Archive for the 'News & Notices' Category

News Update 12 November 2013

Kia ora,

When the MA Board met in October, we again discussed the need for a museums publication. We have not published Te Ara: journal of Museums Aotearoa since 2010. There have been a number of suggestions and discussions about ways in which this gap could be filled, and the Board is keen to see how these could be developed. We would like interested members to take part in this discussion, and have set up an online forum topic so we can canvass your ideas. Please join the discussion here.

Auckland Museum has published its 2012/2013 Annual Report as an e-book. AWMM reports, among other successes, that it is continuing its commitment to environmental responsibility: “energy costs were cut a further 19% and we remain on track in the coming months to slash carbon emissions over the past three years by 40%”. This is a great achievement and we congratulate AWMM on leading by example. Maybe we’ll find out how they do it in their  Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015, due for publication in the coming weeks. We are also planning more discussion of energy saving at the MA14 conference, The Business of Culture with a session on how to reduce costs and be environmentally responsible.

Lottery WW1, Environment & Heritage last week announced the latest round of grants for WW100 projects.  The media release from Ministers Finlayson and Tremain outlines 30 projects receiving at total of $2.7million, including a good number of museums and galleries. Community Matters The grants range from $2,000 upwards to $506,233 and $630,633 for Waikato Museum and the Navy Museum respectively.  In addition, Te Papa scored $3.6 million from the ‘National Significant Pool’ for its multi-media WW1 exhibition. Congratulations to all the successful museums and galleries – we look forward to seeing some really exciting and innovative WW1 projects.

Museum of Wellington's  1913 waterfront strike parade.

Museum of Wellington’s 1913 waterfront strike parade.

Other media coverage has been positive and varied, including Museum of Wellington’s re-enactment of the 1913 waterfront strike. With protesters and some suitably dressed ‘Massey’s Cossacks’ on horseback, they attracted TV One and 3News, as well as print articles.

This week we have the last of our regional forums – Wednesday at Puke Ariki and Thursday at Te Awamutu Museum.  We are really enjoying meeting up with folk around the country, and appreciate the feedback and ideas you are sharing with us and with each other.  There are some regions that have missed out because of time – and weather – and we’ll be scheduling those and more in 2014.

Back in the office we’ve just received the latest MAQ from the printer.  It will be going out in the post to you in the next few days. And we’re working hard on updating our Directory information.  If you haven’t yet done so, please check your details in the online Museums Directory and let Jeremiah know of any changes.

Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 30 October 2013

Kia ora,

New Mayors and Councils are being sworn in around the country this week. There have been quite a few changes, and lots of local news stories about what both returning councillors and ‘new brooms’ are planning. We are in the process of developing an information pamphlet about New Zealand’s museums and galleries which we will be sending to all councils. We hope your council has changed for the better, and that you make the time to engage with them and to show your representatives the great work that you do.

Advocacy, networking, resourcing and information are some of the recurring topics in our current regional forums.  We are hearing really interesting ideas and discussions, and everyone who participates has told us how useful it is just to get together with colleagues from down the road. We appreciate your feedback on our activities as well as more general topics, and will be incorporating your ideas  into our planning or passing them on to others as appropriate.

 Tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley with just a few of SMAG's lively youngsters


Tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley with just a few of SMAG’s lively youngsters

Last week Talei and I were in Invercargill and Dunedin. Highlights included handling a tub of remarkably frisky young tuatara with curator Lindsay Hazley at Southland Museum and Art Gallery, visiting Te Hikoi in Riverton, and a chance to explore the wonderful Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, hosts for our Dunedin forum. There are some more photos on our Facebook page. I was also at the ICOM New Zealand conference and appreciated the presentations from Simon Knell of Leicester University and from three of our own recent museum studies graduates about their collections-based research.

This Friday Eric Dorfman and I will be at the opposite end of the country, hosted by the Northland Museums Association at Dargaville Museum. We’re looking forward to catching up with the folk up north.  Next up are Taranaki (New Plymouth) and Waikato (Te Awamutu) on 13 and 14 November. See our website for more details of regional meetings.

Back in the office we’ve contracted Jeremiah Boniface to work on checking our database and preparing the 2014 Directory. We have one more issue of MAQ coming out in the next couple of weeks, and an extra MA Board meeting in November as well.

