Archive for the 'Special Updates' Category

Special update: more awards for Auckland Art Gallery

Congratulations to Auckland Art Gallery for winning the 2012 NZ Architecture Medal.  On top of its win in the NZ Museum Awards in April, the gallery’s architects FJMT and Archimedia took away the top honour in last Friday’s Resene NZ Institute of Architects Awards.  As well as the new development, Auckland Art Gallery won a heritage architecture award for Salmon Read Architects’ work on the old library building.

Congratulations also to MOTAT and Studio Pacific Architecture for their award in the environmental category for the aviation display hall. Its great to see galleries and museums getting recognition for their contribution to the built environment as well as the cultural and social.

See for some quotes on the night.


Reflections on MA 12 – An Australian Perspective, Elizabeth Marsden

Today we have an outside perspective on MA12 by Elizabeth Marsden from Museums Australia.

An Australian perspective.

The conference for me brought out many similarities between the current Australian and New Zealand museum perspectives. The New Zealand convergence experience is an area which many Australian organisations have been watching with a keen interest over the years and is a trend which now occurs more regularly in Australia, especially in regional centres, and we share many of the same issues raised through such amalgamations. In particular I found Hammi Piripi’s presentation on the Te Ahu development an excellent case study and especially appreciated his comment of community ‘partnership rather than consultation’ being the key to success. Remaining relevant was an underlying theme which continued to pop-up. Indeed there appears to be a shared trans-national pattern here, with those museums closely aligned with their local population and government often being the most successful in terms of both relevance and financial stability.

Elizabeth Marsden and Phillipa Tocker

During the panel discussion, Wira Gardiner touched on a future challenge for New Zealand museums – to go beyond biculturalism towards greater multicultural representation. I found this comment particularly interesting as in Australia I feel we are arguably struggling with the reverse: being a multicultural country now seeking a more balanced and authentic representation of our Aboriginal Australians. While massive steps have been made with regards to this in Australia in the past three decades, I do feel our different approach to national identity has possibly slowed indigenous representation in Australian museums and we are now playing catch-up. Possibly the same is true with presenting a multicultural New Zealand?

I left the conference asking myself why there isn’t greater collaboration and conversation between Australian and New Zealand museums. Given we are such close neighbours with an interconnected history I feel there is a lot to be gained through greater involvement with each other’s national museum forums. Each of us excels in our own particular areas, and these represent ideas, experiences and methodologies from which we both could learn, but only if they are brought to the same table.

Elizabeth Marsden
Manager, Museum Accreditation Program, Museums Australia (Victoria)

Reflections on MA12 – Andrea Hemmins

Over the next few days we will be posting some reflections from people about their experiences at MA12, starting today with Andrea Hemmins from The Kauri Museum.

Collaboration For Success while Maintaining Integrity

The Museums Aotearoa 2012 conference theme of collaboration was very timely and encouraging. With challenging times for Museums and Galleries now and ahead, keynote speakers were positive, realistic and some truly inspiring. The sharing and exchange of ideas and experiences was enhanced by being in Wellington, and at Te Papa, the heart of New Zealand’s culture and heritage. There was a mutual awareness of the current financial challenges and how adaptions can be made to overcome pressures facing most GLAM sector institutions.

The view from Te Papa

This was highlighted and reinforced by the Stick it to the Man campaign. A bold and honest move by Te Papa to urge the public to have their say about Te Papa today and Te Papa tomorrow. A simple but very effective campaign where a life-sized cut out of Director Michael Houlihan invites visitors to stick a ‘post it’ with their opinion on various walls throughout the galleries. The day before the conference a few ‘post its’ graced the walls, by Friday layers of colourful opinions and ideas sprung fourth and became part of the Te Papa experience. A clever method of empowering New Zealanders with a voice about their/our Te Papa; and most importantly creating a feeling of coming together for the greater good. Also an example of how the visitor can participate as collaborator. This all done at a time when media announcements were being made about budget cuts and limitations.

The reality is, no matter what industry you’re in, today there are now limitations we may not have experienced yesterday. Knowing that we’re in it together and can find ways to utilise each others resources and skills is a useful way to uphold staff morale, visitor experience and overall understanding. Being creative about overcoming restrictions and celebrating team achievement empowers everyone to a higher level.

