Te Papa will open its new nature zone, Te Taiao Nature, on 11 May 2019.
Photo: Jack Fisher
It’s the biggest change to happen to Te Papa since the museum opened, and it’s all about immersing visitors in Aotearoa’s natural world. Te Taiao Nature is Te Papa’s new 1400 square metre nature zone that will open on 11 May 2019.
One of the main features of the nature zone will be one of only 36 moa eggs in the world. This moa egg is at least 700 years old. There will also be more than 1200 items from New Zealand’s natural world and plenty of interactive experiences to engage with.
While this new nature zone will replace the previous area that was shut in 2018, two exhibits will be returning to the new nature zone: the colossal squid and a revamped earthquake house.
Te Papa’s chief executive, Geraint Martin, says the nature zone will explore pressing environmental issues like climate change, ocean health, fresh water quality as well as pest eradication.
Based on this, Te Papa’s head of science, Dr Susan Waugh, says the exhibition should inspire visitors to take action to help improve these environmental issues.
“In true Te Papa fashion, the exhibition addresses big ideas in a way that is fun and interactive. Te Taiao Nature is all about sparking curiosity, wonder and positive action as we embrace our role as kaitiaki of this precious land,” Dr Waugh says.
There are four parts of the exhibition that guests will get to explore and engage with.
- Te Ika Whenua Unique NZ focuses on the split of Zealandia from Gondwana, and visitors will get to explore the weird and wonderful wildlife New Zealand has and had.
- Rūaumoko Active Land takes its name from Rūaumoko, the god of volcanoes and earthquakes. It explores the geological forces shaping our land.
- Te Kōhanga Nest is a 70 square metre and four metre high nest made from recycled material. Visitors will be surrounded by bird song and images, and the moa egg will be located here.
- Ngā Kaitiaki Guardians explores the big environmental challenges New Zealand faces, and what Kiwis are doing, and what they can do, to care for the land.
Learn more about the exhibit over at tepapa.nz/taiaonature