Archive for October, 2013

Do Digital Māori Dream of Virtual Marae? – Guest Post by Nikolas Brocklehurst

Kia ora,

digital marae

Marae depicted is ‘Wharenui’ by Ɲ

Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968) post-apocalyptic tale explores questions of how we deal with technology and if we are able to bestow it the same values that we ourselves (attempt to) uphold. Now, we may not be quite at that level of philosophical conundrum but we are  integrating technologies  into our existence like never before.

The Internet is such a technology; once seen as something separate from our ‘real’ lives, today more and more of us seem as if we are  incapable of living our ‘real’ lives without it.

In Aotearoa, Māori are leading the digital charge in a number of ways, including mobile Internet uptake and social networking. There has been a considerable amount of research into Māori use of the Internet over the years. Early on, these focused on establishing an authentic presence online predicated on Māori taking an authoritative role. In part, this was to address the misinformation and misappropriation that was occurring. But more so, it was also to stake a claim for Māori in the global digital landscape. More recent developments have sought to transfer Māori values and practices into the digital realm, transforming the online space to fit Māori knowledge and needs, rather than the other way round. This research has produced and recognised numerous successful initiatives and programmes. However, they have also highlighted the challenges faced when transferring cultural practices and values on to the Internet. This has proved particularly so for items placed in the public forum such as those on museum and gallery websites, which may attract a global audience that are not necessarily aware of culturally appropriate actions.

My name is Nikolas Brocklehurst and I am currently undertaking a Masters in Visual and Material Culture, Massey University Wellington. My thesis, entitled, Māori Culture at the digital interface: A study of the visual portrayal of cultural identity in the online environment, is set to examine how Māori cultural identity is being expressed visually online and if the use of digital technologies has enabled new ways to articulate Māori identity. By looking at the way Māori are visually portraying their culture online I am attempting to find the space were both culture and the technology have come to terms with each other. By examining Māori visual culture in digital realms, I ask how have Māori practices and values been influenced, and how have digital technologies been integrated into Māori visual culture.

The purpose of this study is to gather a picture of how Māori are portraying themselves and to use this information to inform museological practice. Now, Māori are far from a homogeneous group, and I will not attempt to create an all-encompassing vision. Rather, I aim to capture a moment in time for a number of individuals when the Internet is increasingly becoming an authentic place for Māori cultural identity.

In order to help me achieve this I have written an online questionnaire, Ipurangi Māoritanga regarding Māori experiences and practices on the Internet. Additionally, as part of my research I would like to bring together a number of focus groups and discuss the issues, benefits, challenges and successes of using the Internet as a place cultural practice.

