Kia ora,

The past month has been a particularly busy time for the Friends and Te Papa. Art lovers have been crowding in to explore the exciting new Toi Art galleries and we are looking forward to some special Friends events with Te Papa’s outstanding curators.

The natural history spaces have closed for the next stage of the refreshment of the museum, but people are still queuing for Gallipoli: The scale of our war. Those terrible years that New Zealand soldiers endured on the Western Front during the First World War were brought to life on a recent Friends visit to The Great War Exhibition, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle Street, where we saw the recently opened Quinn’s Post Trench Experience. This new exhibition is an extraordinarily immersive experience, leaving many of us almost shell-shocked, but it is a must see.

The Friends were delighted with the wonderful response to the information evening about the special tour to Egypt in September 2019, exclusive to members of the Friends. The tour is being run by Innovative Travel, who have over 20 years’ experience through their Ancient Kingdoms tours. Innovative Travel has a sponsorship relationship with Te Papa for the duration of Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition. Since the exhibition opened, Innovative have generously provided four prizes of tours to First World War battle sites, in 2014 to Gallipoli and later this year to Amiens. The Egypt tour offers an option to visit the Second World War battlefields of El Alamein. You can find out more about this exciting tour here.

Thank you to all those members who have now renewed their subscriptions, and congratulations to the winners of our membership draw. A special thank you and welcome to the many new members who have joined the Friends over past few months. We are delighted to have you and look forward to meeting you at an event soon.

Thank you also for the lovely tributes to Friends Manager, Elizabeth Ridder, which continue to come in. To celebrate 20 years since the establishment of the Friends, there will be a special event in Toi Arts on the evening of Tuesday 5 June, when you will be able to say goodbye to Elizabeth.

Looking back, as we prepare the annual reports, the Friends have certainly enjoyed an amazing rich and diverse programme this past year. Between February and the end of March alone, we ran over 10 events and many more are coming up through the winter. Our first Te Reo session sold out immediately, as did the second series, and other events have also had an enthusiastic response. Make sure you keep a watch on our website and book early.  If you do miss out, please let the office know, as sometimes we are able to arrange a repeat.

Lastly, as our June 27 AGM approaches, if you would like to be more closely involved with Te Papa do consider joining the Friends Committee. If you would like to know more, please get in touch with the Office.

Nga mihi nui,

Elizabeth Kay