Tēnā koutou,

Ngā mihi

December is a time of trying to complete all those end-of-year tasks, looking forward to the summer break, and the start of a new year. For the Friends this has been a time of both looking forward and looking back. Following our wonderful visit to the Bay of Island, our summer programme has continued a history theme nationally, regionally and locally, with insightful back of house tours on the New Zealand wars, a day-long visit to the historic Rangitikei district and town of Bulls and fascinating glimpses into the lives of past Wellington citizens on a second guided tour of Karori cemetery – this time on such a hot, sunny day that we clung to the shadier paths.

Looking ahead, it is very exciting to see Te Papa’s new art gallery taking shape. Those who have been on a hard hat tour return talking enthusiastically of the energy and dramatic space of the wonderful 4,000 square metre gallery area that will become Te Papa’s art collections.

Meanwhile, while we wait in keen anticipation of the art gallery’s grand opening  in March, there is plenty to enjoy at Te Papa through the summer. Do visit Rā Maumahara – New Zealand Wars, a thought-provoking exhibition on Level 3, curated by Dr Rebecca Rice and Matiu Baker. Those years of conflict still have their impact on our nation and peoples today. For a journey into the even further distant past, don’t miss visiting art historian Dr Helen Rufus-Ward’s lecture, Glorious Things, Discovering Byzantium through its art on 18 February. And to entertain the grandchildren, or the child in you, the internationally acclaimed Brickman Wonders of the World, part of Te Papa’s Lets Go Build Festival for LEGO® Lovers opens on Saturday 9 December.

The Te Papa Foundation is now a year old and making good progress. The Friends are proud to be a Cornerstone Partner along with other generous donors. Take a look at the acknowledgment of the Friends support on the donors board near the escalator on Level 1.

With the Friends Committee, thank you for your enthusiastic support this past year. We wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou

Nāku noa, nā

Elizabeth Kay