Speaking of teamwork and celebration, Jock Philips kicked off the conference with an overview of his travels during the New Zealand Festival and Rugby World Cup to discover What is Real NZ? He frequented a multitude of small and large museums and outdoor celebrations from Invercargill to Auckland, drawing up a variety of conclusions in a blog along the way. He commented that the most successful places provided an ‘urgent relevance to the world around’ and that successful celebrations were where communities centred the activity, naturally bringing people together in a hive of activity and enthusiasm; whereas towns that sent visitors in different directions to the outskirts tended to dilute the atmosphere.

Jim Marchbank, previous CEO of Science North in Ontario Canada, provided very good practical advice for museums and galleries seeking collaboration with outside commercial and non-commercial partners. He spoke of collaboration for survival, and the need to remain true to mission statements and brand identities while fulfilling the mutual benefits for all parties involved. ‘Use your strengths and pursue win-win’ he stated. Though he was also quick to point out the importance of flexibility within your own organisation to cater to the requirements of an external party so as not to halt progress. He raised how expectations on both sides of a collaboration should be made clear in the beginning and that major decisions be shared so empowerment is equal and encouraged. A sense of pride on both sides is an indicator of success.

Umberto Crenca’s presentation was truly charismatic and inspirational. His presentation The Art of Community, about the complete turnaround of the city centre of Providence, Rhode Island, through the use of art, foresight, and pure determination, gave us all a reminder of why we love what we do. Whether museum, library or gallery based, GLAM professionals generally have a heightened social conscience, his work setting up the AS220 organisation to revive the city centre and install a sense of place through community participation for social improvement was commendable. This was recognized by the resulting applause. Each of us facing challenges of our own could relate to his vigor and drive to strive on for social awareness, education and facilitating overall greater good for communities.  

Umberto Crenca

The final segment was dedicated to Christchurch, with the museums and art galleries discussing how they came through the earthquakes, and how their futures look. A discussion involving emergency policies and procedures was very informative. On the panel, Coralie Winns Gap Filler project aiming to raise the morale of Christchurch residents through community projects in empty spaces around the city was greatly inspiring.

In summary, the conference relayed the importance of new and long term close working relationships for mutual gain; togetherness; and the power that can be harnessed by individuals and communities while upholding original long term personal and/or institutional goals. In the words of Victoria University student Shannon Wellington, in reference to collaboration ‘risk anything except your institutional integrity’ and put eloquently by celebrated maori language educator Mereana Selby, ‘behave in a mana enhancing way’.

Andrea Hemmins
The Kauri Museum

US Marine Corps talk 24 May, Wellington

Making Ready: the American Invasion of New Zealand

2012 is the 70th anniversary of the arrival of U.S. Forces in New Zealand during WWII. As a pre cursor to the American Memorial Day commemorative events being held this month, the New Zealand American Association is hosting Mr Paul Weber, Deputy Director, History and Museums Division, Marine Corps University, in Wellington. Mr Weber will give a free talk on Thursday 24 May.

This is a free event, hosted by the NZAA and the US Embassy of New Zealand. No RSVP is necessary.

Chancellor 2, 16th Floor,
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor,
147 The Terrace, Wellington
5.30 pm, Thursday 24 May

US 70th anniversary news and events

2012 New Zealand Museum Awards

Last night we celebrated the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards in style at the City Gallery in Wellington, during our MA12 conference. For the full list of winners and finalists, click here for the press release.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists, and thank you to everyone who entered, sposored, judged, hosted and came along to celebrate the  best of our museum achievements.

Nga mihi,
Museums Aotearoa team

Upcoming Opportunities

Kia ora koutou & Happy New Year!

Museums Aotearoa has a number of upcoming scholarship and award opportunites, please pass on this information to any interested parties, and feel free to contact our office on 499 1313 or if you have any questions.

Clark Collection / Creative New Zealand Scholarship & Attingham Summer School 2012
Applications are now invited for a decorative arts and built heritage scholarship for New Zealand arts and heritage professionals in 2012. Please refer to our website for full details, and to download an application form.

