Posts Tagged 'advocacy'

News update 9 March 2012

At last its official! Part of the new Air Force Museum development will be available for the restoration, storage and rehabilitation of heritage and cultural collections displaced by the Canterbury earthquakes. A proposal to establish a collections recovery centre has been with funding agencies in Wellington since last year, and it has now been confirmed that $1.5 million from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust and up to $2 million from government will be available to make it happen. Canterbury’s displaced cultural institutions will be able to use the facilities at the Air Force Museum, due to open by November, free of charge for up to three years. Storage will be available for a further three years. See this and other recent news stories here.

We also congratulate all the team at the Air Force Museum on, and heartily endorse, their Christchurch City Council Mayoral Award presented ‘in recognition of acts of kindness, service and heroism during and following the Christchurch earthquakes’. And marking one year on from the February 2011 earthquake, NSTP has posted a ‘Canterbury earthquake anniversary series’, including a piece by Thérèse Angelo which shows the medal and outlines the recovery centre project, on the nzmuseums blog.

Those who were at MA10 in New Plymouth will recall Queensland Art Gallery’s Tony Ellwood’s inspiring presentation about how he ensures QAG is relevant to its audiences and stakeholders. It has been announced that Tony will be the new Director of Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria after Dr Gerard Vaughan retires later this year. The Herald Sun interview with Tony asks him about his plans for the NGV.

There is no news roundup on our website this week. We’re having some technical challenges, as the method of delivery of news items to us has changed, and we are still working out how to make the new online links available to members. This is in part a reflection of the fact that physical newspapers are in decline around the world as more of our news and information-gathering is sourced online. here is an example of a story about Rotorua Museum appearing in ‘Happyzine’.

MA12, 18-20 April 2012 – REGISTER NOW
More details are being added to the MA12 conference programme as they are confirmed. Our Minister, the Hon Chris Finlayson, is hosting the Directors and Governors’ Dinner at Parliament. There will be special sessions for the ICOM-NZ, Directors of Small Museums and TENNZ groups as well as other associated events. See our website for details or click here to go straight to registration.

Inaugural Museums Aotearoa Lecture – Tuesday 17 April
We are very excited to be launching a new annual Museums Aotearoa lecture series. The first lecture will be on the evening of Tuesday 17 April, so plan to come to Wellington the day before MA12. We have confirmed the speaker and have a generous sponsor – more details very soon…

Diversity Action – Race Relations Day 21 March
Its good to see museums and galleries exhibiting and offering programmes that address issues of diversity, prejudice and inclusion. Te Ngira – the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme – run by the Human Rights Commission, is a great way to gain support for and extend the reach of such programmes. HRC send out regular emails and promote all kinds of activities through their website, including a museums and exhibitions listing. They also facilitate the annual Diversity Forum, usually in August, and Race Relations Day each year on 21 March. There is information about the programme on the diversity action web pages, links to a poster and other resources to support race relations and diversity action.

Creative New Zealand’s Optimise programme supports online marketing capability for arts organisations, and some of its is directly relevant to museums of all kinds. They are planning webinars and the first edition on the online newsletter Optimise Insights has information about the coaching programme, mobile trends and energising your Facebook audience.

Last month we noted crowdsourcing as a growing way for smaller organisations to raise funds and build communities of interest. This includes fundraising websites such as PledgeMe, Givealittle and Fundraiseonline, as well as social networking. We would be interested to hear about your experiences with any of these tools – what has worked (or not) for you, and how.

And in amongst conference organising, sending out the 2012 Directory, arranging scholarships and awards, we have been continuing our advocacy. Phillipa Tocker and MA Chair, Thérèse Angelo met with the Hon Christopher Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage, earlier this week. We discussed current sector issues, especially the continuing squeeze on public funding, and some of the consequences and possible ways of alleviating them. We talked about specific areas of need such as Christchurch, about collaborative opportunities, and the benefits of accreditation, and where these fit with broader policy challenges. Our Minister is very supportive of his portfolio, and we look forward to continuing to work with him and the Ministry for Culture & Heritage to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our members.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Sophie


News Update 24 Jan 2012

Nga mihi o te Ao Hou!

As we get back to work after the summer break, the weather settles, and we think wistfully of the beach – which was too wet and windy to be attractive when we had the time!  Looking back over January, we were relieved to hear that recently-installed sprinklers prevented a fire at the Kauri Museum from causing serious damage over the summer. You can read about that in the latest Museum News which is rounded up in the members’ area of our website here (you need to be logged in to view).

