Archive for November, 2010

News & Notice 23 November

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).

Lots of news coverage this fortnight, most of it good. There are a few items which don’t reflect so well on the museum sector – we can count on the media to dig any dirt they can find to make a ‘good story’. They seem to have nearly forgotten the Canterbury earthquake, and even the steampunk revolution in Oamaru has become less newsworthy as they scramble for tidbits about Hillary family artifacts, and flash cars for museum directors. Check it all out here.

Last week we were in Christchurch for the quarterly MA Board meeting, and had a very enjoyable function at Canterbury Museum with members from the region. It was a pleasure to be there for the launch the new regional Outreach service based at Canterbury Museum. Eva Huismans has taken up this part time role, which will complement the work of NSTP’s Judith Taylor, through direct links with Canterbury Museum expertise. The same evening, Senior Curator Roger Fyfe lead some of us on a fascinating tour of the anthropology store, explaining the rationale and workings of their recent re-housing project. Roger is currently delivering the 2010 Macmillan Brown lecture series in Christchurch on the topic, ‘The World Under One Roof – who owns the past?’ These will be broadcast by Radio NZ in the new year.

Philip Howe, Director of South Canterbury Museum, Anthony Wright, Director of Canterbury Museum and Lynda Wallace, Director of Akaroa Museum at the MA members function, and launch of Canterbury Museum’s new Outreach Service.

While we were in Christchurch we saw, rather too briefly, some great exhibitions. Ron Mueck at the Christchurch Art Gallery will certainly evoke a response – the craftsmanship is exquisite and his choice of subjects and manipulation of scale tests our view of ourselves alongside our fellow human beings. The ‘Heart of the Great Alone’ at Canterbury Museum is a magnificent collection of photographs of Antarctica from the Royal Collection. Beautiful, poignant and intriguing, we wished we’d had much more time to see them all. And a quick visit to The Physics Room was all we had time for – well worth catching new work by contemporary New Zealand artists Geoffrey Heath and Sriwhana Spong, and a pity we couldn’t stay for the artists’ talk.

Back in Wellington the TENNZ network met at Te Papa last Friday, a very collegial and productive meeting. As well as sharing information and ideas about touring exhibitions, they discussed climate controlled cases for display and transport, and iPads and iPods as the new generation audio guide – and much more affordable and user-friendly. Peter Sarjeant, Director of Exhibitions and Programmes at Te Manawa, has taken over from Stephen Pennruscoe as chair of the network, and their next meeting will be during the MA11 conference in Nelson.

Here in the office, we’ve been busy writing and compiling information for the last two publications of the year – the final MA Quarterly and the 2011 Directory. Thank you to everyone who has sent in articles and details. These, more information about MA11, and the new individual membership information will be arriving in your postbox before the Christmas break.

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie


News, Notices & Conference 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).

Next Wednesday the Museums Aotearoa Board will meet at Christchurch Art Gallery, with a full agenda including the MA11 conference (see below), NZ Museum Awards and membership development, reviewing the Code of Ethics, and planning for 2011. We are also looking forward to meeting with local members on Tuesday evening at Canterbury Museum. If you would like to join us and haven’t RSVPd, please let us know so we can book adequate catering!

Earlier this year, we asked for your feedback on a draft of the Strategic Training Plan that ATTTO has been working on with researchers and the Museum Training Council. After much debate, this plan is now finalised – although there is plenty of work yet to do to put it into action. You can download the document here.

We also asked last week for expressions of interest for joining the Museum Training Council, and for the Board of ATTTO. These positions will draw on a range of experience and capabilities, and we need to ensure a balance around the table. Thank you to those who have already contacted us. If you are interested, we need to have your details by next Monday, 15 November, so that they can be considered by the MA Board at its meeting on 17 November and recommendations made to ATTTO.

