Te Papa Annual Report details a record year

19 December 2016

Te Papa’s Annual Report has been released, revealing fascinating stories and impressive numbers from the national museum of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis said the 2015/16 financial year had seen more people come to Te Papa than any previous year.

“We are celebrating our busiest year ever, with almost 1.8 million visitors coming through our doors,” said Mr Ellis.

“The numbers also tell a story about the quality of the experience, with 98% of New Zealand visitors satisfied or extremely satisfied with their visit, and 83% saying they learned something new about their country.”

“Our team can take enormous pride in our ability to reach so many people with an experience that means so much,” Mr Ellis said.

Mr Ellis said that Gallipoli: The scale of our war has become the most-visited exhibition in New Zealand’s history, with more than a million visitors.

The exhibition had been particularly popular with the 16 – 24 age group.

“The Gallipoli exhibition shows how innovative storytelling can bring stories to new generations,” Mr Ellis said.

The 2015/16 year also saw Te Papa embark on a once-in-a-generation journey to reimagine the role of the national museum, Mr Ellis said.

“This renewal of all permanent exhibitions within Te Papa is the first major museum-wide evolution since Te Papa opened in 1998.”

“It will reinvigorate Te Papa’s place as a meeting ground for all New Zealanders and a vital forum for national conversations.”

The founding of the Mahuki innovation hub at Te Papa had been another highlight of the year, with the museum investing in innovative New Zealand companies which are developing the next generation of experiences for the cultural sector.

Mr Ellis said that as well as celebrating the past year, Te Papa had some exciting new things happening in December.

“We are opening the Bug Lab exhibition on December 10th, a blockbuster science show that we’ve developed with Weta Workshop. And on December 14th the Te Papa Foundation is launched, enabling generous Kiwis can give to their national museum.”

“As a science and history museum, the holder of the national art collection, a bicultural pioneer and a world famous destination, Te Papa is unique in the world.”

“It is an absolute privilege to be part of a team that does so much across so many different dimensions,” Mr Ellis said.

2015/16 by the numbers

  • 1,784,939 visitors to Te Papa – the most ever!

  • Over 3 million visitors to Te Papa websites

  • 26,541 students participating in Te Papa learning programmes

  • In October 2016 the millionth visitor came to Gallipoli: The scale of our war

  • 60 ancestral remains of Māori and Moriori ancestors brought home from overseas

  • 274 museums, galleries and iwi assisted by Te Papa’s National Services Te Paerangi

  • 151 years young – our great-grand-museum the Colonial Museum opened in 1865

Media contact

Kate Camp, Communications Manager
029 601 0180