Te Papa celebrates its 20th birthday today

Te Papa marks its twentieth birthday today with a special evening concert and activities including special free tours and film screenings. 

After a dawn ceremony, at midday on February 14, 1998, yachtsman Sir Peter Blake led two children through the doors of Te Papa Tongarewa The Museum of New Zealand, "our place", on Wellington's waterfront. 

The concept for Te Papa was that it would be a bicultural museum, and incorporate both the national museum and national art collection. 

Kaihautū (Māori Co-leader) of Te Papa Arapata Hakiwai speaks to Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

As the biggest ever investment in New Zealand culture and heritage, and one of that decade's biggest museum projects globally, Te Papa was the subject of major scrutiny. 

From the 35,000 visitors who saw Te Papa on its opening day, to the more than two million who visited in its first year, Te Papa was embraced by New Zealanders. 

Controversies raged - including protests about the Tania Kovats “Virgin in a condom” artwork - but the public continued to visit Te Papa in their thousands. 

By today, Te Papa will have had almost 30 million visitors, discovered more than 400 new species, hosted more than 3,000 pōwhiri, and rocked visitors with more than 1.3 million shakes of its famous earthquake house.

Chief executive Geraint Martin says major changes are ahead for Te Papa in the coming years.

Next month a new art gallery, Toi Art, will open in Te Papa, the biggest change to the museum since opening, he says.

The $8.4 million space offers a large newly-created gallery able to hold works that have never been shown at Te Papa before, and the opening on March 17 will reveal major commissions by contemporary New Zealand artists. 

After Easter 2018 Te Papa will begin work on a new nature and environment section which will open in 2019, Martin says. 

Today the museum will be open until 9pm for its birthday activities.

Crowds at the opening of Te Papa on February 14, 1998. Source: Te Papa

The top five things we love about Bill English according to TVNZ's Tim Wilson

National Party leader Bill English will be remembered for more than just his political prowess in his 27-year career, Tim Wilson from TVNZ1's Seven Sharp has counted down what he believes were his top five moments.

From charity boxing matches, to finding worldwide fame for a social media post about homemade tinned spaghetti pizza, Mr English has had a colourful career.

Was it one of those moments that made it to number one on Wilson's list? Or was it his tinder-dry Southland humour? Maybe it was the fact he has fathered six kids?

Watch the video embedded above to find out and see if you agree!

Seven Sharp’s Wilson looks back the former PM’s long political career. Source: Seven Sharp


Bill English reveals his biggest regret, talks about being a 'big softie' and worldwide social media fame in Seven Sharp interview

National Party leader Bill English has looked back on his storied political career on TVNZ1's Seven Sharp, after announcing his resignation today.

Speaking to hosts Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells, Mr English said it was a "privilege every day" to be in Parliament and admitted to having a soft side when asked about his tears during his resignation announcement.

Seven Sharp’s Wilson looks back the former PM’s long political career. Source: Seven Sharp

"I've always been a bit of a softie and when I talk about my family I find it difficult and they were there today which was great" he said.

Mr English says his family back his decision and he will be able to spend more time with his kids, who he said have pretty well developed political views, although "some of them are quite wrong."

After hitting worldwide fame for his social media post of a tinned spaghetti pizza he whipped up and documenting his infamous walk run routine, Barry asked Mr English if would now retire from social media.

"Look I think I'd better leave that space for the next leader," he said.

Wells asked what Mr English's biggest regret was, to which he admitted it was not winning the last election, however he had enjoyed every minute of his time in politics.

The PM’s message came during Parliament’s Question Time. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's a privilege every day to be a member of Parliament, even more so to be a Prime Minister and I'm just pleased that I valued it and used the opportunity every day."

Mr English says he’s “very happy” with his decision to step down as National Party leader. Source: Seven Sharp