Ko tōu reo, ko tōku reo
Te tuakiri tangata.
Tīhei uriuri, tīhei nakonako.

Your voice and my voice
Are expressions of identity
May our descendants live on and our hopes be fulfilled 

What is OurSpace?

OurSpace is a multimedia interactive exhibition space that uses technology, photographic images, and video footage to explore themes of New Zealand’s national identity.

The interface is user-directed and responsive to the learner, drawing on popular online technologies that many students are already comfortable with. 

OurSpace comprises The Map, The Wall, and two simulator rides: the Deep Ride Te Ekenga Hōhonu and the High Ride Te Ekenga Teitei. Visitors use state-of-the-art technology to generate content, creating their vision of New Zealand on The Map and The Wall.

What happens at OurSpace?

A teacher and a group of students enter OurSpace and walk along a giant satellite map of New Zealand. As they move over each region, corresponding images and video footage light up around them.

Once you reach the end of the South Island, there are two choices: enjoy the rides or venture over to The Wall. At The Wall, there are several touch screens. Students use the touch screens to select images and media from Te Papa’s digital database and export them onto The Wall. The students are then given ‘wands’ to guide the images and footage around the 18 metres of The Wall.

  • Note: Media displayed on both The Map and The Wall comes from visitor’s contributions, Te Papa collections, and Television New Zealand archives.
  • Teachers can also hand in their own USB or CD preloaded with curriculum-specific images to an OurSpace Host. The Host will give the teacher a number, which the students enter into the touch screens. The students export the images to The Wall.
  • Tickets for the rides must be booked at the Information Desk, Level 2.  

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Curriculum links

Learning areas

Learning areas of both primary and secondary curricula are able to be explored in OurSpace.

Key competencies

Relating to others – students will interact with a variety of media and make choices in relation to different points of view. They will also negotiate physical working space for their own media.

Using language symbols and texts – students will participate in an exhibition space which focuses on memorable moments in New Zealand’s past, and offers multiple views of both the present and future.  

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Levels of achievement

Levels 1–8, including tertiary level 

Year group

Years 1–13, including tertiary level 

Which topics of study can it support?

  • New Zealand history
  • New Zealand environment
  • Pūrākau – storytelling
  • National identity and culture
  • Visual art and design
  • Information technology
  • Disasters
  • Earth science – earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Māori pūrākau (stories)  

How long might visiting OurSpace take?

Allow for a minimum of 30 minutes excluding the rides:

  • 10 minutes on The Map
  • 20 minutes on The Wall.

Allow for a minimum of 60 minutes if including the rides:

  • 20 minutes at the Deep Ride – 12 seats
  • 20 minutes at the High Ride – 18 seats.

Rides run on the hour and every 20 minutes, eg 11am, 11.20am, 11.40am. Tickets must be booked at the Level 2 Information Desk.

Please be aware that students may need to wait to use equipment as OurSpace is shared with all visitors to Te Papa. 

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Where do I find OurSpace?

  • Level 2
  • Lost? Ask a Te Papa Host.

Why should I take my class to visit OurSpace?

  • OurSpace is a fun way for students to actively explore New Zealand’s past and present. The use of multimedia (including lighting and music) offers multiple entry points to the nation’s history – allowing different approaches and different narratives, making it accessible to a diverse range of students.
  • Students are required to use large and small body movements, make choices, observe their own and others creations, and negotiate and organise media.
  • Students gain the valuable experience of contributing to an evolving exhibition space. The content each student generates informs their own and other visitors’ OurSpace experience.
  • OurSpace has two specific learning sites: The Map and The Wall. On The Map, students trigger their own path of inquiry or step back and observe others. At The Wall, students use touch screens and wands to create visual stories and murals through media compositions.
  • The students’ OurSpace explorations can also be complemented with two motion simulator rides:

The Deep Ride is a scientific adventure ride under the sea. 

The High Ride highlights the diversity of New Zealand through action-packed simulations – flying foxes, extreme sports, and clips back in time.

Admission prices apply and visitors must measure at least 1.1 metres in height to participate in the rides. Tickets must be booked at the Level 2 Information Desk. 

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What is there to do at The Map?

  • Walk along a giant satellite map of New Zealand! Your feet will trigger sensors that project a variety of region-specific images and video footage onto display screens. Step onto Wellington and a giant Beehive will appear; step onto the Central Plateau and see volcanoes erupting!
  • The Map is an exciting way to explore New Zealand’s geography and culture.
  • Walk the faultline through New Zealand.
  • Count the volcanoes, mountain ranges, and lakes. 

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What should I know about The Map?

  • The Map is 14 metres long and has 27 trigger sensors and 35 screens.
  • OurSpace Hosts are available to assist.
  • A class of 30 students can simultaneously experience The Map.
  • Your class can contribute images and video footage to The Map. through the OurSpace website www.ourspace.tepapa.com All media contributed must be tagged to a region.
  • The floor is on a gentle incline – visitors walk up the Islands, finishing at Invercargill at the top!
  • Free entry.

What is there to do at The Wall?

  • The Wall is like a giant artistic canvas where visitors create the action. Touch screens provide access to thousands of digital records of New Zealand from a range of sources, including Television New Zealand archives, Te Papa's own collections, and the community. Display your chosen images on the 18 metre long wall as a mural, visual story, or VJ composition.
  • Use a curriculum focus to create a theme on The Wall. Use the database or submit your own images, offer your students a brief, and step back and see what happens! For example, give the students 10 minutes to choose three images that reflect celebration.

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What should I know about The Wall?

  • The Wall is 18 metres long.
  • OurSpace Hosts are available to assist.
  • There are four, low touch screens which are suitable for small children or students in wheel chairs.
  • Students can contribute their own images to The Wall using a USB or CD, or by uploading them onto the website (at least a day before visiting)  www.ourspace.tepapa.com 
  • To use your own media on the day you visit OurSpace (and which you have not uploaded onto the website), present your USB or CD to an OurSpace Host and they will give you a number to access your images on the touch screens.
  • Students use touch screens to select media and export it onto The Wall. Using a handheld wand, the media can then be moved, rotated, cropped, enlarged, played back, erased, or have positive/ negative functions applied to it.
  • The Wall can be observed in real time from the OurSpace website. www.ourspace.tepapa.com 
  • There are twelve wands and touch screens available for use at any one time. 
  • Free entry. 

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Possible questions for discussion

  • Exploration of national identity: Do you call yourself a Kiwi? What does it mean to be a Kiwi?
  • Exhibition spaces: What are the similarities and difference between OurSpace as an exhibition and Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation, Passports, Golden Days, Blood Earth Fire, Tangata o le Moana, and  Mana Whenua?
  • How would you describe OurSpace? What did you enjoy the most/least?
  • What images and/or video footage would you like to contribute to OurSpace? Why?