By that time we’ll be racing towards the end of the year, with the National Digital Forum another major Wellington event.  NDF has a fantastic lineup of speakers and sessions at Te Papa on 26 and 27 November, and some other workshops and events before/after – it’s not too late to register.

If you’re in Wellington for NDF you could also support Arts Access Aotearoa, buy some art or other bargains – and possibly win a luxurious break away in Queenstown. The Awesome Arts Access Auction is on Wednesday 27 November, 6pm to 8pm at CQ Hotels Wellington, 223 Cuba St, Wellington. Tickets are only $25 and include live music from members of the Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra, a drink on arrival (followed by great drink specials) and canapés. There will also be door prizes and excellent networking opportunities. Contact Gemma Williamson by email or call (04) 802 4349.

And we love to hear from our members, so if you can’t get to one of our meetings, or just want to chat, please give us a call on 04 499 1313 or send us an email.

Ngā mihi
Phillipa

News Update 15 October 2013

Kia ora

We’ve been out and about over the last few weeks, enjoying meeting up with many MA members and other colleagues at regional forums.  This week we’re looking forward to Whanganui on Wednesday and Wellington on Friday, when the MA Board also meets.  Next week we’ll be in Invercargill and Dunedin, including the ICOM New Zealand conference 25-26 October. See detailed listings below and please RSVP so we can set up rooms and catering.  If you can’t get to any of the meetings, we’re always happy to hear from you by telephone or email.
Last weekend over 30 Kaitiaki Maori gathered in Hawke’s Bay for the Titiro Whakamua hui. Despite some rain as people arrived on Friday, we were given a bright and cheerful welcome by the tangata whenua at Kohupatiki Marae near Clive, which has recently celebrated its centenary.
Tourism 2025 was launched at the recent Tourism Summit at Te Papa. This new tourism plan is being developed by TIANZ.
Its focus has five interelated themes:
  • Prioritise insight to drive and track progress – this is about using data and research to predict and evaluate initiatives and trend, and informs the next four areas
  • Grow sustainable air connectivity – find ways to get more international visitors here at attractive rates, grow emerging markets, and allow people to travel around the country easily
  • Target for value – understand key market segments and make sure our offerings are tailored to their needs
  • Drive value through outstanding visitor experience – remove barriers and ensure tourist satisfaction
  • Focus on productivity for profit – get the best value out of the resources we put into tourism products, eg by extending seasonality and availability
TIA CE Martin Snedden says this is only the beginning: “We are now focused on creating and obtaining industry endorsement for the actions that will bring Tourism 2025 to life. The actions we endorse must be pragmatic, affordable and valuable. We are not looking to create a huge list of actions that will stretch over 12 years. We recognise that we are operating in a fast-changing global and domestic tourism environment. The actions will have a short focus – one to three years – with scope for all tourism industry players, from the biggest corporates to SMEs, to play their part.”
Museums Aotearoa has provided information to the Tourism 2025 team, and will be making a further submission promoting the recognition of cultural tourism in this process.
Presentations from the Summit can be accessed on the TIA website.
Announcement of Simon Denny as NZ’s Venice Biennale artist for 2015
Announcement of NDF Board elections: new (and re-elected) NDF Board members:
  1. Matthew Oliver, from Manatu Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  2. Mike Kmiec, from Victoria University of Wellington
  3. Jan Gow, from FamNet / Lets Research
  4. Leith Haarhoff, from Palmerston North City Library and Community Services
  5. Steven Fox, from Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra
And we’re intrigued by a notice of an innovative event next week at the Museum of Wellington: the Do It Yourself Science Museum – a whole museum contained within a pizza box. This is an interactive and entertaining exploration of science and story, presented by Michele Fontana, a PhD student of Theatre and Museum Studies at Victoria University, who has won an Italian national acting contest. Two free shows only, on Wednesday 23 October. Bookings: 04 472 8904 or email.  We’ll be in Palmerston North that day, so if you go to this, please let us know how it goes!
Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 1 October 2013

Kia ora,

MTG Hawke’s Bay opened with a flourish last week. Douglas Lloyd Jenkins declared his a one speech maximum for the Friday night party, which was attended by colleagues, artists and friends from around the country. It was was lots of fun, and a great way to celebrate the transformation of HBMAG into MTG Hawke’s Bay.
Hon Chris Finlayson enlists young assistants to cut MTG’s big blue ribbon

