Kia ora katoa

The Friends were delighted to launch 2015 with several high quality events. First up in late January was our annual degustation dinner presented by Executive Chef Berndt Lippmann and his team, with matching wines selected by Gordon Ritchie, Winemaker at TerraVin Wines. Such was the demand that we organised a second night. The response from the 130 participating Friends and guests to the stunning food and wine matches was extremely positive.

Then in mid-February, in collaboration with the Wellington Sculpture Trust, we organised a wonderful three-day visit to Auckland: an all-day trip to Alan Gibb’s Farm at Kaipara to marvel at his growing collection of massive outdoor sculpture by internationally acclaimed artists (Friday); an opportunity to head to Waiheke to see the biennial headland Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition (Saturday); and a chartered ferry trip to Rotoroa Island and to John and Jo Gow’s private sculpture park at Connells Bay on south Waiheke (Sunday). Links to articles and photos are included in this newsletter.

Over the next few months we will be offering Friends a rich smorgasbord of activities: events relating to Te Papa’s upcoming exhibition to mark the centenary of Gallipoli; visits to local galleries around Wellington; and presentations from expert speakers. When your subscription comes up for renewal at the end of this month, we encourage you to renew for another year (or more) and to do so via our website. It’s a very easy, step-by-step process.

When your Committee met with Te Papa’s new Chief Executive, Rick Ellis, before Christmas, we were gratified by his clear appreciation for the role of the Friends and his declared intention of working closely with us. We have invited Rick to address Friends directly through Open Eyes about his hopes for the job he has taken on. His message can be found in this issue.

Finally, I should note that we are starting to think ahead to our AGM in June/July at which elections to the Friends’ Executive Committee take place. If you are interested in making a contribution, I would encourage you to get in touch with the Friends’ office. Staff will forward your details to me to arrange an informal chat about what is involved in terms of time and skills.

Nga mihi

Gordon Shroff
President, Friends of Te Papa