Kia ora koutou,

Some of you have been in contact with the Friends to voice your concerns about the changes in the science and natural history teams. Like you, we are passionate about Te Papa and the recent publicity in the media has been disappointing. You will also understand that while the Friends exist to support the activities, interests and objectives of the museum, we are a separate and independent organisation and not involved in Te Papa’s operational matters.

It has taken Te Papa some time to work through the review process, but the Friends Executive can assure you that the museum’s deep commitment to scientific research will continue. The recent changes are a direct response to recommendations from extensive consultation, undertaken with national and international expertise as well as Te Papa’s science team.

Now that the way forward is clearer, we have asked that chief executive Geraint Martin communicate directly with the Friends membership to ensure that everyone is properly informed. We hope Geraint’s letter will reassure you that there are still very good reasons to support Te Papa and the Friends.

Museum researchers in New Zealand today need complex formal, technical, digital and practical skills, alongside strong engagement with tangata whenua, to carry out the high-calibre research essential to retaining the strength of Te Papa’s world-renowned science team and collections.

The Friends greatly value your membership and we hope we will see you at a Friends’ event very soon. We are especially looking forward to the opening of Te Taiao Nature in May. You will be delighted that, in appreciation of the value that the Friends bring to Te Papa, we will have two members-only previews on 9 + 10 May.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Kay 

President, Friends of Te Papa