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).

Local council elections lead this week, with lots of museums in the news as well. Some of the election results will have flow-on effects for museums and galleries, and of course we’ll all be watching to see how Auckland Mayor Len Brown, the new Auckland councillors, and multitude of community board members, manage the transition to the new city structure.

Some turn-ups include: Annette Main becoming Mayor of Whanganui District, pipping former Deputy Mayor Dot McKinnon after Michael Laws stepped down; Nelson sitting Mayor Kerry Marshall only made fourth place against local businessman Aldo Miccio, a first-term councillor campaigning on a platform of possible regional amalgamation; Whangarei Mayor Stan Semenoff was ousted by Maurice Cutforth, who promises a more open council that takes more than 10 minutes for its monthly meetings; former TV handyman-presenter Dave Cull tipped out Mayor Peter Chin in Dunedin; in the Far North nothing much changed with Wayne Brown keeping the Mayoralty against a strong challenge split between Sir John Goulter and Laurie Byers; and unsurprisingly Bob Parker was returned as Mayor in Christchurch after gaining high profile in the wake of the Canterbury earthquake. In Wellington we’re waiting until all the special votes are counted to hear if Kerry Prendergast is returned for a 4th term, or ousted by the long-term Greens councillor Celia Wade-Brown.

Last week we had the Paul Henry affair(s), in which neither TV presenters and managers, nor our Prime Minister, read the public mood correctly when responding to politically incorrect statements. And this week the media went the other way, with a storm in a teacup brewing very quickly when the media got hold of Te Papa’s invitation to a behind the scenes collection tour which asked pregnant or menstruating women not to come. The blogosphere went wild, with so many ill-informed and badly written comments that it was just laughable. Check this blog post for one of the more balanced views.

Congratulations to the reopened Navy Museum, sitting pretty in Torpedo Bay, Devonport. There was a very well-received open day on Saturday, and the museum is now open 7 days a week, including a café. See the news coverage in our roundup and visit the museum website here.

We also hear that the NZ Furniture Symposium, hosted by Southland Museum & Art Gallery last week, was a great event. We expect to bring you a report of that in the next Museums Aotearoa Quarterly.

We hope to see many of you at Te Papa next week at the National Digital Forum conference, with guest speakers Michael Edson (Smithsonian, USA), Nick Poole (Collections Trust, UK) and Dan Hill (Arup, UK). It’s not too late to register here.

Back in the office, we’re busy with MA11 conference planning, with 3 international guest speakers expected. As soon as they are confirmed we’ll bring you more details…

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