Tēnā koutou katoa

For over two decades the Friends of Te Papa have published Open Eyes as their two-monthly newsletter. This special commemorative edition celebrates the last Open Eyes in its traditional print format.

From the inception of the Friends and predating the opening of Te Papa, Open Eyes has been a main means of communication, keeping members informed about Friends’ activities and news from Te Papa.

Looking after the membership is a strategic focus of the Executive committee and the way we can help enhance your experience of Te Papa. So a year ago, following excellent feedback about email updates and in response to demand for a non-print newsletter, we set up a new website, friendsoftepapa.org.nz, to improve communication and support the first Open Eyes in e-newsletter form.

Going on-line has opened up exciting new possibilities. The format offers much greater flexibility. Open Eyes is now produced monthly and can allow regular updates, so you can instantly find out about special opportunities or new events that arise at short notice.

Going electronic has enabled a wider reach for news about the Friends and Te Papa, as anyone can access the Friends’ website. The on-line format allows for articles of greater depth than was ever possible with printed paper. Readers can click through to a wide range of stories and images, upcoming events, special objects in Te Papa, profiles about the staff, news about Te Papa exhibitions and other happenings. The website’s clean design and ease of access has facilitated membership subscriptions and seen bookings for events increase significantly.

As you read this last printed version of Open Eyes and note the way the Friends and Te Papa have evolved over the years, you will see that there has been one consistent point of contact: the Friends’ Manager, Elizabeth Ridder. The success of Open Eyes in its fabulous new format is very much due to Elizabeth and her clear vision of what worked well and what was needed. Developing the website and e-newsletter has involved the Friends’ Office in extensive work and long hours. I am sure that you will all wish to join me in saying thank you to Elizabeth and Aloema for their contribution to the success of the old Open Eyes and to its reincarnation for the future in an exciting new format.

Ngā mihi,

Gordon Shroff, President