Hon Chris Finlayson enlists young assistants to cut MTG’s big blue ribbon

On Saturday morning it was time for formalities, with Mayors, Ministers, iwi and other dignitaries. The big blue ribbon was cut by Hon Chris Finlayson with help from some young friends, then everyone surged through the doors to see the brand new exhibitions. There was a carnival in the street to keep visitors and locals entertained – which was a good thing, as the queue waiting to get in stretched around the block. We congratulate the whole team who have worked to effect the transformation, and look forward to being there with you for the MA14 conference.
Saturday morning queues around the block

Saturday morning queues around the block

After Napier we traveled on to Auckland for a regional meeting at Auckland Museum. We had a lively and productive workshop with over 50 people from museums and galleries around Auckland. We’re really enjoying these gatherings, and seeing new and renewed networks in action. Next up is Nelson on 9 October – see our website for details on all our upcoming forums and to RSVP.
While in Auckland we visited three very different exhibitions. California Design is proving very popular at Auckland Art Gallery, and includes stylish video of mid-20th-century design production as well as beautiful design classics. We were intrigued by WIlliam Pope.L’s Long White Cloud at Te Tuhi, although we would have liked a bit more time to experience the post-performance installation. The Fashion Museum’s latest showing, Age of Aquarius, is attracting great publicity and media coverage, and has huge appeal to those of us who remember the ’70s – and its available to tour to other venues.
There have been some recent changes in public policy and accountability requirements.
New list of Protected Records for Local Authorities – which includes CCOs
Financial Reporting requirements announced for Registered Charities
Charities with annual expenditure of:
  • $1 million or more – financial statements must be audited by a qualified accountant
  • between $500,000 and $1 million – financial statements must be reviewed by a qualified accountant
  • less than $500,000 – can choose to have their financial statements reviewed or audited, or do neither
And a reminder of several events in coming weeks: regional forums, ICOM meeting in Dunedin, Simon Knell talks Wellington and Auckland
Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 10 September 2013

Kia ora,

Just in case you missed the weekend headline news, Te Papa is planning to work with Auckland Council and other Auckland institutions to develop a new centre in Manukau. You can read the government press release here. Te Papa advise that the next step is to work with MCH on a business case, which they expect to present to government in November. They will also “develop a plan to consult with stakeholders over the coming months. This is likely to have several layers or phases, as the project planning takes shape.”  We look forward to the sector being involved, and to exploring the potential of this bold collaborative proposal.

Last Friday around 70 ‘GLAMorous’ folk from around the country gathered in Wellington to discuss the future.  Actually, the standard of dress wasn’t the topic – it was the history and future of collaborations across and between Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. The scene was set by Eric Ketelaar, Emeritus Professor of Archivistics at the University of Amsterdam, who discussed perspectives on collecting and making meaning of collected objects. He sees both similarities and differences in the various GLAM perspectives, which mediate meaning for the user in their own ways. Other speakers included:

  • Conal McCarthy, VUW – ‘practice theory’
  • Chris Szekely, Alexander Turnbull Library – ATL’s role as archive, library and exhibitor of mātauranga Māori, and the possibilities of a ‘GLAMāorious’ future
  • Rebecca Rice, Te Papa – historical fluidity and competitive collecting between national institutions
  • Brenda Chawner, VUW and Katherine Howard, QUT – shifts in focus from librarianship to information management, the development of core curriculum, and convergence in education for GLAM professionals
  • Shannon Wellington (VUW), Virginia Gow (MCH) and Mark Crookston (ATL) – discussion on building GLAMour through built, digital and organisational infrastructure

The day ended with a lively panel discussion in which National Librarian Bill Macnaught, Chief Archivist Greg Goulding, museum consultant Ken Gorbey and Eric Ketelaar agreed that each different strand of GLAM has something to contribute, while not going quite as far as merging. It seems that ‘convergence’ may not be as useful a concept as ‘synergy’ and ‘harmonisation’.

