Archive for October, 2011

News & Notices 27 October 2011

Well, it’s all over, bar the shouting, as the All Blacks parade through our cities to the adulation of the crowds… Was it worth it? Read about more RWC-related museum activities in the latest news round-up here in our members’ area

Rugby aftermath
It will take some time to evaluate the visitors, the publicity and the cost of hosting the RWC2011. Museums and galleries around the country made a special effort to ensure their exhibitions and programmes were fresh and appealing to locals and visitors alike, and for some it seems to have been successful. Auckland Mayor Len Brown is saying that it has proved Auckland can handle world-class events, and claiming it as the beginning of a new era for Auckland’s sports, arts and cultural events. However, other arts and cultural organisations have been finding the focus on rugby has taken attention and audiences away from them. In Wellington, competition from the Fanzone and free events reduced audiences for theatres and galleries. The media are starting to report on this (see today’s news roundup), and we will have some museum perspectives from around the country on the Museums Aotearoa Quarterly next month.

Auckland hotting up
Auckland’s waterfront has at last become a place for people, partly thanks to the RWC impetus. Now questions are being asked about what kind of cultural activity or institution should be established there. Hamish Keith and Bob Harvey have flown their ‘Te Papa North’ idea, and Rodney Wilson has offered an alternative. For Wellingtonians, the waterfront debate about open space vs buildings and commerce is a bit old hat, but the debate about new cultural institutions is of national importance. As well as the newspaper items covered on our news roundup, there has been online discussion, for example comments on Brian Rudman and Rodney Wilson’s stories at NZ Herald and Jim and Mary Barr’s blog Over The Net.

Awards and accolades
It’s great to see that several museums and galleries are making a splash in the regional NZIA Architecture Awards. In the Auckland region, MOTAT and Auckland Art Gallery each scooped 2 and the Navy Museum one in Auckland. Other regions are yet to announce their awards, so watch the media for more accolades.

In the BEST design awards, a wide range of museums and galleries earned mentions in spatial, graphic and interactive categories, with Christchurch Art Gallery featuring 6 times and scoring a Purple Pin for their website. Awards include CAG’s publications Andrew Drummond: Observation/Action/Reflection and The Vault: Neil Pardington (Base Two), The Bulletin and ‘Ron Mueck’ promotion (Strategy Design and Advertising), website and ‘Pocket Gallery’ iPod app (Sons & Co); Voyager’s The Children of Tangaroa (Bureaux); The Karori Sanctuary Experience at Zealandia (Story Inc); Te Papa Press for New Zealand Fashion Design and Brian Brake (Spencer Levine) and with the Film Archive New Zealand Film: an illustrated history (Base Two); Enjoy Public Art Gallery’s Enjoy Recipes Illustrated (Lucky Stairs Studio); the Navy Museum’s environmental graphics (The Letter Q Ltd); Auckland Museum’s I AM Cheryl campaign TV commercials (Alt Group) and their own graphic work for Aqua; Papakura Museum and Library (Jasmax/Justin Westgate); Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery’s ‘The Miniatures’ (HBMAG design & build team); City Gallery Wellington Festival Season (Designworks); Auckland Art Gallery’s Reading Room journal and ‘The 4th Auckland Triennial’ (Inhouse).

Also announced recently was the Arts Foundation Award for Patronage, this year ‘won’ by the Chartwell Trust, established by Robert Gardiner ONZM in Hamilton in the 1970s to assist the visual arts. As winner of the Patronage award, the Chartwell Trust not only gets to give away $20,000 of the Arts Foundation’s money, but also another $20,000 of its own. Thanks and apprecaition are due to Rob and his work through the Trust from all those individuals and organisations they have helped over the years, and specifically the 2011 Award for Patronage recipients: Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland University, Christchurch Art Gallery and artist FIona Connor for work with Dundein Public Art Gallery. Congratualtions all round!

Museum Sector Remuneration
The 2011 Museum Sector Remuneration Survey report has been completed by Strategic Pay. Fifty-two museums and galleries participated, up from 49 last year. This is encouraging, and the cumulative information will be even more useful as trends become evident over time. A summary of findings will be in the November Museums Aotearoa Quarterly. Institutions can purchase a copy of the confidential report by contacting Strategic Pay at The cost to MA members ranges from $195-$675 +GST, depending on the size of institution and whether or not you contributed data. There is a 15% discount for organisations which also purchase a Local Government or Central Government Remuneration Survey Report.

Election coming up
Only one month to go until the general election, and now that sporting event is over, the billboards are multiplying. There are plenty of museum and cultural issues for a new government to address, mostly around funding. However, they are likely to play a back seat to immediate concerns for the wider economy, especially with the pressures of funding recovery in Canterbury and now the Bay of Plenty. There is still plenty of advocacy and relationship work to be done at local level as councils develop their annual and long term plans. Some seem to do well with a personal or formal approach, and in other places the public and media are getting involved, such as Nelson and Palmerston North.

