Te Papa is open. Te Papa Covid-19 information
Kei te tuwhera a Te Papa. He mōhiohio nā Te Papa mō Covid-19

Te Papa Venues at Covid-19 Alert Level 2

Events at Te Papa can go ahead at Alert Level 2, but with restrictions.

A reminder of our procedures:

  • Indoor event spaces and hospitality venues have a limit of 50 people. Outdoor venues have a limit of 100 people. Workers providing services to the event are not included in the indoor and outdoor gathering limits.
  • All visitors must check in via the NZ COVID Tracer app or manually. QR codes are available at all museum entry points and function rooms. The event organiser should help attendees record their whereabouts and encourage all attendees to check-in upon arrival.
  • Contact tracing is required. The event industry has produced a voluntary code that suggests operators seek and retain the attendee details for a four-week period following the event. The organiser must provide a list of attendees with contact information to their dedicated functions coordinator.
  • Physical distancing is required. Only two people are allowed in lifts at any one time – use the stairs if you can. Maintain at least two metres between other visitors around the museum and at least one metre between other delegates and function staff inside the hired venue space.
  • Wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory when inside the museum and if physical distancing is difficult, unless exempted for health reasons. Disposable masks are available at museum main entrance for visitors. Masks can only be removed when eating and drinking.
  • Food and beverage services are to operate under Alert Level 2 rules: seated and separated. Your floor supervisor can advise how this will work.
  • Wash and sanitise your hands after using shared facilities. Hand sanitiser is available at all entry points, function rooms, and lifts.
  • Te Papa cleaners are doing additional cleaning throughout the building.

Function entry procedure before 10am and after 6pm (outside museum operating hours):

  • All attendees must check in at the museum entrance via the NZ COVID Tracer app or manually.
  • All attendees must go straight to their function room upon arrival. A concierge will help direct you to the correct room and ensure you have checked in.
  • All attendees must ensure they are on event organiser’s registration list upon arrival to the hired function room.
  • If you are re-entering the museum there is no need to check in again, but you must not skip the line.
  • Allow extra time as the queue might be long.

Function entry procedure 10am–6pm (during museum operating hours):

  • All attendees must check in at the museum entrance via the NZ COVID Tracer app or manually.
  • All attendees must advise a museum Host that you are here for a function on arrival.
  • All attendees must ensure they are on event organiser’s registration list upon arrival to the hired function room.
  • If you are re-entering the museum there is no need to check in again, but you must not skip the line.
  • Allow extra time as the queue might be long.

In the event of an emergency

Fire evacuation

If you hear the continuous sound of a fire alarm, you must evacuate the building immediately via the clearly marked emergency exits or the main staircase.

Evacuation is essential even if you cannot see or locate the fire. The Te Papa Visitor Services team will take charge of the evacuation and ensure the building has been fully evacuated. Our trained staff members will follow procedures to assist disabled visitors in the case of an evacuation.

The building is fitted with an automatic sprinkler system, manual fire alarms, fire hose reels, and extinguishers on each floor.

The assembly points are either in front of Te Papa near Circa Theatre or on the corner of Barnett Street and Cable Street next to Waitangi Park. The Visitor Services team will advise all guests when the building has been cleared for re-entry.

Aerial view of Te Papa showing the emergency assembly points


The two red circles indicate the emergency assembly points in the event of an evacuation. Image: Google Maps © 2021 CNES/Airbus, Maxar Technologies, Wellington City Council


in the event of an earthquake, please stay away from windows, find cover/shelter, and remain until all tremors have finished. Should the alarm go off during an earthquake, please remain under the shelter or in the venue. Follow instructions from any Visitor Services team member or the emergency warden.

To protect Te Papa from earthquakes, the building sits on 150 base isolators and will sway up to half a metre, which is normal. TThe building is designed to withstand an 8.5 earthquake and is a designated civil defence centre. Te Papa would be among the safer places in Wellington in a major earthquake.