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

According to Scoop, New Zealand will host 121 cruises in the 2013-14 season. Cruise NZ forecasts the season will generate $311 million and account for 5361 jobs. Their website has information on what ships will be where – we hope that the cruisers will enjoy visiting our museums and galleries.

As a follow up to Andrew Matheson’s post about his tour of the ‘Western Front’, he has a request from Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917:
New Zealand friends in Belgium
In a recent guest blog I gave a brief introduction to four First World War museums on the ‘Western Front’, two in France and two in Belgium.  They’re all aware of the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders in their localities in that war, but none more so that the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.  The museum is planning to take a travelling exhibition to Canada, Australia and New Zealand in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is after help in two areas — provision of New Zealand content for the exhibition, and supporting/hosting the travelling exhibition in 2017.  If you’re interested, please contact the chairman of the Passchendaele 1917 society, Freddy Declerk.
Andrew Matheson, Director, First World War Centenary programme
The Emerging Professions group (EMPs) has been rapidly growing and various regions have been organising meet-ups. The Christchurch group is meeting 5.30pm, Wednesday 11 September at CBD Bar (http://www.cbdbar.co.nz/), 208 Madras Street and the Wellington group will be meeting Thursday 26 September – 6pm at The Library on Courtenay Place. Feel free to come along if you identify as an ‘emerging museum professional’ or email Michelle Sim if you would like to know more about the group MICHELLE.SIM@nzdf.mil.nz.There are many useful and interesting events coming up before the end of this year. We hope to talk to many of you at MA’s regional meetings – your opportunity to meet colleagues as well as MA staff and Board members and have your say in our activities. There will also be the first conference for ICOM New Zealand members in Dunedin, a Talkfest at Objectspace, Tītiro Whakamua Kaitiaki hui in Hawke’s Bay, and Middle Earth Curators’ Hui in Palmerston North. See these and other happenings listed below.And the NDF 2013 conference is less than 3 months away, just before the pre-Christmas rush.  NDF is always inspirational as well as fun. This year MA offered to sponsor the mini-programme to help the conference budget.  However, that was already ‘sold’ so we have ended up sponsoring icecream – come along and enjoy!

Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei
PS – a reminder that we want your to hear ideas for MA14. Please send them to us by 23 September, just after the re-opening weekend of hosts MTG Hawke’s Bay – they’ll be looking for something new to work on!

News Update 2 July 2013

Kia ora,

Matariki and Maori Language week are being celebrated in museums and galleries around the country. Last Saturday I popped into Te Papa to enjoy the buzz of kapa haka groups performing and crowds of people exploring the museum in the breaks, before being drawn back into the main foyer area as the next group began its routine. Check out our facebook page to see posts from museums around the country about how they are celebrating.

Museums Aotearoa Forum in Napier next Thursday
MA Board members want to get out to our members and hear about your ideas for your professional association. The first of a planned series of regional meetings will be on Thursday 11 July, in Napier, hosted by MTG Hawke’s Bay – although they haven’t got a usable building yet so we’re off site in Ahuriri. We are keen to listen to your suggestions and priorities, and provide an opportunity to get together with colleagues without having to travel too far. Anyone interested in hosting a forum, or with particular topics you’d like included, please contact the MA office.

Kaitiaki network
National Services Te Paerangi, with support from Museums Aotearoa, is developing a database of Māori who work in the museum and gallery sector.The Kāhui Kaitiaki Māori database will collate information about Māori working directly in museums and art galleries, indirectly in the sector (for example, experts on taonga), those who have moved out of or across the sector into new roles, and those who are coming into the sector through tertiary or training programmes. The database and subsequent network will include both front and back of house kaimahi (workers), paid and unpaid staff and everyone from volunteers through to Board members.

The collation of this information will assist in the organisation of a Kāhui Kaitiaki hui to be held in Hawke’s Bay on the 11/12/13th of October 2013 with the kaupapa of “Titiro Whakamua”. With the information from the database, we will be more aware of who is working in the sector, and what kaitiaki want to achieve through the hui and the Kāhui Kaitiaki network.

We currently have a student, Matariki Williams, on board to work on this project with our Museums Aotearoa Kaitiaki Māori representative, Tryphena Cracknell. Matariki is interning with National Services Te Paerangi as part of her Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University – contact Matariki to be included.

