Te Papa to require vaccination for visitors, proposes vaccination requirement for staff

Te Papa will require its visitors be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive Courtney Johnston and Kaihautū | Māori Co-Leader Arapata Hakiwai announced the decision today.

The requirement will be effective from when New Zealand implements the Covid-19 Protection Framework.

Children under 12, who currently cannot be vaccinated, will be exempt from the requirement.

“Requiring vaccination will make Te Papa as safe as it can be, and keep the museum accessible for as many manuhiri as possible,” said Ms Johnston.

“This is a decision we have thought through very carefully. Te Papa is the museum for all New Zealand, and accessibility is vitally important.

“This a measure taken in the current environment, and will be regularly reviewed as the covid situation evolves.”

Dr Hakiwai said Te Papa had considered the impact on the community in making its decision.

“The well-being of our kaimahi, our manuhiri and our community is the focus for Te Papa and this guides our decision making now and in the future,” he said.

“As the national museum we are kaitiaki of taonga, and that includes caring for the community they belong to.”

The museum will use My Vaccine Pass to check the vaccination status of visitors.

The museum is also proposing that vaccination against Covid-19 be required for all its staff, including contractors and volunteers.

Te Papa has approximately 600 staff, working in a wide range of roles. Some work on the museum floor, others in the back office. Staff intermingle and transit through all parts of the building, including public areas.

After careful analysis of its operations, the museum proposed vaccination of all staff as the most effective way to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff.

“Within Te Papa there are public spaces like exhibitions, our marae, shops and cafes, as well as behind the scenes areas like kitchens, laboratories, store rooms and office spaces. Staff need to move freely between these areas to do their mahi,” said Ms Johnston.

“We are proposing that all our staff be vaccinated as a practical way to make Te Papa as safe as possible.”

Consultation with staff will happen during the week of Monday 29 November with a policy approved once feedback is incorporated.

Te Papa will continue to follow all government advice and regulations as new information becomes available.

Media contact

Kate Camp
029 601 0180

About Te Papa

Te Papa has 36,000 square metres of public space spread over six floors.

894,292 people visited Te Papa between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021. More than one million people usually visit Te Papa every year.

Te Papa is a multi-use venue with public facilities including:

  • A marae, Rongomaraeroa

  • Soundings theatre

  • Conference rooms – one of Wellington’s largest conference venues

  • Education space Hīnātore

  • Early childhood learning space Storyplace

  • Two cafes

  • Two stores

Under current Covid-19 Alert Level 2 settings, Te Papa has a visitor limit of 732 people, allowing for distancing.

Our visitor research shows approximately 27% of visitors to Te Papa come in a group with children – this figure is likely to be on the low side as groups with kids are less likely to stop and complete an interview.