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Helen Clark is out of step on Te Papa

Monday 27 March 2000

Helen Clark is out of step on Te Papa

Millions of New Zealanders love Te Papa and if it doesn't suit Helen Clark's tastes, she is the one who is out of step, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"New Zealanders love Te Papa because it celebrates our art and history in a way that all sorts of people relate to. It is not just an experience for the culturally elite, which Helen Clark seems to want.

"Anyone who has been through Te Papa can see what a wonderful experience it is. My only explanation is that maybe Helen Clark hasn't taken up the opportunity recently to see exactly what she is talking about.

"Millions of New Zealanders have visited - she should be listening to them, not a hand-picked group of her art friends who will give her the answers she wants in their review of Te Papa," Mrs Shipley said.

"If Te Papa is not successful, with more than 3 million visitors through the doors since it opened, I'd like to know what her idea of a successful museum is.

"Helen Clark's attacks on Te Papa are damaging the morale and confidence of a vital national institution.

"This is just another example of Helen telling us what we can see and do in our spare time," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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