Te Papa’s fish and spirit collections closed for quake work

The National Fish Collection and the natural history spirit collections held by Te Papa at our Tory Street research facility have been closed temporarily while the building undergoes earthquake strengthening.

While the research facility wasn’t damaged in the November earthquake, routine seismic checks have found that it doesn’t meet the high standard required for buildings that house national collections.

These collections are not normally open to the public.​

The timeline for completing the works and re-opening the facility is yet to be determined, as further engineering assessments and planning needs to be done, but it is expected to re-open before the end of the year.

Containing one of the most comprehensive libraries of marine specimens in the Southern Hemisphere, the purpose-built Tory Street facility is home to more than 240,000 specimens of fish and other marine animals, from microscopic molluscs to an enormous great white shark.

Te Papa marine collection manager Andrew Stewart introduces visitors to the colossal squid in Te Papa’s fish research facility, 2016. Photograph by Kate Whitley. Te Papa