Te Papa expresses its sympathy for the people of Christchurch

Te Papa expresses its sympathy for the people of Christchurch

Tīkoki ana te waka o Aoraki!
Ko Rūaumoko e ngunguru nei!
He parekura! He parekura! He parekura e!

Ko te motu whānui tonu kua pani.
Kei te hunga kua riro ki te pō, moe mai rā.
Kei ngā makorea, he aha rā he kōrero mō koutou?

Ko te Atua hei whakawhirinakitanga atu mō koutou
hei aupehi i te mamae, ā ngākau, ā wairua.
Kia piki te ora, piki te kaha ki a koutou katoa.

The canoe of Aoraki rocks!
It is Rūaumoko, earth shaker, rumbling!
Causing great calamity!

The nation mourns.
To those who’ve breathed their last breath,
Rest in peace.

To the survivors, what words can we possibly say?
Let the Creator be your support in this time of pain.
Be strong, get well soon.

Like many others throughout New Zealand, staff at Te Papa have close connections through family, friends and colleagues in Christchurch. We have all watched in horror at the devastation that has taken place because of the earthquake on 22 February.

Christchurch Memorial Display, Wellington Foyer, Te Papa
Christchurch Memorial Display in the Wellington Foyer, Te Papa

In the Wellington Foyer, Level 2 of the Museum there is now a place for staff and members of the public to express their condolences. On display is a small boulder of pounamu, symbolising aroha – love and support – for the earthquake victims, their families and friends. It has a tangible connection with the South Island – Te Wai Pounamu – as it was sourced from the Arahura River, Westland. This variety of pounamu is known as kawakawa – as are the leaves of mourning placed on the case in which it sits.

If you would like to help with the Christchurch Quake Appeal, you can do so through the Red Cross, Mayoral Fund and Salvation Army to name a few. There is also a donations box at Te Papa. All donations will be passed on to the emergency services.


  1. I cant even begin to imagine what it must be like for the people who have been so devastatingly effected by this tragic event.

    But I can say that the way that New Zealanders have pulled together and the response of the international community has made me proud to be called a Kiwi.

    Be strong people of Christchurch, we are with you!

  2. That’s lovely…thank you
    Sarndra [from Auckland but currently in Christchurch]

  3. I come from Christchurch and this is my last day in Wellington after a wonderful 4 days relaxing. The devastation inflicted upon our nation and our communities really is horrendous and we appreciate all of your support ♥

  4. Kia ora Paora, thank you so much for writing such beautiful words to express Te Papa’s sympathy at this sad time. My thoughts and aroha go out to all those in Christchurch. In the days and weeks ahead we will walk beside you and help whereever we can. Ngā mihi nui, Pamela

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