Two months after the doors closed due to Covid-19, the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira opened its doors to the public yesterday morning.

A karakia, initiated by Precious Clark, Chairwoman of Taumata-a-iwi — the Museum's Trust Board — welcomed visitors back after the longest forced closure in its history. It was a joyful atmosphere, despite the sombre, rain-sodden skies.

The 1918 pandemic had shut the doors, but for less than a month from November 3 to December 1, and it was another month before normal attendance resumed.

Trust board Taumata-a-iwi's chairwoman Precious Clark begins the karakia to reopen the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira. Photo / Michael Craig
Trust board Taumata-a-iwi's chairwoman Precious Clark begins the karakia to reopen the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira. Photo / Michael Craig

"By 10am there was a good stream of people with lots of families excited to get back in," a spokeswoman for the museum said. "We're really pleased with the response."

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The museum has partnered with NextUp, the contact tracing app which creates a virtual queuing system to control visitor numbers. By scanning the QR code on arrival, or opening the website, details are logged and a text is sent when entry is allowed.

The Weird and Wonderful and the Volcanoes exhibits are closed as they are high-touch areas. But the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition from the Natural History Museum in London, has been extended due to demand.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website