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Te Papa to be “safe and welcoming” when it starts reopening on Thursday


Kellie Tapuae prepares Te Papa for re-opening. Photo credit: Maarten Holl, Te Papa.

News from Te Papa
Te Papa will begin a phased re-opening from Thursday next week. Te Papa board chair Dame Fran Wilde said the Te Papa team was delighted to re-open to the public.

“Te Papa is an icon of Aotearoa, and belongs to all New Zealanders. We are proud to open our doors and welcome New Zealand back to our place,” said Dame Fran.

The national museum has been closed since Friday 20 March to protect the public from the risk of covid-19. This 68-day closure is the longest in the museum’s history.

Te Papa will register people on arrival for contact tracing, and take steps to ensure visitors can practice distancing and good hygiene.

  • Exhibitions open from 28 May: Toi Art; Signs of a Nation; Tangata o le Moana; Passports; The Mixing Room; Blood, Earth, Fire.
  • Exhibitions closed at 28 May. Gallipoli, Te Taiao Nature, Mana Whenua, Ko Rongowhakaata. These will re-open gradually in the coming days and weeks.
  • Visitors will be checked in and out at the main entrance to the museum
  • Opening hours will be 10am – 6pm, seven days a week
  • Te Papa can have a maximum of 500 visitors at any one time
  • Maximum group sizes of 10 can visit the museum
  • The cafes and stores will be open
  • Some taonga Māori may be closed off to ensure the best cultural care for them
  • Some high-touch interactives will be closed
  • StoryPlace and children’s discovery centres will be closed
  • Hosted tours, public programmes and education programmes are currently on hold
  • High touch areas within the museum will be cleaned frequently
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers will be available throughout the museum

Te Papa’s co-leaders, Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive Courtney Johnston and Kaihautū | Māori Co-leader Arapata Hakiwai, said the museum would re-open gradually.

“We are so excited to welcome people back to our place,” said Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive Courtney Johnston.

“We are doing that in a way that is safe for visitors and staff, that is safe for our taonga, and that feels really welcoming. The experience at Te Papa will be different, as we create space for our visitors to reflect, relax and re-connect.”

On re-opening, the museum would offer a way for the public to share their experiences of this time in history, and would also have a memorial in place to the lives lost and affected by covid-19.

There will be pop up performances to provide special experiences for visitors in the building, and on the forecourt.

Kaihautū Arapata Hakiwai said that opening the museum would be a special moment for Te Papa and its communities.

“We are so grateful for the support of our staff, our communities, our iwi in residence Rongowhakaata, and mana whenua,” Dr Hakiwai said. “We can’t wait to hear Te Papa resound again with many voices.”

Dr Hakiwai expressed gratitude for the work of staff in caring for taonga (treasure), connecting with Kiwis over the lockdown, and preparing the museum to re-open.

“From our security guards who kept the collections safe during lockdown, to our curators who are capturing this history as it happens, we are very grateful to our kaimahi (staff) for their commitment to Te Papa,” Dr Hakiwai said.

Message from Courtney Johnston, Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive and Arapata Hakiwai, Kaihautū | Māori Co-leader
We are so excited to welcome you back to our place next Thursday. The museum will re-open gradually, in a way that is safe and welcoming for visitors and staff. The experience at Te Papa will be a bit different, as we create space for visitors to reflect, relax and re-connect. We will offer a way for you to share your experiences of this time, and have a memorial in place to the lives lost and affected by covid-19.

Our team are really excited to get the doors open and welcome you back to our place. We are so grateful for the support of our staff, our communities, our iwi in residence Rongowhakaata, and mana whenua. We look forward to reconnecting with you.

What you need to know for your visit

You’ll need to check in and out at the main entrance to the museum for contact tracing.
Opening hours will be 10am – 6pm, seven days a week
Te Papa can have a maximum of 500 visitors at one time
Maximum group sizes of 10 can visit the museum
High touch areas within the museum will be cleaned frequently
Hand sanitiser dispensers will be available throughout the museum
Bilingual posters and clear signage will advise you on how to have a safe experience at Te Papa

What will be open

Exhibitions open: Toi Art; Signs of a Nation; Tangata o le Moana; Passports; The Mixing Room; Blood, Earth, Fire
Cafes and stores
Carpark
Wheelchairs and mobility scooters will be available to book

What will be closed for now

Exhibitions closed for now: Gallipoli, Te Taiao Nature, Mana Whenua, Ko Rongowhakaata. These will re-open gradually in the coming days and weeks
Hosted tours, public programmes and education programmes are currently on hold
Some taonga Māori may be closed off to ensure the best cultural care for them
Some of our high-touch interactives will be closed including StoryPlace, the Whale Heart, Art Studio, and Te Huka a Tai and Planet Pasifika Discovery Centres
Coat and bag check will not be available, to protect our staff