Friday, July 10, 2015

Security alert

One thing you can say about Rick Ellis (Chief Executive of Te Papa), is that he’s bringing a bit of discipline to the place. The thumb people with their meeting, greeting and generally being nice is all very well, but what if things get out of hand? What if people find their way to the fifth floor where the valuable and vulnerable art is kept? And what about misbehavior in the kid-focused Discovery Centers since the staff who used to look after them were let go? (A sad little notice in one of the abandoned Centers asks lost children to make their way down to the first floor information desk. It should have added ‘good luck’.) To sort out problems of this sort Te Papa has called in Simply Security (they also stand guard over WETA). The SS web site shows its staff smiling happily, looking for all the world like cheerful bouncers early on Saturday night. In the flesh the Te Papa versions look more more like off duty prison officers in their green uniforms and red epaulets. The problem is as Salman Rushdie put it, “There’s no such thing as perfect security, only varying levels of insecurity.”
Image: security briefing, Te Papa