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Te Papa Revisits A Decade Of Change And Protest

15 November 2004



Te Papa's latest exhibition Out on the Street - New Zealand in the 1970s opens at Te Papa on 20 November.

Featuring a rich and colourful mixture of design, fashion, political memorabilia, moving images, photography and artworks, the exhibition examines the nature and legacy of the 1970s in New Zealand, focusing on the major social and cultural influences of the decade which brought profound changes to New Zealand society.

Visitors to the exhibition will be transported into the decade through 70's memorabilia and songs from Split Enz, Space Waltz and other iconic bands of the time. The exhibition is organised into six parts. Challenge and change encapsulates the vigour and spirit of experimentation of the time, exploring youth culture of drugs, music and sexual freedom, the political climate, issues, and styles of the Labour and National Governments of the day. Liberation! explores the rise of feminism and gay pride and the impact on the 'Kiwi bloke' identity from these challenges. Tino rangitiratanga explores the new activism over Mäori land and rights and the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Back to nature explores the rise of environmental consciousness, including campaigns against the Manapouri dam project and logging of native forests, as well as different forms of alternative living that arose during this time, including James K Baxter's commune.

Lifestyles features differing views of domesticity, family life, and domestic aesthetic. It shows one view - the glamorous and stylish clothing of the time, the increasing variety of consumer goods, furniture and homeware design, clips from 70s TV, and typical toys such as Playschool's Manu, Big Ted and Humpty, and a Chopper bike. It also presents another view - solo parents, working mothers, suburban boredom and isolation reflected in the levels of Valium use, and women's refuges.

A unique identity explores how perceptions of New Zealanders in relation to the rest of the world began to change in the 1970s. This country's small size and isolation created a sense of distinctiveness to be celebrated as New Zealand took to the international stage on environmental issues, activism against nuclear armament, and in arts and music. This segment also includes the iconography and style of the Beehive, the Friendly Games, and homegrown heroes such as Split Enz and Fred Dagg.

Te Papa is delighted to announce that the New Zealand Listener will be the exclusive sponsor of Out on the Street.

'The Listener is proud to be associated with Te Papa's retrospective on the 1970s,' said Pamela Stirling, editor of the Listener. 'This was the decade when the Listener, under the inspired editorship of Ian Cross, began to truly reflect New Zealand to New Zealanders, introducing groundbreaking political satire of Tom Scott and AK Grant and current affairs articles on everything from the long-awaited introduction of the second television channel to heated issues like apartheid and Bastion point.'

An events programme complements the exhibition including floor talks and lectures by Te Papa curators and prominent New Zealanders of the time.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a two-day conference is being held at Te Papa from 3-4 December. Speakers include such notable New Zealanders as Marilyn Waring, Ranginui Walker, Sandra Coney, Roger Horrocks and Chris Laidlaw.

Out on the Street - New Zealand in the 1970s opens on Level 5 at Te Papa runs from 20 November 2004 - May 2005. Admission is free.


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