Nga mihi

News Update 15 October 2013

Kia ora

We’ve been out and about over the last few weeks, enjoying meeting up with many MA members and other colleagues at regional forums.  This week we’re looking forward to Whanganui on Wednesday and Wellington on Friday, when the MA Board also meets.  Next week we’ll be in Invercargill and Dunedin, including the ICOM New Zealand conference 25-26 October. See detailed listings below and please RSVP so we can set up rooms and catering.  If you can’t get to any of the meetings, we’re always happy to hear from you by telephone or email.
Last weekend over 30 Kaitiaki Maori gathered in Hawke’s Bay for the Titiro Whakamua hui. Despite some rain as people arrived on Friday, we were given a bright and cheerful welcome by the tangata whenua at Kohupatiki Marae near Clive, which has recently celebrated its centenary.
Tourism 2025 was launched at the recent Tourism Summit at Te Papa. This new tourism plan is being developed by TIANZ.
Its focus has five interelated themes:
  • Prioritise insight to drive and track progress – this is about using data and research to predict and evaluate initiatives and trend, and informs the next four areas
  • Grow sustainable air connectivity – find ways to get more international visitors here at attractive rates, grow emerging markets, and allow people to travel around the country easily
  • Target for value – understand key market segments and make sure our offerings are tailored to their needs
  • Drive value through outstanding visitor experience – remove barriers and ensure tourist satisfaction
  • Focus on productivity for profit – get the best value out of the resources we put into tourism products, eg by extending seasonality and availability
TIA CE Martin Snedden says this is only the beginning: “We are now focused on creating and obtaining industry endorsement for the actions that will bring Tourism 2025 to life. The actions we endorse must be pragmatic, affordable and valuable. We are not looking to create a huge list of actions that will stretch over 12 years. We recognise that we are operating in a fast-changing global and domestic tourism environment. The actions will have a short focus – one to three years – with scope for all tourism industry players, from the biggest corporates to SMEs, to play their part.”
Museums Aotearoa has provided information to the Tourism 2025 team, and will be making a further submission promoting the recognition of cultural tourism in this process.
Presentations from the Summit can be accessed on the TIA website.
Announcement of Simon Denny as NZ’s Venice Biennale artist for 2015
Announcement of NDF Board elections: new (and re-elected) NDF Board members:
  1. Matthew Oliver, from Manatu Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  2. Mike Kmiec, from Victoria University of Wellington
  3. Jan Gow, from FamNet / Lets Research
  4. Leith Haarhoff, from Palmerston North City Library and Community Services
  5. Steven Fox, from Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra
And we’re intrigued by a notice of an innovative event next week at the Museum of Wellington: the Do It Yourself Science Museum – a whole museum contained within a pizza box. This is an interactive and entertaining exploration of science and story, presented by Michele Fontana, a PhD student of Theatre and Museum Studies at Victoria University, who has won an Italian national acting contest. Two free shows only, on Wednesday 23 October. Bookings: 04 472 8904 or email.  We’ll be in Palmerston North that day, so if you go to this, please let us know how it goes!
Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 1 October 2013

Kia ora,

MTG Hawke’s Bay opened with a flourish last week. Douglas Lloyd Jenkins declared his a one speech maximum for the Friday night party, which was attended by colleagues, artists and friends from around the country. It was was lots of fun, and a great way to celebrate the transformation of HBMAG into MTG Hawke’s Bay.
Hon Chris Finlayson enlists young assistants to cut MTG’s big blue ribbon

Hon Chris Finlayson enlists young assistants to cut MTG’s big blue ribbon

On Saturday morning it was time for formalities, with Mayors, Ministers, iwi and other dignitaries. The big blue ribbon was cut by Hon Chris Finlayson with help from some young friends, then everyone surged through the doors to see the brand new exhibitions. There was a carnival in the street to keep visitors and locals entertained – which was a good thing, as the queue waiting to get in stretched around the block. We congratulate the whole team who have worked to effect the transformation, and look forward to being there with you for the MA14 conference.
Saturday morning queues around the block

Saturday morning queues around the block

After Napier we traveled on to Auckland for a regional meeting at Auckland Museum. We had a lively and productive workshop with over 50 people from museums and galleries around Auckland. We’re really enjoying these gatherings, and seeing new and renewed networks in action. Next up is Nelson on 9 October – see our website for details on all our upcoming forums and to RSVP.
While in Auckland we visited three very different exhibitions. California Design is proving very popular at Auckland Art Gallery, and includes stylish video of mid-20th-century design production as well as beautiful design classics. We were intrigued by WIlliam Pope.L’s Long White Cloud at Te Tuhi, although we would have liked a bit more time to experience the post-performance installation. The Fashion Museum’s latest showing, Age of Aquarius, is attracting great publicity and media coverage, and has huge appeal to those of us who remember the ’70s – and its available to tour to other venues.
There have been some recent changes in public policy and accountability requirements.
New list of Protected Records for Local Authorities – which includes CCOs
Financial Reporting requirements announced for Registered Charities
Charities with annual expenditure of:
  • $1 million or more – financial statements must be audited by a qualified accountant
  • between $500,000 and $1 million – financial statements must be reviewed by a qualified accountant
  • less than $500,000 – can choose to have their financial statements reviewed or audited, or do neither
And a reminder of several events in coming weeks: regional forums, ICOM meeting in Dunedin, Simon Knell talks Wellington and Auckland
Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

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