Ngā mihi o te tau hou! Happy New Year!

The Māori New Year, when the seven sisters of the Matariki star cluster appear in our southern skies, marks the turning point of winter in Aotearoa. This year Matariki will be observed from Tuesday 25 June to Wednesday 3 July.

Matariki is a season for celebration and renewal, so it is fitting that the Friends 2019 AGM and committee renewal will be held on Tuesday 18 June, then on Thursday 27 June we will have our special Friends of Te Papa Takeover night. For the very first time, the whole Cable Street museum will be open between 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm exclusively for you, our wonderful members, to explore and enjoy. Right across the museum, Te Papa’s talented staff will share their expertise and insights on a range of topics and areas.

Members may also bring their families and friends. So, gather up your whanau and come along to Our Place to enjoy fascinating floor talks in the exhibition spaces, go back of house on a special Behind-the-Scenes tour, meet up with other Friends, relax with delicious food and drink, and have a simply great night.

Check out the Friends website for more information on all the events, talks and tours on offer for you and your family and friends to enjoy. Please make sure you RSVP to register your attendance and also book your place on a Behind-the-Scenes tour, as these will sell out quickly.

There are many exciting Friends events coming up, but make sure to come on Thursday 13 June for the Friends Double Preview of two new exhibitions, Gordon Walters – New Vision, and The New Photography – Life in the 60s and 70s. We are delighted that Auckland Art Gallery curator, Julia Waite, will speak on the Gordon Walters exhibition and Te Papa curator of Photography, Athol McCredie, will take us through The New Photography.

The July calendar is already filling up with more exciting Friends talks and visits to liven up the winter. The committee and I can assure you of a warm welcome.

Nga mihi nui,

Elizabeth Kay