Archive for October, 2012

News Update 16 October 2012

Kia ora

There is disturbing news from Bosnia-Herzegovina, with yet another national museum closing down. Earlier this year the national art gallery closed, and this month the 124-year-old national Museum followed. A total of 7 national institutions have been left in political limbo in the wake of peace arrangements which ended the war in 1994, with neither federal nor state-level governments seeing these relics of a previous ‘nation’ as their responsibility. While some remain open with reduced capacity, the future of all seven looks bleak unless there is significant change in political attitudes.

As we read that by the end of the year 45% of New Zealanders will own smartphones, and rates of ownership accelerate internationally, it is interesting to see the release of a US-UK survey of mobile use in museums. The UK’s Museums Association and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) jointly surveyed over 1100 museums and found that while over half of the respondents offer mobile content in some form, 40% of American museums and half of UK museums do not have any mobile features, mostly citing the barriers lack of funding and expertise. The good news is that it is becoming easier and cheaper to develop apps for use on personal smartphones, without the need for specialised equipment or software.

link to the UK Report

link to the US Report

The Department of Internal Affairs have published a summary of the results from their ‘Public trust and confidence in charities survey’ which also discusses results from Empathy Research work done in 2011. One of the key findings from the research is that people want to know how charities are using their funds, so they can trust where it is their money is going, and that trust is generated through tangible, visible results and a personal connection to the cause. Increasing trust in a charity not only increases the likelihood of giving, it raises trust in the entire sector that the charity belongs to. Conversely people are less likely to trust charities that use aggressive tactics, suggest large donations, have representatives who are ‘just doing another desk job’ and that pay their CEO a big salary. For the full survey results click here.

Directory of New Zealand Museums and Galleries 2013
We have begun compiling listings for the 2013 Directory of New Zealand Museums and Galleries. The directory is one of the services we provide to the sector and we try our best to make sure every museum in the country is listed. All museums should have received a copy of their entry to confirm their details. Thank you to those who have already sent their response. If you have not received your listing details please contact We are also still accepting bookings for ads in the directory. Please refer to our publications page for different options and rates.

Museum Sector Survey out this month
A reminder that our sector survey is currently running until 26th October 2012. If your organisation has not yet not taken the time respond we would encourage you to do so. Whether you are a large organisation or a small volunteer run museum your participation is important as it will enable us to gain a thorough understanding of the sector and the issues that museums face, and it will ensure your organisation is included in the information available to help lobby the government for greater support and recognition of the sector. We are interested in understanding the diversity within the sector and the range of issues that museums and galleries face. Your contribution will help provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of New Zealand’s museum sector.

If your organisation has not received an invitation by email, or you have any queries, please contact the MA office.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013
Our team from Waikato Museum and the wider region are working on an inspiring programme for colleagues to get together in Hamilton to share, learn and develop our leadership skills, knowledge and capacity. There will be keynote speakers, workshops, panel discussion sessions, visits to local institutions, the 2013 NZ Museum Awards celebration, and the second annual Museums Aotearoa Lecture. And of course there will be lots of social occasions to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues. The planning team already has some great ideas for speakers and special sessions, and we invite you to participate as well – so we have issued a general call for contributions, ideas and suggestions – all welcome!

You can download this information as a pdf, and please telephone, email or come and visit us with your ideas by 2 November 2012.

Nga mihi, Phillipa & Talei


News Update, 2 October 2012

Kia ora,

The latest news covers exhibitions, Te Papa’s purchases from the Les and Milly Paris art collection auction, lots of school holiday activities coming up, the Governor-General’s visit to the Eastern Southland Gallery, the go-ahead for New Plymouth’s Len Lye Centre, funding through Creative New Zealand for an theatre on Auckland’s waterfront, and more staff moves. The release of a new edition of the Lonely Planet NZ has 4 museums in its top 12 recommendations: Auckland Art Gallery, Wallace Arts Centre, NZ Rugby Museum and Rotorua Museum’s new Don Stafford Wing. There is also coverage of the passing of artist Don Binney.