2012 is shaping up to be an invigorating and inspiring year, with lots to look forward to, as well as some big challenges. Local councils are examining their expenditure and targeting ‘nice-to-have’ budget lines including museums and galleries as they struggle to balance the books for ratepayers. And the budget squeeze is continuing in central government. This means we need to re-energise our advocacy work on a national level to help empower the sector and support the fantastic work done by individual organisations. Museums Aotearoa is about to start two vital pieces of work: the National Visitor Survey coming up next month, and a new more comprehensive Museum Sector Statistics project. This statistics work will gather essential information so we can all back up our advocacy with hard facts, both nationally and locally.

Other immediate priorities for MA are tidying up after 2011 and getting ready for our financial audit and 2012 membership administration. We also have the February 2012 issue of MAQuarterly in preparation – items, notices and advertising are welcome by 8 February.

The MA Board will meet in Wellington on the afternoon of Friday 24 February, and we are also hosting a Disaster Recovery workshop session for senior managers that morning, with presentations from Christchurch museum directors. Separate invitations are being sent about this session and numbers are very limited – if you are keen to come and have not received the notice, please contact us.

MA12, 18-20 April 2012: Keynote speakers
The other major project currently occupying our time is MA12. We’re having some issues with technology, and registrations will open as soon as we can get it set up and working. A reminder about our exciting international keynote speakers:

  • Umberto Crenca, founder and artistic director of AS220, a nonprofit centre for the arts in Providence, Rhode Island (see
  • Jim Marchbank, former CEO of Science North, Sudbury, North Ontario, (see

Both visitors will be spending some extra time in New Zealand and we are working on itineraries to get them out and about as much as possible. If you are particularly keen to host or meet with either Jim or Bert, please contact us.

The annual New Zealand Museum Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday 19 April at the City Gallery, with some fine dining and a fantastic local band lined up for entertainment. Applications for the awards close on 1 March, with full details on our Awards web page.

There will be plenty of other social events and opportunities to catch up with colleagues, as well as visits to a range of institutions and organisations in the Wellington region. There are several all day events happening on Tuesday 17 April followed by a public lecture in the evening, Wednesday welcome function and group dinners, Awards and behind the scenes bus and walking tours. Other special group meetings will also be held during the conference. We look forward to catching up with members and colleagues in Wellington in April.

Opportunities – deadlines extended and looming
A reminder about some current opportunities:

  • The Clark Collection / Creative New Zealand Scholarship – application deadline extended, now due 5pm, Monday 30 January
  • Mina McKenzie Scholarship – applications due 5pm, Monday 13 February
  • New Zealand Museum Awards 2012 – applications due 5pm, Thursday 1 March

Further detials about all these are listed below and application information is on our website.

Post-holiday research and reading
We have found some items of interest to distract you from your day-to-day work and hopefully interest and inspire you as part of the wider museum community.

  • Videos of NDF 2011 conference presentations are now online here. They are listed in order of appearance without titles, so you may want to refer to the conference programme on the NDF website
  • The USA’s Wallace Foundation undertakes research into all sorts of aspects of the GLAMS sector. A recently released series of case studies looks at audience development, including how the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum boosted participation by young adults, here
  • Closer to home, Radio NZ’s ‘Summer Nights’ programme made 18 virtual museum visits over December/January, interviewing people from a wide range of museums including Hokonui, Waipu, Lyttelton, Chatham Is, Rotorua, Police, Albertland, Okain’s Bay and Owaka. The podcasts can be heard or downloaded from the Summer Nights summary page, use search word museum.

Directors change direction
You may have heard the news that a number of museum directors around the country are moving on. Kate Vusoniwailala has left Waikato Museum after nearly a decade to return home to the warmer climes of Fiji. Long-serving Director of the City Gallery Wellington, Paula Savage, is moving to Auckland, Te Manawa Director Steven Fox is returning to Canberra, and later in the year Colonel Raymond Seymour will be retiring from the National Army Museum, Waiouru. These are some great roles for the next generation of museum leaders, and we look forward to seeing them take on the challenge.

So get those applications in, gather your information, and make your travel plans – lets make 2012 a great year for all our museums and galleries!

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Sophie

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