News Update June 26

Kia ora ,

It has been another busy couple of weeks, with newspapers reporting council funding decisions, new exhibitions and other museum sector activities – including citizens and politicians in Dunedin debating renaming of Otago Settlers Museum, the Sarjeant Gallery’s partial closure due to earthquake risk, and Te Papa paying $1.5 million for the piano Michael Parakowhai made for the Venice Biennale. Auckland Art Gallery has added to its haul of awards, including the NZIA 2012 NZ Architecture Medal and Chris Saines’ CNZM in the Queens’ Birthday Honours, this time scooping three of the 2012 NZ Property Council Awards – Rotorua Museum only got one.

Statistics survey(s) current and coming up
We have mentioned before that MA is working on a bigger and better sector statistics project. This is now scheduled for August, and museum and gallery organisations will soon be contacted to ask for your input. This is a vital piece of work for all of us – each institution needs to have such data for its own planning, and sharing it enables everyone to gain a better understanding of the bigger picture into which we all fit. MA has engaged researcher Lisa McCauley to run the survey, whom some of you might know from her time as Auckland Museum’s research manager, and we’ve convened a small reference group to ensure that the project is robust, authoritative, useful and accessible. We’re also working with key stakeholders such as MCH and ATTTO as both providers and users of our sector information.

Staff appointments – Waikato, Rotorua, Waitangi, Palmerston North, Auckland…
Waikato Museum has welcomed new Director, Cherie Meecham, lately Deputy Director at Rotorua Museum, and will shortly farewell Deputy Director Andy Lowe to take up the Director’s vacancy at Te Manawa. Now Rotorua is now to also lose its Director, with Greg McManus to become Chief Executive of the Waitangi National Trust in early August. So we anticipate a bit of movement around the country, with a record 17 vacancies advertised in May, and senior appointments awaited at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Tairawhiti Museum, and several at Auckland Museum.

There are plenty of interesting and useful opportunities and events coming up in the second half of this year. Training sessions for UNESCO’s Memory of the World project will be held this week and next in Wellington and Dunedin, and Auckland will host creative sector networking event Survive and Thrive in early July. November’s INTERCOM conference in Sydney has extended its call for papers until 15 July. Nga mihi o Matariki,

Phillipa & Talei

PS – we’re enjoying finding out about Matariki and all things astronomical with the Carter Observatory on Facebook – a great example of successful museum engagement via social media.


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