Tsunami alert

In the event of a tsunami alert, our Visitor Services team will ensure all guests are advised and guided to the higher levels in the building. This will be on Level 4 and above.


Te Papa is a non-smoking environment. Smoking is only permitted outside the confines of the building and away from the main entrance doors.

All types of electronic smoking devices are also not permitted inside the museum building.

Toilets and accessibility

  • Amokura Gallery: toilets are located within the venue space.
  • Blue Whale: toilets are located outside the venue space, near StoryPlace.
  • Hinetitama: toilets are located within the venue space.
  • Icon: toilets are located within the venue space.
  • Mahuki: toilets are located outside the venue space, in the museum, near StoryPlace.
  • Oceania: toilets are located outside the venue space. Take the first left before the staircase. (There is also another set of toilets just after the bridge towards Te Huinga Centre.)
  • Soundings Theatre: toilets are located outside the venue space, on your left near StoryPlace.
  • Te Huinga Centre: toilets are located within the venue space.
  • Te Marae: toilets are located within the venue space.


Children’s changing rooms are available on Levels 1, 2, 4, and 5. There are accessible toilets available on Levels 1, 3, 4, and 5. Please ask a member of the Visitor Services team if you require any assistance.

Certified assistance dogs are welcome inside the museum when assisting a disabled person. Please ensure the dog wears the appropriate coat and carries a valid ID card.

It is the function organiser’s responsibility to advise us of any delegate attendees with a wheelchair or mobility scooter, for evacuation purposes. We’re committed to providing for any accessibility needs, but to do this effectively we need prior notice of requirements. Our in-house staging will need to be adjusted at extra cost if ramp/s are required without notice.


The lockers on Level 1 are not for the use of function attendees. All personal items – coats, bags, umbrellas, etc. – are to be left inside the hired venue space and it is the responsibility of each individual and function organisers to manage and look after these items.

Any personal travelling items such as bikes, scooters, and skateboards are not allowed inside the museum. You can park these at our racks near the main entrance. We loan out padlocks for scooters and skateboards free of charge. Speak to a Host in the Entrance Foyer when you arrive.

Any items that are left behind will be removed and stored at the Information Desk on Level 2, or you can phone +64 4 381 7000 for any lost and found query.


Day time

We offer a special parking rate of $12 from 6am–6pm for daytime function attendees. A small carparking validator machine is available at registration. Guests need to bring their parking ticket from the barrier arm to the validator and pass it through the machine. Then on departure they need to go to a pay station and the special function attendees rate will apply.

Evening and overnight

We offer a flat parking rate of $8 from 5pm–2am the next day, or up to $24 before 8am. The maximum charge on a 24-hour period is $40.

Please advise your functions coordinator three working days prior the event date if you require a complimentary parking voucher/s for your VIP guests, to be charged back to your account.

We do not reserve car parking space/s for any function attendees.

There are five mobility parking spaces available on site – two uncovered and three in the covered parking lot – close to the ground-floor entrance.

Internet access 

We offer a complimentary Wi-Fi internet service to all function attendees.

To access this, connect to “Te Papa Events” on your device. A Te Papa webpage will pop up when you open your browser: simply type in the access code (“events”) and accept the terms and conditions. 

There is a maximum of 2GB per 24 hours allowed per user.

Please do not set up personal Wi-Fi hotspots via Wi-Fi hubs/routers as this interrupts our servers and may cause an outage across the museum.

Food and beverages

No food or beverage is to be taken outside of the hired venue space at all times.

No takeaway coffees can be brought from the main entrance to the hired venue space after 10am once the museum is open to the public. If you have barista coffee machines inside the hired venue space then these coffees need to be consumed within the hired space only.

If you have any pre-requested special dietary requirements, please discuss them with your catering floor supervisor on the day as to how these will be served.

A separate special dietary buffet can be organised with your functions coordinator prior the event day depending on the number of guests with dietary requirements.

More information to help plan your visit, including a full map of Te Papa