of the Friends, and all those stepping down have given exceptional service to the Friends. At the AGM we recorded the outstanding service of John Stevens. When the Friends were established, John served as Honorary Solicitor from 1998 to 2012, and he has since served two terms on the committee. For over 21 years the Friends have benefited greatly from John’s institutional knowledge, wisdom and warm sense of humour; we know that he and his wife Mary will continue to be loyal supporters of the Friends. Mary was a member of the first committee, and ran the volunteer programme.

In July I am looking forward to learning about the ancient world of the Phoenicians and Roman mosaic art in North Africa, discovering a unique print-making method on our visit to the Solander Gallery, and the fascinating research behind the Te Taiao’s new Active Land Space, in Tectonics, Tsunamis and Technology. So, check out our website and ward off the mid-winter chill by joining us at an inspiring Friends event.

Nāku noa, nā

Elizabeth Kay