New Mayors and Councils are being sworn in around the country this week. There have been quite a few changes, and lots of local news stories about what both returning councillors and ‘new brooms’ are planning. We are in the process of developing an information pamphlet about New Zealand’s museums and galleries which we will be sending to all councils. We hope your council has changed for the better, and that you make the time to engage with them and to show your representatives the great work that you do.
Advocacy, networking, resourcing and information are some of the recurring topics in our current regional forums. We are hearing really interesting ideas and discussions, and everyone who participates has told us how useful it is just to get together with colleagues from down the road. We appreciate your feedback on our activities as well as more general topics, and will be incorporating your ideas into our planning or passing them on to others as appropriate.
Last week Talei and I were in Invercargill and Dunedin. Highlights included handling a tub of remarkably frisky young tuatara with curator Lindsay Hazley at Southland Museum and Art Gallery, visiting Te Hikoi in Riverton, and a chance to explore the wonderful Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, hosts for our Dunedin forum. There are some more photos on our Facebook page. I was also at the ICOM New Zealand conference and appreciated the presentations from Simon Knell of Leicester University and from three of our own recent museum studies graduates about their collections-based research.
This Friday Eric Dorfman and I will be at the opposite end of the country, hosted by the Northland Museums Association at Dargaville Museum. We’re looking forward to catching up with the folk up north. Next up are Taranaki (New Plymouth) and Waikato (Te Awamutu) on 13 and 14 November. See our website for more details of regional meetings.
Back in the office we’ve contracted Jeremiah Boniface to work on checking our database and preparing the 2014 Directory. We have one more issue of MAQ coming out in the next couple of weeks, and an extra MA Board meeting in November as well.
By that time we’ll be racing towards the end of the year, with the National Digital Forum another major Wellington event. NDF has a fantastic lineup of speakers and sessions at Te Papa on 26 and 27 November, and some other workshops and events before/after – it’s not too late to register.
If you’re in Wellington for NDF you could also support Arts Access Aotearoa, buy some art or other bargains – and possibly win a luxurious break away in Queenstown. The Awesome Arts Access Auction is on Wednesday 27 November, 6pm to 8pm at CQ Hotels Wellington, 223 Cuba St, Wellington. Tickets are only $25 and include live music from members of the Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra, a drink on arrival (followed by great drink specials) and canapés. There will also be door prizes and excellent networking opportunities. Contact Gemma Williamson by email or call (04) 802 4349.
And we love to hear from our members, so if you can’t get to one of our meetings, or just want to chat, please give us a call on 04 499 1313 or send us an email.