At just after 4.30pm on Sunday Alicia Laird closed the doors on an era of the Whanganui Regional Museum.

It won't open to public again until 2018.

The nine-year-old Kaitoke School girl was given the job off locking the door before the building undergoes earthquake strengthening work.

She was chosen by museum staff to perform the task at the closing ceremony as she was one of the museum's most frequent visitors.


Alicia had several favourite exhibitions, including the moa and the old classroom.

She visited most weeks but was surprised at being chosen for the ceremonial door-locking.

"I thought it was just a joke that my mum was playing on me," she said.

While work is carried out on the Queen's Park building the public side of the museum will operate out of a temporary premises on Ridgeway St for the next 18 months.

It will open there on September 19.

Some staff will still be based out of the Queen's Park building but will be shifted around to accommodate work on different sections.

The reception and shop will operate out of Ridgeway St along with small exhibitions.