Posts Tagged 'Air Force Museum'

Medals and museums

Recent media attention has highlighted the proposed sale of medals and log books belonging to aviation war veteran Les Munro.

MOTAT, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Air Force Museum in Christchurch and the Otago Museum are working together to support Mr Munro to determine if there is a way that his personal wishes can be fulfilled while retaining his precious World War Two medals and memorabilia in their public collections within New Zealand.
The museums respect the decision Mr Munro has made to raise funds for the upkeep of the Bomber Command Memorial in London and are currently discussing a number of options to achieve the best outcome for all.

Leading these discussions is Mr Michael Frawley, CEO of MOTAT who says “we have a deep admiration for Mr Munro’s altruistic aims and we hope to work with him to realise these. Our primary goal is that Mr Munro is fully supported throughout this process whatever the outcome may be. The huge contribution Mr Munro, his colleagues and the entire Bomber Command made to World War Two cannot be emphasised enough and our museums will continue to highlight their valour, commitment and sacrifice.”

The museums, supported by organisations such as the RSA and NZ Bomber Command Association, are also collaborating with a number of their corporate sponsors to determine the level of financial support available for this project.

Phillipa Tocker
Executive Director
Museums Aotearoa

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News Update, 24 June 2014

Kia ora

Congratulations to the Air Force Museum and Rotorua Museum. The Air Force Museum’s new wing was one of 64 finalists in 10 categories at the 2014 Property Industry Awards. They earned an award of excellence and won best in category for tourism and leisure property. The judging process involved inspections and assessments that considered all aspects of each project from the design and construction phase, the innovation and vision evident through to the financial performance, user satisfaction and environmental impact and seismic rating of the completed development – a deserved recognition for both the museum and architects Warren and Mahoney.

Rotorua Minecraft

MINECRAFT MASTERMIND: Alex Pace (right) with his Minecraft creation of the Rotorua Museum. He is pictured with brother Nathan. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Rotorua Museum has added to its success in the NZ Museum Awards with another four awards in the past year: Best Direct Marketing Campaign with The Edge in the national radio awards for last year’s same-sex wedding promotion; Hospitality Excellence Award in the Rotorua Business Excellence Awards; a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award; and their 80-strong team of volunteer guides were runners-up in the 2013 Trustpower Spirit of Rotorua Community Award. They have also been in the news for a minecraft replica.

The news lately has had a lot about museums. As well as the good news – such as capital grants totaling $4.1m to museums in Akaroa, Chatham Islands and Waitangi – there has been criticism of Te Papa and MTG Hawke’s Bay. In the case of MTG, it stems from a report commissioned by the Napier City Council, which was to investigate “the level of present revenue and expenditure performance” and “unexpected results from the redevelopment, especially insufficient storage…” The Independent Review attempts to benchmark MTG’s performance, and propose ‘rescue remedies’, Being commissioned by council, it does not address the expectation gap between the previous council’s plans of 3+ years ago, and the new council’s current agenda. However, the council is ‘looking forward to a positive future for MTG Hawke’s Bay’, so as long as they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, and the media don’t do too much damage to their public reputation, we’re hopeful that will be the case.

One of the consultants who had worked on the McDermott Miller review of MTG Hawke’s Bay was Michael Volkerling. Known to many in the museum and gallery world in his past roles at the Arts Council, the Museum of New Zealand project, as well as his academic and cultural policy work, Michael had attended our MA14 conference in Napier. Sadly, Michael passed away unexpectedly earlier this month at his home in Sydney. A service was held for him at Wellington’s Old St Paul’s today, where he was remembered fondly by his family, friends and colleagues.

Police Museum Director Rowan Carroll in their new armoury

Police Museum Director Rowan Carroll in their new armoury

This a quieter time of year for us here at MA, so last Friday afternoon we got out of the office for some visits. We took a quick look at the excellent exhibitions on at Pataka (we particularly enjoyed Fiona Pardington’s EREWHON: Left for Dead in The Field of Dreams) and then carried on to the Police Museum to check out their new storage. This project has carved all sorts of useful space out of a rather inflexible building and brought their facilities up to environmentally acceptable standard. On our way back in to town we also stopped in at NZ Micrographics and got a full tour of the fascinating giant scanners and cool things they do – give them a call if you’re in the area.