Statistics NZ has released the latest figures from the Tourism Satellite Account. This looks at the official statistics for the year to March 2010 on such things as employment, profitability, growth, and the ‘value added’ contribution of tourism, and separates them out for various tourism segments and activities. While the data is pretty dense, it does show some interesting trends – and the 20-page summary section is easier to read that the rest of the 88-page report.

Some key findings are that tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $6.5 billion, or 3.8 percent of GDP in 2010, with the indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generating an additional $8.6 billion. This is a rise of 2.1% over the previous year, with a greater rise in domestic (2.5%) than international (1.6%) tourism. Thus the gap between domestic tourism at 57.5% and international tourism at 42.5% continues to widen, when five years ago they were much closer. It also shows that international tourism’s contribution to total exports, at $9.5 billion (18.2%), is more than the export receipts from dairy products, including casein, which totalled $9.0 billion (17.1%), and had briefly outstripped tourism in 2009. However, the number of employees in the tourism industry fell by 1.6% to 92,900 FTEs, remaining at 4.9% of total employment in New Zealand.

Overall, this suggests that tourism continues to be a major economic force in New Zealand, that domestic tourists are even more significant than international, and we are continuing to raise efficiency in terms of labour input to economic benefits. Download the Tourism Satellite Account: 2010 report here.

MA11 Conference

We are delighted to announce three international keynote speakers for MA11 – Collecting Culture – in Nelson next April – see below…

MA11 Conference, Nelson, 13-16 April 2011


what, why, when, how, where and who?

Collections are at the heart of museums.

  • Why do we collect?
  • Whose collections are they?
  • What is the difference between object and taonga?
  • Are we looking after them properly?
  • Who can access them?
  • Do we have to keep them forever?

MA11 will bring together museum professionals, specialists and private collectors to explore how we look after our collections. Be they art, heritage, natural history, geology, technology, architecture, archives or intangible culture, we all handle, exhibit, interpret and manage collections.

Conference themes include:

  • Māori collections
  • governance and policy issues
  • special collections, eg decorative arts, technology, natural history
  • buildings as collections
  • living/handling collections
  • deaccessioning and disposal

Keynote speakers:

Annabel Westman – textile historian, Director of Studies for the Attingham Trust, UK

Annabel Westman lectures on the history, design and usage of furnishing textiles. She has been an independent textile historian and consultant on the restoration of historic interiors for the past thirty years and has worked on a large number of projects for heritage bodies in country houses and museums in the UK and USA. Recent work includes Kew Palace, Chatsworth, Kedleston Hall and Temple Newsam House.

Alec Coles – CEO, Western Australian Museum, Perth, Australia

Prior to taking up his position in WA, Alec was Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, which occupy twelve different venues in the northeast of England. He is a staunch supporter of the public value of museums, and has a particular interest in management, planning and policy.

Shane Simpson – Special Counsel, Simpsons, Sydney, Australia

Specialising in copyright and music law, Shane established Simpsons law firm in 1986. He has lectured extensively on the law relating to intellectual property, new technology, publishing, visual arts, music and museums. Shane has written numerous books including Museums and Galleries: a Practical Legal Handbook and The Visual Artist and the Law in Australia, and is currently working on Collections Law: legal issues for Australian galleries, museums, libraries and archives. Much of this forthcoming book is already available online at

Call for participation

Registration will open in December 2010. The programme includes a marae pōwhiri and kaitiaki hui, hands-on and specialist workshops, plenary sessions and the annual Museum Awards celebration. Special half-day workshops will be held for decorative arts and governance. You will have the opportunity to visit local collections as well as hear from experts and colleagues, and engage in active debate. And on Saturday 16 April, National Services Te Paerangi will host a BarCamp to take the ideas explored at MA11 from inspiration to perspiration.

If you would like to contribute – as a presenter, panellist, session convenor, sponsor, supporter or volunteer – please contact Museums Aotearoa as soon as possible.

Mark your calendar now – MA and our conference hosts Nelson Provincial Museum and The Suter look forward to seeing you in Nelson!

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie

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