Tracking Tunnel by Adrienne Grant

Tracking Tunnel by Adrienne Grant

Waikato Museum have an interesting art installation on their forecourt. Here is an image from their facebook page of Tracking Tunnel by Hamilton artist Adrienne Grant – a giant people sized version of the tunnels used by conservation workers.

Massive Theatre performing excerpts from The Brave for CNZ 2013

Massive Theatre performing excerpts from The Brave for CNZ 2013

Last week Talei and Phillipa both attended Creative New Zealand’s conference in Auckland last week – Arts by, with, for young people. With case studies, keynote speakers, academics, practitioners and performers, it was a lively event with lots of good ideas tossed around. we did find it a bit ironic that there were far more young people on the stage than in the audience, which brought home the fact that while the arts are managed by older people, we all need to be fully engaged with the next generations who are our audiences and our inheritors.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 8 May 2013

Kia ora,

MTG Hawke’s Bay (formerly Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery) are beginning their move back into the Marine Parade/Herschell Street suite of buildings in Napier. After nearly 3 years away, the new $18 million building is being handed over so the staff can prepare for reopening this September. Four months seems like luxury compared with the tight timeframes experienced by some other redevelopments lately, but I expect it will fly by. We’re looking forward to seeing the new spaces as we begin planning for the MA14 conference.

MTG Hawke’s Bay Director Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott and MTG Staff start the process of moving into MTG Hawke’s Bay.

MTG Hawke’s Bay Director Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott and MTG Staff start the process of moving into MTG Hawke’s Bay.

ANZAC Day was commemorated around the country and attracted a good deal of media coverage for museums. There is increasing interest in WW1 and its centenary years 2014-2018, within our sector and more broadly across agencies and among the general public. It seems that since those with the last living memories have passed on, successive generations are wanting to find out about the people and events whose legacy we remember on ANZAC Day. For resources and what is happening, see the notice below and visit the New Zealand WW100 website.

Having completed and reported on the 2012 Museum Sector Survey, and run the 2013 national visitor survey, we are looking forward to other research this year. The next piece of work is a survey of individual members through Australia-based Survey Matters in partnership with the Australasian Society for Association Executives. Associations Matter – 2013 State of the Sector Study will give individual MA members the opportunity to tell us about your needs, preferences and requirements. Because this study is being run across a wide range of associations throughout Australia and NZ, we will be able to gain a better understanding of why people join associations such as ours, what we can provide to our members and how. Other participants include LIANZA and Museums Australia. The invitation to participate will go out to individual MA members in the next few days. Later in the year, Survey Matters proposes conducting a similar study of industry bodies, which would cover our museum members. We’ll keep you informed as this study and our wider research progresses.

Here in the dying city of Wellington, government policy work continues – I wonder what will happen to all the public servants when the government moves to Auckland? DIA is consulting on proposed changes to Lotteries Community Committees. Consultation is still open about financial standards, and this and other policy changes is outlined in the MAQuarterly which will be in the mail to you next week. As we build up towards the local council elections in October, we will all need to think about ensuring our sectors’ interests are understood by our candidates and voters. We’re keen to hear your suggestions and advocacy needs – please email or call us (04 499 1313) any time.

An immediate opportunity to raise profile is International Museum Day, which falls next Saturday, 18 May. With the theme of Museum (culture + memory) = Social Change, the field is wide open for interpretation in any museum context. Many museums choose this date to offer behind the scenes tours, and this year Museums Wellington are going one further – they’re taking people by bus to visit their off-site Collection Store. What are you doing on 18 May?

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 8 April 2013

Kia ora,

While we’ve been working towards this week’s MA13 conference on Hamilton, other things have been happening around the country. Te Papa has made a splash, opening a re-vamped art exhibition space for ‘Nga toi: Arts Te Papa’.  The opening by Minister Chris Finlayson, was up-beat, with CE Mike Houlihan and Board member Evan Williams both sharing their excitement for  refreshed and expanded art programme at Te Papa.  After all the recent re-vision, shake-up and changes there, it will be good to see some positive, outward-looking activity.

Radio New Zealand continues to give excellent coverage of museums and gallery matters. Listen online to the Easter interview with CE Mike Houlihan on changes at Te Papa, MA13 panel convenor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, and Christchurch Art Gallery Director and MA Board member Jenny Harper interviewed by Lyn Freeman on The Arts on Sunday.