Andy Fenton and Sheryl Sporle-Fahey showing Phillipa Tocker and Lillian Bayly-McCredie around NZMS

Andy Fenton and Sheryl Sporle-Fahey showing Phillipa Tocker and Lillian Bayly-McCredie around NZMS

A Washington Post Blog reported last week that there are more museums in the US than there are McDonalds and Starbucks combined. We ran the stats and discovered the same is true here. In fact there are more museums (c450) in New Zealand than there are McDonalds, Starbucks, KFCs and Burger Kings combined (332) – fast culture, not fast food!

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

 

London: a Flying Visit – Guest Blogger Michelle Sim

As civilian employees of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), staff of the three New Zealand service museums occasionally enjoy some unique ‘perks’.  Having worked as the Archives Technician at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch for five years now, I recently had the privilege of experiencing my best perk yet – a professional development trip to the UK and back onboard a military flight.

Our aircraft, ready to depart Ohakea at the beginning of the trip.

Our aircraft, ready to depart Ohakea at the beginning of the trip.

For the past couple of years, the Air Force Museum has secured two seats on a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Boeing 757 aircraft bound for the UK, primarily tasked with returning military personnel on the annual “LONGLOOK” exchange between the NZDF and British armed forces.  This has given some of our staff the chance to make (literally) a flying visit to the Royal Air Force Museum to meet with associates and carry out various strategic objectives.

Overawed by the size of a Lancaster bomber at the RAF Museum

Overawed by the size of a Lancaster bomber at the RAF Museum

This year, it was myself and two colleagues (Emma Meyer, Collections Technician and Melanie Bacon, Administration Assistant) who had the opportunity to ‘hitch a ride’ on this 12-day round trip.  We set off from RNZAF Base Ohakea on Monday 29 July and after 4 days’ flying, with stopovers in Darwin, Penang and Dubai, landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire late in the evening on Thursday 1 August.  From there, we travelled by train down to London, where we had the next three days at our disposal, before catching the return flight early the following Monday.

'Milestones of Flight' gallery, RAF Museum

‘Milestones of Flight’ gallery, RAF Museum

With this three-day window of opportunity we were able to spend a full day at the RAF Museum at Hendon.  The RAF Museum is probably the closest to our own in terms of collection focus, so this visit gave us the valuable opportunity to see first-hand how they operate, both front of house and behind the scenes, while also meeting our ‘equivalents’ to share ideas and discuss common issues and interests.

A young visitor at the British Museum

A young visitor at the British Museum

The remaining two days were spent dashing around as many other museums and attractions as we could, with the aim of critically analysing them from the visitor’s perspective and gathering ideas and inspiration for new initiatives that we could implement back home.  Between us, we managed to get around no less than eight different museums and attractions, including the V&A Museum, Imperial War Museum,

Yeoman Warder guided tour at the Tower of London

Yeoman Warder guided tour at the Tower of London

Tower of London, Museum of London, Churchill War Rooms, British Museum, Household Cavalry Museum and London Zoo, as well as squeezing in some general sightseeing along the way.  We were all extremely footsore and exhausted by the end, but certainly in no doubt that we’d made the absolute most of our short stay in London.

Myself with our friendly rickshaw driver/impromptu tour guide in the historic quarter of Georgetown, Penang

Myself with our friendly rickshaw driver/impromptu tour guide in the historic quarter of Georgetown, Penang

Then, it was time for the 5-day journey home, which was simply a reverse of the route we had taken on the way over, but with a full day stopover in Penang, Malaysia, which enabled us to fit in some more sightseeing.  As well as taking a rickshaw ride through the old quarter of Georgetown, we took the opportunity to visit the Owl Museum on Penang Hill, which is essentially a showcase of 2,500 owl-themed collectibles.  While it may be considered little more than a cabinet of curiosities, this little museum was surprisingly savvy with its marketing and professional in its approach.