Closing date is Thursday 26 January 2012

Mina McKenzie Scholarship 2012
Applications are now invited for this scholarship. This fund is in memory of the long standing and significant contribution of the late Mina McKenzie to the museum profession, particularly in enouraging Kaitiaki Maori and empowering young museum people in their work. The fund is to be used to provide assistance to enable museum workers to undertake education, training or development that will directly benefit their museum career. Please refer to our website for full details, and to download an application form.

Closing date is Monday 13 February 2012

2012 New Zealand Museum Awards
It’s that time again! Applications are now open for the New Zealand Museum Awards. These awards are for an individual or organisation for an outstanding project that contributes to best practice in the museum sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, and demonstrates excellence, relevance and vision.

Awards may be made for small museum project, use of technology, innovation and exhibition design. Please refer to our website for full details, and to download application forms.

Closing date is Thursday 1 March 2012.

You can also check out past award winners, and scholarship recipients on our website here.

Post Conference Update



We had a wonderful few days in Nelson last week, and would like to congratulate all the Award winners and finalists, and also our inspiring speakers and generous hosts.

2011 New Zealand Museum Awards

Individual Achievement Award
David Wright, Director, Navy Museum

David Wright, Director, Navy Museum

Project Achievement Award, Innovation and Technology
Whakamīharo Lindauer Online, Auckland Art Gallery

Whakamīharo Lindauer Online, Auckland Art Gallery

Project Achievement Award, Exhibition Excellence – Art

Beloved, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Robyn Notman accepting Award for Beloved, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

White Cloud Worlds, Dowse Art Museum
Back & Beyond & Here, Museums Wellington

Project Achievement Award, Exhibition Excellence – Social History

Te Ahi Kā Roa, Te Ahi Ka Kātoro, Taranaki War 1860-2010: Our Legacy, Our Challenge, Puke Ariki

Bill Macnaught accepts Award for Te Ahi Kā Roa, Te Ahi Ka Kātoro, Taranaki War 1860-2010: Our Legacy, Our Challenge, Puke Ariki

Port Nelson, Haven Ahoy!, Nelson Provincial Museum

Project Achievement Award, Exhibition Excellence – Small Museum

Bohemians of the Brush: Pumpkin Cottage Impressionists, Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre

Jane Vial & Stephanie Cottrell accept Award for Expressions Art & Entertainment Centre

Isel’s 160th Year, Isel House
Ka Takata Whenua o Waihao, Waimate Museum
Credo and Quest, Whangarei Art Museum

ATTTO Museum Workplace Training Ambassador Award
Eva Huismans, Volunteer and Training Coordinator, Canterbury Museum

Eva Huismans accepts the ATTTO Museum Workplace Training Ambassador Award

Citations are on our website here, and photographs from the Awards celebration are on our facebook page here.

Museums Aotearoa Board

At the AGM on Friday 15 April, we had two Board members returned, and two new members elected. Thanks to all those who stood for the Board, and all the museum members who voted. The 2011-12 Board comprises:

  • Thérèse Angelo, Director Air Force Museum, Chair (Museum)
  • Eric Dorfman, Museum General Manager, Whanganui Regional Museum (Museum)
  • Jenny Harper, Director, Christchurch Art Gallery (Individual)
  • Michelle Hippolite, Kaihautu, Te Papa (Museum)
  • Manu Kawana, Kaihautu, Te Manawa (Individual – joint Kaitiaki)
  • Greg McManus, Director, Rotorua Museum (Individual)
  • Laureen Sadlier, Registrar, Pataka (Individual – joint Kaitiaki)

MA11 conference

Thank you to te iwi kāinga o Whakatu Marae, Peter Millward and staff at the Nelson Provincial Museum, Julie Catchpole and staff at The Suter for making us so welcome in Nelson. The sun shone (mostly), we heard from inspiring and thought-provoking presenters, engaged in serious and not-so-serious debate, and were very well provisioned over our three days. And a very special thank you to Kamaya Yates, who stepped in to be our on-the-spot conference coordinator. We’ll be putting some of the information and reports from the conference in the May MAQ, as well are more photos on our website shortly. We’re taking an extra day off on Tuesday to rest up after the conference.

Happy holidays, Phillipa and Sophie

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