Kia ora,

The Friends programme for 2020 is well underway, with some fascinating talks and a wonderful away visit already behind us. We have travelled back in time to life in mid-twentieth century New Zealand with Christine Fernyhough and Bronwyn Labrum, marvelled at the amazingly different interpretations of the Alice story with Mariya Kalachova from Weta, and enthralled by Tom Roa’s insights into the subtle complexities of translating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into Te Reo.

In mid-February we took a full coach load of Friends to Foxton where we were warmly welcomed by Arjan Van Der Boon and Hohepa O’Donnell at the town’s wonderful new cultural and museum complex, Te Awahou-Nieuwe Stroom. One half of the museum tells the story of the Dutch migration to New Zealand and the other half, the Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre, that of the region’s first settlers and the Ngati Raukawa people. If you are travelling north, do stop and visit – we especially recommend the delicious Dutch themed food provided by the Dutch Oven.

Coming up are more exciting treats; I am especially looking forward to art curator Rebecca Rice and David Maskill’s back of house tour to view the work of William Hodges RA, the artist for Captain Cook’s second expedition to the Pacific, and April’s back of house tour with Botany curators, Leon Perrie and Carlos Lehnebach. Make sure you are in town on 3 April for a special Greek Easter event, on 28 April to experience life behind the blockade in Gaza, and on 10 May for a voyage into the Art and Architecture of Calcutta, our first 2020 lecture with the Wellington Fine Arts Society. As well as our Te Papa based events, watch out for more of our very popular visits to local dealer galleries and artists’ studios. And coming up in April we will have another very special day tour, this time involving a boat!

The Friends financial year ends on 31 March 2020, so we are already thinking ahead to our AGM and committee renewal. The Friends Committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month, from 4.30pm to 6.30 pm. Serving on the Committee offers a wonderful opportunity to work behind the scenes at Te Papa and engage with its amazing curators and collection managers and other staff, as well as those in the art and museum worlds beyond Te Papa. It also brings many opportunities to meet and get to know so many of you, our wonderfully loyal and supportive members. If you would like to join us, please get in touch with the office as we would love to hear from you.

Meantime, keep a look out for our e-news and make sure you book for events early. And do regularly check our website, as special opportunities often come up at short notice.

See you soon at Te Papa,

Nga mihi nui

Elizabeth Kay


Image by Jo Moore Photography