News Update

Kia ora

Check out the latest batch of museum news that has been uploaded today, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view). This is a slim edition due our special ahead-of-schedule news last week (which now has an index online to view).

The media over the last week has shown us a roller coaster of images and news from Canterbury. We are all extremely relieved that no lives were lost and there was relatively little damage to museum and gallery collections. Serious damage will need to be dealt with at Kaiapoi Museum and the Logie Collection at Canterbury University, and many heritage buildings are damaged or still awaiting assessment. We also feel for all the private owners and collectors whose treasures have been lost.

However, major institutions such as Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery and the Air Force Museum have come through almost unscathed. The art gallery staff are this week cleaning up after hosting civil defence HQ, in readiness for reopening to the public along with other Christchurch institutions such as Ballantynes.

There is a huge job to be done to repair and clean up across the affected region, not to mention the emotional and psychological healing that will be required. It is great to see groups such as NZ Conservators of Cultural Materials and NZ Institute of Architects stepping up and offering help, as well as the Canterbury Disaster Salvage team and many other individuals and organisations. National Services Te Paerangi has several useful links and contacts up on their website worth checking out. We wish everyone involved a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, the wheels of government continue to turn. We notice there have been significant changes made to the LEOTC funding model this year, and it will be interesting to see what this looks like for the museum sector in both the short and long term. The most obvious change is a move away from annual tender rounds based on specific ‘learning areas’ of the curriculum, allowing proposals for any learning area to be submitted. The other notable change appears to be a greater regional emphasis in the selection process. Also any new contracts entered into over the next two years will have an end date of June 2013 to bring all contracts into the same cycle and ” to pave the way for the new contracting environment”. There is information about these changes on the LEOTC website here, and the current tender document (number 30798) is available on the government electronic tendering service website here, for download.

And in Auckland the framework for the new Auckland City is now in place, ready for the new council to take up the reins following the October elections. The Board for Regional Facilities Auckland, the new ‘super-CCO’ group responsible for Auckland Art Gallery alongside the zoo and various stadia and events centres, has been announced, Appointees include Sir Don McKinnon as Chair, with Dame Jenny Gibbs as Deputy Chair. Regional Facilities Auckland is expected in future to also be responsible for the Auckland Museum and MOTAT, as well as Voyager Maritime Museum and others currently under the Auckland Regional Amenities Act, further details are available online here.

There have been Mayoral debates in several cities, and some interesting statements by candidates. So keep in touch with goings-on in local politics and make sure you vote for your local councillors who actively support arts, culture and heritage. Many candidates have profiles on the national election website or visit www.localgovt.co.nz for links to all local councils as well as news and other useful links.

Best wishes to all, especially our friends in Canterbury,

ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie

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