The Golden Days era is coming to an end

Tue 15 Aug 2017

Our beloved kiwiana ‘junk shop’ is closing its doors for the last time on 31 August, after being open for nearly 20 years.

Golden Days has been transporting visitors through almost a century of Kiwi life since Te Papa opened in 1998.

Interior shot of Golden Days exhibition featuring a screen resembling a window looking our on a Wellington street and surrounded by an array of kiwiana paraphernalia


Golden Days, 1998. Photograph by Jeremy Glyde. Te Papa

Significant events have occurred in New Zealand – and the world – in that time, however, which only covers events up until 1996.

“New Zealand and the world are profoundly different places from the late 20th century,”  said Head of History and Pacific Cultures Dr Bronwyn Labrum.

Some of the events that have taken place since 1996 include:

  • Helen Clark becoming New Zealand’s first elected woman Prime Minister
  • the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre;
  • the Canterbury earthquakes;
  • the legalisation of same-sex marriage legalised 2013;
  • the lowering of the legal drinking age to 18;
  • Willie Apiata receiving the Victoria Cross;
  • the release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy,
  • Eleanor Catton winning the Booker prize with her novel The Luminaries;
  • the Foreshore and Seabed hikoi;
  • the launch of Maori TV;
  • the banning of smoking in work places;
  • the deaths of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu (the Maori queen), It’s in the Bag MC Selwyn Toogood, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Jonah Lomu;
  • the end of analogue television;
  • the All Blacks winning the World Cup back to back;
  • the population surpassing 4.5 million.

“The Golden Days replacement will be a new museum-movie experience taking into account how these events and others have shaped life in the 21st century,” said Dr Labrum.

“Some of these stories will be familiar but others will be fresh and unexpected.

“We’re aiming to have it ready by summer 2017-18.”