Last chance to see Te Papa’s Golden Days exhibition

15 August 2017

Te Papa’s cinematic Golden Days exhibition is closing on 31 August, after almost 20 years on the floor of the national museum. 

A replacement for Golden Days will be part of Te Papa’s overall exhibition renewal programme.

The kiwiana ‘junk shop’ that comes to life has been transporting visitors through almost a century of Kiwi life since it was developed by Story Inc for Te Papa’s opening in 1998.

But, as a growing number of visitors have noted, there have been some significant events that have occurred in New Zealand – and the world – since the film footage, which only covers events up until 1996, was originally sourced for Golden Days

Head of History and Pacific Cultures Dr Bronwyn Labrum says: “This nostalgic look at our past has been a real winner with visitors but it’s time to take a fresh look at ourselves, to review the last 20 years and to think about what comes next.

“New Zealand and the world are profoundly different places from the late 20th century. 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. We’re aiming to have it ready by summer 2017-18,” says Dr Labrum.

“We’ll still be focussing on moving images – but re-imagining how we use them to tell stories that have moved us and made us. Some of these stories will be familiar but others will be fresh and unexpected.”