2 Oct 2010

Te Papa opens exhibition of 20th Century New Zealand

5:02 pm on 2 October 2010

An exhibition of 20th century New Zealand life which began at the national museum on Saturday is expected to run for 10 years.

The "Slice of Heaven 20th century Aotearoa" exhibition, which opened at Te Papa on Saturday, looks at different features that have shaped the country.

The exhibition, which took four years to make, takes in New Zealand's international relations, social welfare, civil rights, and Maori rights and resurgence in the last century.

The museum's director of collections and research, Dame Claudia Orange, says it was extremely difficult to decide what aspects of New Zealand life the exhibition would look at, and she does not expect everyone to agree.

"It's got four or five big slices of our history, but within those slices are a huge number of pathways into a whole range of aspects of our country."

Dame Claudia says it's not very often that a museum is able to create and present an exhibition representing a whole century.

Te Papa hopes visitors will help to develop the exhibition over its decade-long duration.