Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Your tax dollar at work

The Te Papa Annual Report is always launched with little or no fanfare. That's a shame as it tells a lot about how the place really works and what happens to the around $23 million we spend on Te Papa each year. So here are a few numbers for the year 2010 to 2011. You can see a list of art acquisitions for the year here on OTN stuff or download the Te Papa Annual Report here.

First up visitor numbers. It would be interesting to have visitor numbers in more detail like how many people actually schlep up to the fifth floor to see the art (Te Papa claims 80 percent of all visitors make the climb which would be 800,000 ). It would also be interesting to know what percentage of counted visitors go to functions (weddings, film festivals, conferences, product launches etc.) rather than look at the collections. Anyway here are a few figures from the 2010-11 year: 

1.34 the number in millions of total visitors 
7.3 the percentage drop in annual visitors to Te Papa last year
36.7 the percentage of Te Papa visitors who live in Wellington

As to figures on specific exhibitions - there aren't any. As a rule, unless it's a huge success, Te Papa keeps pretty quiet on audience numbers to exhibitions. It would have been interesting to know, for example, how much European Masters (or any other exhibition) cost when fees, marketing and exhibition expenses are deducted from ticket sales (which are presumably tucked away in the commercial revenues figures).

Next up art purchases.
3.65   the number of dollars in millions spent on art acquisitions
.72      the number of dollars in millions spent on all other Te Papa acquisitions
9         the number of paintings by New Zealanders purchased last year
1         the number of paintings by New Zealanders purchased that were made after 1970
6        the number of contemporary New Zealand sculptures purchased
9        the number of contemporary Maori works made after 2007 purchased
2        the number of International contemporary art works purchased (both by Australian Nick Mangan)

And finally sharing the art collection with the rest of the country:
4000 the approximate number of total Te Papa loans made to other NZ institutions
36       the number of art works lent to other NZ institutions (22 of them a single exhibition loan to Wellington's City Gallery)

Images: Te Papa's "visitor numbers" chart published in this year's Annual Report with internet and touring figures included and bottom, the same chart just showing visitors to Te Papa. (click to enlarge)