I've been ordered by folks spread across three different continents to go to Wellington's Te Papa museum. So being an obedient sort of person, I head out along the waterfront, stopping only for banana and bacon pancakes. Wellington's waterfront would probably be lovely if it weren't for the rain. As it is, the museum is a welcome sight, if only as a break from the weather.

The first embuggerance is the guide book, which costs money in English. My paying muscle objects to this sufficiently that I pick up the free French language blurb.

The museum has a section on the Treaty of Waitomo, the document that underpins the relationship between the Maori and the European settlers in New Zealand. For all its acknowledged flaws and ambiguities, it's a platform which never existed for the relationship between the Aborigines and Europeans in Australia, and perhaps that goes at least some way to explaining the apparently easier place the Maori hold in New Zealand society.

The museum's multimedia area houses a satellite map of New Zealand on the floor with cloudless views of the entire country with the sole exception of the Coromandel Peninsula. The star of this "Our Space" corner is definitely the Wall, a slick display for playing with media and mashups. Despite all the technology behind it, it's not always easy to distinguish it from a toy.

The museum takes most of the day, so I leave directly for food and beer at a waterfront pub which claims brewpub status. In reality, it appears to be mostly decoration, but it's heartening that brewpub is good theme marketing over here.

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