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15 Million Visits In 10th Birthday Year

16 December 2008

Media Release

Te Papa Reaches 15 Million Visits In 10th Birthday Year

Te Papa's Chief Executive, Dr Seddon Bennington, announced today that Te Papa has achieved the milestone of 15 million visits since opening on 14 February 1998.

Te Papa reached 15 million visits on Tuesday 16 December, after ten years of consistently high visitor numbers. Numbers have averaged around 1.3 million visitors per year. To date, 9.2 million of these visits have been made by New Zealanders and 5.8 million by people from overseas.

Te Papa's high visitor numbers reflect its popularity and appeal to a broad audience. Visitor surveys by Te Papa show that the Museum has succeeded in attracting a broader museum audience – with younger visitors and more Mäori, Pacific Island, and male visitors – than traditionally visited museums in the past.

‘Te Papa continues to reach out both nationally, with exhibitions like Rita Angus: Life and Vision (currently touring New Zealand) and internationally. Our Whales Tohorä exhibition is currently showing in Washington DC and the colossal squid continues to generate international attention through our online exhibition and blog,’ said Dr Bennington.

He also noted that one aspect of Te Papa’s success was its varied short-term exhibition programme.

‘In 2009, visitors to Te Papa will see the world-class exhibitions Monet and the Impressionists, Formula One: The Great Design Race and A Day In Pompeii in the VISA Platinum Gallery – a programme that will appeal to a wide range of interests,’ Dr Bennington said.

Satisfaction with the Te Papa experience has also remained high, with 97% of visitors reporting being satisfied with their visit in 2007/2008, and 26% giving Te Papa a rating of 10/10. 86% of New Zealand visitors to Te Papa report that they will revisit in the next 12 months, and 99% said they would recommend Te Papa to others.


NB: Te Papa monitors its visitor count through its front door electronic counter, which is internally audited each year against manual counting to ensure accuracy. To be conservative, Te Papa's visitor count is adjusted down by 1.5% daily. Te Papa's visitation statistics were audited and approved by Audit New Zealand in December 2001.

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