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Adele Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive of Museums Aotearoa

Summer, I look forward to it all year. It begins on December 1st, but the sun is often late to the party in Wellington.

Dressed in red


Flowers on a New Zealand Native tree, 1984, Te Papa Tongarewa.

We get excited that summer is nearly here as the pōhutukawa bloom along Waitangi Park and in the middle of Jervois and Customhouse Quays. The hills have patches of red in them. We’re still wearing jackets to our Christmas parties, but the trees are telling us it’s going to be a long hot summer.

The big blue


I decided at the end of last summer that I’m going to do lots of diving in Wellington and make the most of Taputeranga marine reserve on the south coast. Only a 7mm wetsuit with a hood and gloves are going to get me through this.

Fish puppies


Fishes, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

I’ve only been diving in tropical water until now because I hate the cold. If only I’d known the South Coast’s blue cod are playful like puppies, I’d have bought a 7mm suit years ago.

Warrior wreck


Photograph: Rainbow Warrior (1955) and Hikinui(1963) following bombing, 1985, New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui a Tangaroa

This summer I’m going to Northland to live on a ship for a week and dive around the Poor Knights Islands. It’s also a marine reserve that is famous for its sea life. It has a dive site where the Rainbow Warrior now lies; a Greenpeace ship that was blown up on 10 July 1985 as it was moored at Auckland Harbour.

I remember the day – my nearly 12-year-old brain found it hard to believe that anyone thought that testing nuclear bombs in the Pacific was a good idea.



You Can't Sink A Rainbow badge, circa 1985, Te Papa Tongarewa

There’s a beautiful irony that the ship is now home to an abundance of marine life. I can’t wait to see it.