Some of you may remember Miri Young, who worked with Museums Aotearoa on the MA10 conference in New Plymouth, and received a Mina McKenzie Scholarship when she went to the USA on a Fulbright fellowship in 2010. Miri has sent links to two projects she worked on/is working on in New York which were profiled on the front page of the New York Times Weekend Arts section this week: Judd’s 101 Spring Street and Whales from Te Papa at the American Natural History Museum. Miri proudly thanks everyone who supported and encouraged her on either or both of these projects. It’s great to see Miri doing such interesting work, and we look forward to her eventual return home to bring her experience back to our museum profession.

Meanwhile, some of our advocacy work has paid off.  Earlier in the year MA asked the Ministry of Education for some clarification on LEOTC funding.  Their proposed review of LEOTC seemed to have stalled, and many museums were in the dark as to what might happen when current contracts expire.  In answer to our request for information, we were told by MoE that, “The Ministry will be offering providers the opportunity to extend all current LEOTC contracts through variation to June 2014, as it considers future options for the LEOTC programme as a whole.” All current providers were to be notified by the end of March. While this is not a satisfactory situation looking forward, at least they have acknowledged that providers are entitled to be kept informed. We will continue to press the MoE for engagement and progress, and invite MA members to advise us of any changes or information that affects their LEOTC funding.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Hamilton this week.  Note that all MA staff will be at the conference so may not be checking emails and the like until next Tuesday 16th April.

Nga mihi, Phillipa, Talei and the MA13 team

News Update 1 November 2012

Kia ora,

Recent weeks have seen news of a wide range of shows and activity around the country. Dunedin Public Art Gallery has staged music and ‘exhibition’ snooker, the Muka Youth Prints continue their annual tour, The Kauri Museum has planted 127 heritage roses and celebrated their 50th anniversary, and ‘yarn-bombers’ have given a new look to the statue of CJ Monro outside Te Manawa and the Rugby Museum. The Police Museum is getting international attention after one of its 100-year-old criminal mugshots went viral on social media as a ‘babe’. Waikato Museum is negotiating the tricky business of a Lindauer painting being revealed as a fake.

The famously good looking criminal from the Police Museum website.

Auckland has been celebrating Art Week with a huge number of events. The Walters Prize has been awarded to Kate Newby, whose winning work you can still catch at the Auckland Art Gallery until 11 November. Lopdell House has been hosting the 2012 Portage Ceramic Awards at The Cloud with Jim Cooper receiving the Premier Award.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is gearing up for re-opening in early December. Arrowtown has celebrated 150 years since the discovery of gold in fine style, with Lakes District Museum’s David Clarke and others growing beards for the occasion. Meanwhile, in Timaru, South Canterbury Museum’s Philip Howe has had his beard and hair shaved off for a child cancer fundraiser. We also note SCM’s ‘Downtown’ exhibition reported in the Timaru Herald, with photos of Timaru and Timaruvians as they used to be. We love the public toilets camouflaged with native plants for the royal visit in 1954!

Not fit for the Queen’s eyes? The men’s toilets on the corner of Strathallan and Stafford Streets, decorated for the visit of the Queen in Jan 1954.
South Canterbury Museum image, 2004/232.10

Work has begun on the new War Memorial Park in Wellington. The park is being built in preparation for New Zealand’s First World War Centenary (2014-2018) commemorations http://WW100.govt.nz/ and is due to be complete by Anzac Day 1915.  There has been speculation about what might be found during excavations for the park, and archaeologists and historian are looking forward to finding out.

War Memorial Park Turf Turning Ceremony on Monday in Wellington

In the political arena, rumbling continues over local government amalgamation, with a proposal for a ‘Lord Mayor’ for Wellington Region. The government’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, which will pave the way for further mergers, has just been reported back by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. The Committee was unable to agree that the bill be passed, and has only recommended amendments on which all committee members agreed. There was no agreement on changing the statutory purpose of local government, which would remove the ‘four well-beings’. The different party views are explained in the Select Committee Report. Apparently to counter some of the government’s changes to local government legislation around council responsibilities, costs and transparency, Labour is introducing 3 Member’s Bills, including one to prevent councils from charging for basic public library services. This bill is due to have its first reading in Parliament before the end of the year. LIANZA is supporting the bill with a ‘keep libraries free campaign’.

