MA news update 28 July 2016

Today we visited one of our newest museums – the Pukerua Bay School Museum.

2016-07 Pukerua Bay School Museum staff

Our guides were founders/curators Paddy Rockell (art), Isaac Du Toit (history) and Aurelia Hercock Roberts (natural history), above (L-R) in the museum. Each of the three has a personal interest in museums, and after a successful ‘pop-up museum’ enterprise at Aurelia’s home in late 2015, set to work on the school museum in early 2016. With support of teacher Cat Lunjevich, they found out more about what a museum is and does, enlisted the help of professionals and wrote a Te Papa blog post. The result is an evolving museum, with changing exhibits and a growing collection, and three young people (ages 9-11) who are already envisaging their future museum careers. They have also enthused their schoolmates so that most of them are now museum volunteers – and also avid visitors of other museums. Look out for a profile of Honorary MA member PKBS Museum in a forthcoming MA Quarterly.

Last week I and some other museum and gallery people attended a workshop hosted by MBIE as part of their Creative Sector Study. The aim is to “gain a better understanding of the creative sector and how it interacts with the copyright and designs regimes. The study will culminate in a report looking at how the copyright and designs regimes are used by the various creative industry subsectors in a changing technological landscape.” They are not – yet – saying whether or not a review of the Copyright Act will be on the table, but the study will hopefully give us all a better idea of whether NZ’s copyright regime is in need of a major or only minor overhaul. It was clear from the workshop that I attended that there is currently a very wide range of perspectives, and almost universally poor understanding of copyright law.

I was alerted by the UK Museums Association to a new report looking at the symbiosis between philanthropy and public funding. Going Public examines the impact of private art collectors on public museums and collections in the Sheffield area, and concludes that, while it is increasingly important, “philanthropy cannot and should not be a substitute for government funding.”

We are planning our regional meetings and MA17 conference. Your Board will be discussing these in Auckland at its next meeting on Thursday 11 August.

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