2003–2007 past touring exhibitionsNgā whakaaturanga tāpoi 2003–2007

Past touring exhibitions that opened between 2003 and 2007 – from New Zealand on Ice to The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: The Exhibition.

On this page:
The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: The Exhibition
The Biotechnology Roadshow
New Zealand, New Thinking
New Zealand on Ice
The Poisoners!

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: The Exhibition

This exhibition, presented by Te Papa in association with New Line Cinema, offered visitors the opportunity to discover the amazing secrets behind the Lord of the Rings movies.

The exhibition was both interactive and immersive. It gave visitors a unique opportunity to explore the fantastic world created for the film trilogy and the ground-breaking technology behind the movies.

Visitors were transported to Middle-earth, where they could step into the colourful, imaginative world of hobbits, wizards, kings, and warriors. The exhibition featured hundreds of objects from the epic film trilogy, including original costumes, armour, weapons, jewellery, and miniatures.

Immersed in these objects, visitors could explore the ground-breaking technology used in the films, such as computer-generated special effects and animatronics. They could also watch exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast, crew, and director.


Developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in partnership with New Line Cinema.

The Biotechnology Roadshow

People have always sought to harness nature’s processes for their own purposes. Now, knowledge and capabilities are increasing more rapidly than ever before. This Te Papa touring exhibition offered the chance to get to grips with the smart research in the field of biotechnology – and the tough issues.

Visitors could see why new DNA profiling technology is making it even harder to get away with crimes, and could explore what DNA can tell you about who you are.

The exhibition allowed visitors to discover how DNA research may help some people give up smoking. It explored the latest advances in stem cell research – the hope this research offers to sufferers of degenerative diseases, but also the difficult ethical dilemmas it raises.

Visitors could find out how some researchers hope to give New Zealand’s plant and animal products an extra edge on the world market. Others aim to produce food with added health benefits.

But such research raises a number of issues that New Zealanders need to address. The Biotechnology Roadshow set out the facts and raised the issues in a down-to-earth way. Visitors could hear what different people had to say on the issues, and compare those comments with their own views.


  • Highland Park Home Centre, Auckland (27 Feb – 1 Mar 2006)

  • Morrinsville Recreation Grounds (3 Mar – 4 Mar 2006)

  • Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers car park, Auckland (6 Mar – 9 Mar 2006)

  • Kumeu A&P Showgrounds (11 Mar – 12 Mar 2006)

  • Central Districts Fieldays, Manfield Park, Feilding (16 Mar – 18 Mar 2006)

  • The Square, Palmerston North (20 Mar – 23 Mar 2006)

  • The Warehouse car park, Masterton (25 Mar – 26 Mar 2006)

  • The Warehouse, Petone (28 Mar – 30 Mar 2006)

  • Waterfront at Te Papa, Wellington (1 Apr – 2 Apr 2006)

New Zealand, New Thinking

New Zealand, New Thinking presented New Zealand to Chinese people in an unconventional and exciting way. It featured the land, the people, and New Zealand’s place on the Asia-Pacific rim.

Elements included a panoramic film, images of the landscape, interactive experiences demonstrating ‘green screen’ technology used in the Lord of the Rings films, a model produced by the award-winning Weta Workshop, and information about New Zealand’s innovative and creative industries.

Two New Zealand performance groups were on site with the exhibition and performed several times a day. One was Strike, a high-energy percussion group. The other was a kapa haka group from Whitireia’s performing arts school.

Key to the exhibition were the hosts – young, enthusiastic New Zealanders who spoke fluent Mandarin. They represented the modern face of New Zealand, greeting and interacting with visitors and providing further information about the exhibition and New Zealand.

New Zealand, New Thinking toured shopping malls in China as part of the New Zealand Government’s Cultural Diplomacy International Programme.


  • Oriental Plaza, Beijing (16 Mar – 25 Mar 2007)

  • Westgate Plaza, Shanghai (2 Apr – 8 Apr 2007)

  • Wuhan World Trade Plaza (13 Apr – 23 Apr 2007)

  • Grandview Plaza, Guangzhou (27 Apr – 6 May 2007)

New Zealand on Ice

New Zealand is one of Antarctica’s near neighbours and has a long and strong association with the continent. This association encompasses early explorations, cooperation with the United States’ Operation Deep Freeze based in Christchurch, research, and Antarctica New Zealand’s programmes on environmental management operated from Scott Base.

Antarctica is a vast and hostile environment. Images and video footage in New Zealand on Ice revealed its spectacular visual appeal. Quotes – from artists as well as scientists – illustrated the impact the place has on its human visitors. Information panels gave a profile of the continent, and background on the treaty that is the basis for the human presence there.

Other panels told the story of New Zealand’s activities in Antarctica. They detailed the establishment of Scott Base and looked at the diverse scientific programmes coordinated from there, particularly in marine biology and geological drilling. An interactive display set out key findings from research on the ozone hole.

New Zealand on Ice gave visitors a chance to appreciate the continent of Antarctica, and an introduction to the role New Zealand people and organisations play there.


The Poisoners!

This murder-mystery exhibition featured over 250 specimens and props – an assortment of weird and wonderful species not usually on display.

Fascinating specimens provided the backdrop to the dangerous world of The Poisoners!, in which visitors could solve a murder mystery. Who did away with brilliant scientist and ecologist Professor Felix Splicer? Families ventured into each of the four suspects’ lairs to solve puzzles, collect the clues, and find out which of the four twisted suspects committed the murder and with what.

The concept of The Poisoners! was created by Te Papa.