Ngā mihi,

Many Friends have recently been enjoying travel, both overseas and around New Zealand. We know that the Friends of Te Papa have a passion for art, but it is clear that our members also have a passion for history. This spring the Friends’ programme has reflected your love of travel and history, along with some architecture and art treats.

A group of Friends recently enjoyed a very special and memorable weekend visiting the historic Bay of Islands. Along with Te Papa Research Fellow and historian Dr Claudia Orange, experts from Heritage Pouhere New Zealand, Te Kōngahu the Museum of Waitangi and the Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds offered fascinating insights into our country’s earliest beginnings, peeling back layers of archaeology and time to illuminate early Maori, missionary and colonial history. This was no ordinary cultural or history tour, rather more of a pilgrimage, as we explored places and events integral to our nation’s development and identity. We learnt that there is still much to discover, such as the whereabouts of the original paper draft of the Treaty, which the Revd Richard Taylor ‘sat up late copying … on parchment’ in readiness for the Treaty signing on 6 February 1840. Taylor’s diary notes that he kept the original draft ‘for my pains’. Does it still exist, tucked safely away somewhere?

Coming up is another visit involving travel and history, as well as art and architecture, with a day visit to the Bulls area. I am also looking forward to the two special in-house events, showcasing exotic textile collections from Africa and from Asia.

As you may know, Friends tours and events are always very popular, so make sure you register early. But if you do miss out, please let the office know, as where there is sufficient interest we may look to repeat an event.

Nāku noa, nā

Elizabeth Kay