Travelling with the RNZAF was in itself quite an experience, as we transited through several foreign military bases and experienced communal barrack-style accommodation and tight security briefings.  The Air Force flight crew looked after us very well, and we even had the chance to sit in the cockpit with the pilots for a landing and a take-off – definitely something you wouldn’t experience on a commercial flight!

The best seats in the house! In the cockpit after a take-off from Darwin.

The best seats in the house! In the cockpit after a take-off from Darwin.

This trip was an amazing opportunity, and we have all returned with many new ideas and perspectives that we are looking forward to sharing with our colleagues over the coming weeks.

Michelle Sim
Air Force Museum of New Zealand

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 February 2012

This week we remembered those who were lost one year ago in the Christchurch earthquake. We particularly mihi to our Canterbury colleagues, for whom it has been a very difficult year. Among all the demolition, closures and (re)openings, we note that Christchurch Art Gallery is likely to be closed for another year and hopes to operate around the corner in CoCA before that, the Air Force Museum has been supporting local museums and is forging ahead with its new development, and Canterbury Museum has reopened and worked hard to develop a Canterbury Quakes exhibition, which opened this week.

‘Heritage’ is much in the news these days. There has been heightened interest in the preservation – and demolition – of heritage buildings since the Canterbury earthquakes. There have also been some interesting archaeological finds, some of which have held up development projects. Museum professionals and NZ Historic Places Trust archaeologists are often called in to assess and advise, and it is good to see these experts being quoted in the media. See these and other recent news stories here (you need to be a member to log in).

MA12, 18-20 April 2012 – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
At last we have wrangled the technology, and registration for the MA12 conference in Wellington is open. Check out our website for the programme, accommodation options, associated activities, or click here to go straight to registration.

NZ Museum Awards – deadline looming
Applications for the New Zealand Museum Awards 2012 are due by 5pm, Thursday 1 March. Entries for either individual or museum categories could be exhibitions, research, public programmes, innovative projects and specific achievements. Full details and entry forms are on the Awards page of our website.

Online fundraising
We have noticed that museums are beginning to get involved in online fundraising efforts. As well as those larger organisations which have their own in-house systems, there are several web-based services for raising money. Small and large amounts of support can be encouraged through the likes of Nelson Provincial Museum’s campaign on fundraiseonline.co.nz and Raglan Museum, Kiwi North and the Air Force Museum are signed up to givealittle.co.nz. We’d be interested to hear how successful these efforts are, and whether there are others being used. Please contact us about this or any other matter of interest.

International vs Domestic tourism
The latest NZ tourism data shows an increase in international visitor arrivals for the year to December 2011, with growth of 3% on December 2010. After a downturn from March to September 2011, arrivals are now the highest ever, topping 2.6 million. Much of the increase was Australia-based New Zealanders returning to visit friends and relatives, and there was also a steady increase in numbers from China. Domestic tourism was increasing at a slightly higher rate in the year to September 2011, with figures for the year to December due out in early March. All this tourism research and data is on the Ministry for Economic Development website here.

Now we’re well into 2012, with all the usual activities and some new projects. The auditor was in our office last week making sure our 2011 accounts are in order. Applications for The Clark Collection / Creative New Zealand Scholarship and Mina McKenzie Scholarship for 2012 have closed and are under consideration. We’re in the process of mailing out the 2012 Directory. We’re about to start this year’s Visitor Research Survey, and launch into a bigger, more comprehensive sector statistics project, which will pick up from where the earlier ‘barometer’ surveys ended.

We look forward to hearing from you, seeing you at MA12 and other events, and working with you and on your behalf in 2012.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Sophie

News Update 25 November 2011

This is a slightly late update on our week to 25 Nov, where we were out and about. Phillipa went to the Northland Museums Association meeting hosted by the Kauri Museum on 18 November. It was great to hear about happenings in the north, and we had an inspiring presentation from dendrochronologist Dr Jonathan Palmer. As the Kauri Museum’s first Scientist in Residence, Jonathan is working on dating trees and timber, using Northland kauri and material from the museum, relating the information to historical climate change.

While in the area, Phillipa also visited the new Te Ahu complex in Kaitaia – a mere two hundred kilometers away. We looked at preparations to move the Far North Regional Museum displays into the new complex with the library, i-Site and council service centre – the old museum will be retained for storage.