Directory of New Zealand Museums and Galleries 2013
All museums and associates should have received a copy of their entry to confirm their details. Thank you to those who have already sent their response. If you have not received your listing details please contact directory@museumsaotearoa.org.nz ASAP.

Museum Sector Survey out this month
A reminder that our sector survey is currently running until the end of this week. If your organisation has not yet not taken the time respond we would encourage you to do so. Whether you are a large organisation or a small volunteer run museum your participation is important as it will enable us to gain a thorough understanding of the sector and the issues that museums face, and it will ensure your organisation is included in the information available to help lobby the government for greater support and recognition of the sector. We are interested in understanding the diversity within the sector and the range of issues that museums and galleries face. Your contribution will help provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of New Zealand’s museum sector.

If your organisation has not received an invitation by email, or you have any queries, please contact the MA office.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013
We are still looking for speakers for the MA13 conference. We would love to hear from you with any contributions, ideas and suggestions – all welcome! You can download this information as a pdf, and please telephone, email or come and visit us with your ideas.

For your online enjoyment, check out the wide range of museum Hallowen activities, especially on Facebook MOTAT, Puke Ariki, Whanganui Regional Museum. And we were intrigued with Mark Johnson’s technique of photographing time.

Nga mihi, Phillipa & Talei

News & Notices, 24 July 2012

Kia ora,This week is Maori Language Week – Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. The theme this year is ‘Arohatia te Reo’ – ‘to cherish the language’. While a few National Radio listeners may still complain about being greeted in te reo, it is great to hear at least a few words becoming part of our everyday lives. There is much that museums and galleries can do to encourage and reinforce the use of Māori language, and many museums around the country putting in a special effort. Some examples that have attracted our attention are City Gallery in Wellington which is having an evening of te reo Māori debates; Puke Ariki, in collaboration with Te Reo O Taranaki, have put together a great programme of events to celebrate Taranaki’s unique reo and Te Papa has produced some YouTube videos where staff and Kaumātua (elders) talk about their favourite Māori word and what makes these words special to them.

Local news is still simmering with council planning decisions. Budgets are tight everywhere. Whanganui District Council has postponed making decisions on redevelopment and/or strengthening of the Sarjeant Gallery, and in Whangarei, opponents and supporters of the proposed Hundertwasser Art Centre have taken to Facebook to air their views. On one hand, public debate has a vital role in council decision-making. On the other, councils need to take a more strategic approach than individuals, and make informed decisions on behalf of their communities, not just respond to whoever’s voice is loudest. Central government wants to make local councils more effective, efficient and transparent, as outlined in Better Local Government (March 2012), and in various other local government reform activities.

A Bill to amend the Local Government Act 2002 is currently going through parliament, with submissions due this week. Among other things, this Bill will change the purpose of local councils, removing the ‘four well-beings’. It also makes provision for council amalgamations, government intervention and specific ‘fiscal responsibility’ requirements. It has been argued that the new purpose clause is unclear and is likely to make council decisions more open to challenge through the legal process rather than the democratic process. It has also been argued that the aim of reining in council spending is based on an erroneous assumption that increased council expenditure is the result of expanding activities, when it has already been shown that the primary causes are increased compliance and infrastructure costs – the core activities on which central government requires councils to focus.

The UKMuseums Journal reports that the Heritage Lotteries Fund – which distributes 375 million pounds in grants annually – has made access to digital content a precondition of funding for all of its projects. This is being applied across the board to all projects, and access must be free for non-commercial use. See this and other UK stories on the Museums Association website.

Te Hono ki Aotearoa in Leiden

We are intrigued by Jan Bieringa’s film Te Hono ki Aotearoa, which follows the commissioning, making and handover of a waka on permanent loan to the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden. This film is ideal for museums and their audiences, exploring new ways of thinking about collections and partnerships. It has been shown at Pataka, and Jan will make it available to museums around the country.

And we hope to see many MA members and colleagues at the museum and galleries session which is being held during the Diversity Forum in Auckland on 20 August.

Nga mihi o te Wiki o te Reo Māori ,
Phillipa & Talei


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