Tonight this year’s Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards will be presented in Auckland. Nine artists will be announced as recipients of awards totalling $405,000. You can find out about them and their public open day in Auckland tomorrow on the Arts Foundation website.

I was delighted to be hosted by the Northland Museums Association at the new Mangawhai Museum last week. Over 25 museum people from Wellsford to Kaitaia gathered to share their latest news and to explore the almost-finished Mangawhai Museum building.  We had a sobering session in which Betty Nelley shared the Kauri Museum’s recent fire experience, and Fire Safety Officer Mike McEnaney explained how to reduce fire risk.  He had an excellent booklet which outlines what small museums can do to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from fire.  And the single most effective measure is? – sprinklers.  We will be mailing copies of the booklet to all small museums later in the year.  if you’d like more information in the mean time, ask your local Fire Brigade.  Better still, invite them round for a cuppa and talk about how you can reduce the risk of fire.

Fire Safety Officer Mike McEnaney, with Betty Nelly and John Bull

It was great to hear all the recent exhibition, developments and future plans of museums in the north. I updated the group on progress on establishing an accreditation scheme for museums in New Zealand, and we had a good discussion about ethics and standards.  The NMA group has proved that getting together with neighbouring museums is a great way to learn as well as to share inspiration and re-energise, particularly for smaller museums and volunteers who may otherwise be working somewhat in isolation.  We had a very enjoyable day topped off with a friendly meal and entertaining presentation from retired NZ Maritime Museum CE Larry Robbins sharing his experience of rescuing yachties as Commander of the HMNZS Monowai in 1994.

Museum Sector Survey out this month
We have been working with a researcher and a small reference group to develop a new museum sector survey, which will be going out in the next week to all museum and gallery organisations. It is really important that every museum fills in the survey. Top-line data will be published as well as comprehensive analysis in a full report.  We will be using this information in our national advocacy work, working with the Ministry for Culture & Heritage and for academic research, and  you will be able to use it to inform your own planning and reporting. If your organisation does not get an invitation by email, or you have any queries, please contact the MA office.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013
We’ve had another meeting in Hamilton and the enthusiastic folk there are gearing up to offer colleagues a great conference around the theme of leadership.  We’ve invited some exciting speakers, and are holding our breath to await their response.  Make sure you plan to be in Hamilton from the afternoon of Wednesday 10 April until the end of the day on Friday 12 April…

Jane Ferrier with the Twins

While up that way I called in at the Waikato Coalfields Museum where Jane Ferrier showed me around their extensive collection and intriguing Topp Twins exhibits.

Last month MCH consulted on a discussion paper exploring the introduction of Immunity From Seizure (IFS) legislation for New Zealand. The MA Board has talked to MCH policy people, and attended workshops with others from museums, galleries and wider cultural sector. In general, such legislation seems like a good idea, although there are several areas of detail which will require more thought before any legislation can be drafted. We made a submission on the IFS discussion paper to this effect by the due date of 24 September. If you are interested in this issue and have not been part of the discussion so far, there will be more opportunities coming up. MA will continue to work with MCH as they work through the submissions and next steps, to ensure that all museum/gallery perspectives are considered, and to keep you informed of progress.

Congratulations to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for their wins at the Museums Australia Publication and Design Awards last week. CAGTPOW received awards for best magazine or newsletter (Bulletin) and website (My Gallery), as well as a commendation in the exhibition catalogue category and the judges special award – the ‘Be Inspired category – for De-Building. DPAG was highly commended in the Poster and Invitation categories and won for LOG in the Calendar of Events and Information Brochure category.  Entries for 2013 will open on 1 February.

And if you’re looking for some stimulating listening and weren’t at the lecture by Professor Dame Anne Salmond in conjunction with Puke Ariki’s Shadowing Venus exhibition last month, you can hear her earlier interview with Kim Hill on the RadioNZ website.

Ngā mihi, Phillipa & Talei

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