Tena kotou katoa

On behalf of your Committee can I take this opportunity to extend our good wishes to all members of the Friends for 2014.

We have started off our new season on a very high note with two sold out Degustation Dinners at the end of January. The first of these dinners, a year ago, came as gesture of thanks for Friends’ support for Te Papa.  Then this year Executive Chef Bernd Lippmann in cooperation with Errol Clark and Gordon Ritchie of Terravin Wines, a significant supporter of Te Papa staff professional development, have worked together to create two most enjoyable evenings of matched food and wine.  Chef Bernd provided an extra dimension by designing dishes around an Aztec theme to mark the end of the wonderful exhibition Aztecs: Conquest and glory.

In allocating the limited tickets for this event we gave priority to those Friends who had missed out on the 2013 dinner but the uptake was so keen we were quickly oversubscribed. Fortunately Icon were able to undertake a second dinner which we publicised via our online newsletter and that too was soon booked out. The response from the 120 people over the two nights has been universally positive and clearly the Degustation Dinner is regarded by Friends as a highlight. Accordingly we are very pleased to be able to tell you that henceforth this event will become a regular part of the Friends programme around the beginning of the calendar year.

The rest of the year’s events look set to provide equal promise for the Friends.  Two special forthcoming events are being finalised now and will be publicised in more detail on our website. They are a Gala fundraising evening hosted in collaboration with the Chinese Ambassador at his Embassy in April to coincide with the two major Chinese exhibitions soon to open at Te Papa. Then in May there is a three-day regional tour to Hawke’s Bay cultural establishments including the newly renovated Napier Museum Theatre Gallery complex. The group will also be visiting some of the best food and wine establishments on the way and in the Bay. Once again we expect places will be in high demand so don’t delay in making your booking.

Around the time you see this newsletter we will be sending out renewal notices to Friends whose current membership expires this year.  Even if you haven’t had time to fully participate in our programme let me reassure you your membership is worthwhile. Simply by belonging to the Friends of Te Papa you are strengthening the voice of a community of people who share your interests and concerns. This enables us to engage with some authority with organisations like the Wellington City Council, regional museums and galleries and the Te Papa Board and Management. And if that is not a good enough reason to renew and do so early then here is another: an opportunity to hear in person from the much loved Antiques Roadshow expert on toys, Hilary Kay, in a lecture we are organising in collaboration with WeDFAS for the evening of 6 April. Be sure to book early to secure your place.  Thank you for your on-going support and I look forward to seeing you at Te Papa.

Nga mihi,

Gordon Shroff