In other news, Oamaru’s Forrester Gallery is once again attracting media interest with the now annual Steampunk exhibition. Being photogenic and having supporters who dress up in quirky vintage clothing is no doubt an advantage! Others getting attention include the 2011 Portage Ceramic Awards at Lopdell House and Whangarei Art Museum’s new home (all covered in our news roundup here).

On a sadder note, we acknowledge the passing of two great New Zealand artists. Austen Deans lived to the age of 95, still tramping and painting, and left an enormous legacy in Canterbury especially. Len Castle worked in clay for over 60 years, and is fondly remembered by his many followers and friends.

Reminder – National Digital Forum
Earlybird registration for the NDF conference, 29-30 November in Wellington, has been extended until this Friday, 28 October – be in now to save $100. NDF member organisations are also reminded that the Board election is open from now until 7 November, details on the NDF website.

Ka kite,


Museum snippets, 19 October 2011

If you missed Hamish Keith proposing ‘Te Papa North’ on Morning Report today, you can listen on the Radio NZ website.

And don’t miss Auckland Museum’s new taonga show Tāmaki Paenga Hira, which premiers on Māori Television tonight at 8.30pm.

Ka kite ano,

News Update 13 October 2011

The latest news is again full of activities associated with the Rugby World Cup. Other stories include local government funding issues, distribution of Skyhawks and repatriation from French museums. The round up is here in our members’ area, where the puzzle-minded can play spot the mistake – clue: technology vs education!

MA12 conference, Wellington, 18-20 April 2012
We had a record response to the Call for Papers, and the MA12 planning team is meeting later this week to wrangle it all into a cohesive conference programme. MA12 is already looking very exciting and inspiring, with lots to do in the ‘coolest little capital’ as well as the conference programme itself. Look out for announcements of international keynote speakers and preliminary programme soon, with registration to open in December.

MOTAT’s acres of aircraft
Among all the hoopla around major museum openings and ‘that’ sport tournament, MOTAT has quietly opened another 2500 sq m of aircraft display in an innovative timber building with a 42m column-free span nearly 16m high. Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture, the new building is is linked to the old aviation hall, at left below, which has been completely re-fitted.

Environmentally conscious and interesting architecturally, an air layer between timber screens and the external wall helps to control light and temperature. The huge space requires only a low provision of mechanical heating, and glazing to specific areas of gallery space maximises natural light where appropriate. reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The internal open floor area of the new display hall is the largest clear span timber portal frame structure in New Zealand. Prefabrication meant the actual contstruction period was quite quick. The concrete floor had to be laid in one go – that meant a 2.00am start for the concrete crew and 104 concrete trucks taking their turn to pour.

There are plenty of aircraft on display lovingly cared for by MOTAT’s teams of enthusiasts. The new complex is named after aviation hero Sir Keith Park.

Changing the guard in the UK
From 1 October, new arrangements for the delivery of responsibilities previously undertaken by the UK’s Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) take effect. This follows the previously announced decision to close the MLA as part of a government review designed to reduce the number of arms-length agencies. Arts Council England takes over museums and libraries responsibilities, including the Renaissance programme, Museum Accreditation, and Library Development, together with cultural property services such as Export Licensing and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme Some MLA staff have moved to posts with the Arts Council to help deliver these functions and responsibilities. Sir Andrew Motion, MLA Chair said: “The MLA Board wishes the Arts Council and The National Archives all the best and looks forward to them building on all the achievements of the sector, and the work of the MLA, to help bring about better and more accessible museum, library and archive services for the public.” Resources on the MLA website will remain live until 31 March 2012, by which time relevant material will be transferred to the Arts Council and Archives sites.

Museum-related websites
Jock Phillips has been travelling the country for the REAL NZ Festival writing a blog as the ‘Insider’, sharing his view of some great places and events.
Albertland & Districts Museum in Wellsford has revamped its website, and is looking forward to the Albertlanders’ 150th celebrations over Easter 2012.
A redesign for online encyclopedia Te Ara gives clearer and quicker findability for a site that constantly amazes with its depth and breadth of information. And they explain what they’ve done and why on the Te Ara blog – a helpful insight into making a website more user-friendly.

Other events
There are lots of other events happening after the rugby. Coming up in November are the NDF (earlybird closes this week, Board nominations due Friday) and Conservators conferences and a further planning meeting for WW1 commemorations in Wellington, Museum Facilities conference in Auckland, Colenso symposium in Hawke’s Bay, and an event for Museums Aotearoa members in Christchurch. These are listed in detail below – I hope to see you there!

Ka kite,

PS – Auckland Museum has teamed up with Māori Television to make a 13-part series featuring taonga from the museum and their stories. Tāmaki Paenga Hira is in Māori with English subtitles, and premiers on Māori Television at 8.30pm on Wednesday 19 October.

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