Phil Cross and Don Hammond in the new Te Ahu foyer
Phil Cross and Don Hammond in the Te Ahu foyer

Then it was on to Whangarei to visit the Whangarei Art Museum in its new preimses in ‘The Hub’ in central Whangarei. Along with more than twice the exhibition space, good climate control and a proper storage area, Scott Pothan and his team have had a huge increase in visitors – including a function for the Prime Minister last week.

Yesterday we held a members forum and today the Board met, both hosted by the Air Force Museum in Christchurch. Chair Thérèse Angelo and Phillipa discussed museums matters with the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD), who were also meeting in Christchurch yeasterday. It was great to meet and talk with colleagues from Timaru, Okains Bay and Leeston as well as Christchurch and Australia.


Dave, Darren and Jocelyn, some of our Air Force Museum hosts

And Friday 25 November will be remembered by everyone at the Air Force Museum – the diggers arrived to dig up the tarmac next to the museum building, the first evidence that their long-awaited new building is going ahead at last. The reason you can hardly see the digger is that the scale of the new aircraft hall is enormous!


Digging up the tarmac at the Air Force Museum

A+ Awards
ATTTO celebrated the inaugural A+ Awards on 11 November, recognising the effort and achievement of trainees in all the sectors it covers. Virginia Malcomson from Canterbury Museum carried away the award for Museum Trainee of the Year – Virginia completed the Museum Pracitice Certificate in super-quick time, at a very high standard, while living through the upheavel of the Christchurch earthquakes both at home and at work. You can see photos of the event on ATTTO’s Facebook page. Congratulations Virginia!

Te Papa vision
The next stage of consultation on Te Papa’s vision for the future is now underway. Following the high level vision ‘Changing hearts, Changing minds, Changing lives’, which was widely discussed in August, this round explores Te Papa’s proposed programmes of development. The programmes are outlined here and you are invited to submit your feedback online. Te Papa is hoping to get a really good community cross section, and will be running the consultation through until mid December, but welcomes feedback at any time as the comments can also be helpful as programmes are developed in more detail. There is also a report on feedback received on the high level vision in September available for download.

Opportunities
There are some great internships and other opportunities coming up. Auckland Art Gallery is calling for applications for its Marylyn Mayo Internship by 7 December, and MA will shortly be opening applications for the 2012 Clark Collection/Creative New Zealand and Mina McKenzie Scholarships, which will be due in late January.

 

Air Force Museum assist salvaging Lyttelton museum artifacts

Helping hand for Lyttelton Museum


In early March the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, located at Wigram, was approached to see if assistance could be provided to help salvage and store some of the more vulnerable items from Lyttelton Museum. The building sustained severe damage on 22 February and was on the verge of collapsing. The honorary curator, a 90+ year old gentleman, was very distraught and anxious that the collection should be saved. In addition to general Lyttelton ephemera, the collection contains important maritime material relating to Lyttelton, as well as Antarctic objects that are second only to those held by Canterbury Museum.

After some planning and purchase of materials a small team of mainly curatorial staff drove to Lyttelton via the tunnel on Friday 4 March. The damage to many of Lyttelton’s historic buildings was extensive and severe. On reaching Lyttelton
Museum it was clear that the team would not be entering the building because of the risk of collapse and concern for public safety. Members of the Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade, armed with instructions about what objects needed to be removed and a determination to succeed in doing so, entered the building and began bringing out the treasures. Air Force Museum staff set up a packing area located between the unstable museum building on one side and the road to the port on the other along which large articulated trucks were continually travelling to get supplies through to Christchurch and beyond. The rescued objects were carefully packed and transported back to Wigram for temporary storage.

By day’s end about 25% of the collection had been rescued and placed in safe storage at Wigram, much to the relief and delight of the museum’s honorary curator. It is hoped that the building can be stabilised so that the remainder of the collection can be saved. For those staff involved, it was a challenging, rewarding and thoroughly interesting day, and a very satisfying opportunity to handle precious local community treasures and to help our fellow museum colleagues.
David Watmuff
Collections manager
Air Force Museum of New Zealand


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