Posts Tagged 'Canterbury Earthquake'

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

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News Update 18 March 2011

Earthquake news still dominates our media – now in Japan as well as Christchurch. Today’s national memorial service in Hagley Park will have been seen or heard by many thousands around the country.

There was a minor press furore as it seemed a Christchurch antique shop might be demolished without any attempt to retrieve items from it – but this seems now to have been done. A small group of people protested yesterday about the apparent demolition of some buildings without the owners or occupiers knowing or being given a chance to salvage anything. Authorities are gradually allowing access where possible and clearing vehicles from the CBD. As well as the mainstream news media, there is lots of activity on blogs, local websites and Facebook.

Much of the Christchurch CBD still has a closed ‘red zone’, staff have not yet been able to return to Christchurch Art Gallery or Canterbury Museum, and COCA trustees have made the decision to close indefinitely – and have made all the staff redundant. Sumner and Lyttelton museum collections have been removed prior to probable demolition of both buildings. The future restoration of other heritage buildings is as yet unknown, including the Arts Centre. In the mean time, the Air Force Museum is open, and helping fellow museums as well as several other displaced organisations.

We have had numerous offers of help, mostly expertise, person power, fundraising ideas, or respite from CHCH. At this stage there is limited scope for extra people to help on the ground. Judith Taylor and Ian Wards of National Services Te Paerangi will be helping COCA to pack up its collection and prepare for an ‘indeterminate period’ of closure. There is little more that can be done from outside Christchurch until Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery staff get back into their buildings to undertake a careful assessment and plan for recovery. Until that time, we thank all those who have made generous offers, and we know that many have already been able to help their friends and colleagues personally as well.

There is other news of course. In the UK, some simmering disquiet about the fate of gifted items held in the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum has resulted in the dismissal of its director and a pending police investigation, read about it here. This collection includes items presented to Britain by New Zealand, and raises important questions which align with the planned collection ethics discussion at MA11 in Nelson.

News Update 3 March

Kia ora

We have uploaded the latest batch of news from the print media here, you will need to be logged in the the members’ area to view.

The last week has been overshadowed by news from Christchurch. Our aroha, sympathy and very best wishes are with all our whanau, friends and colleagues who have been caught up in the earthquake and its aftermath. Museums Aotearoa and National Services Te Paerangi are compiling a register of volunteers and ideas to help the Christchurch cultural sector’s recovery. Please contact Sophie de Lautour Kelly at sophie@museumsaotearoa.org.nz (or call 04 499 1313) if you would like to volunteer or have any suggestions.

We have had messages of solidarity from all over the world, including ICOM headquarters in Paris. Click here to read the ICOM Letter from Director General Julien Anfruns . You can also read and contribute a message of support on our Facebook discussion page here, or in the comments on our previous blogpost here.

In the Christchurch area, people are already pulling together. Thérèse Angelo reports that the Air Force Museum, which suffered only minor damage, is not only providing working space for two government agencies, SPCA/emergency vets and a firm of architects, but their staff are also going out to help Lyttelton Museum volunteers retrieve collection items from their severely damaged building.

Back in the office, we are working on details of the MA11 conference. If you haven’t registered yet, the earlybird rate is available until Monday 7 March. We will extend this rate for people whose plans have been interrupted by the Christchurch earthquake. If this applies to you, please contact the office as soon as you can, so that we may secure you a place.

We have also received an exciting batch of applications for the 2011 New Zealand Museum Awards, and look forward to announcing finalists later this month ahead of the celebration dinner on 14 April.

Nga mihi,

Phillipa and Sophie

Canterbury Earthquake Museum Update

Updated 31/3

Offers of help – We have had many offers of help from around the country.  Please email us and we’ll keep a register of offers for when those on the ground are ready for your support.

The latest from Christchurch is very grim, however, we have not heard of anyone being hurt in museums or galleries there. We have received a number of messages of support, and these are in the ‘Messages for Canterbury’ Discussion Board on our Facebook page here. Please add your own messages, either on our facebook page, or in the comments below, and hopefully our colleagues in Christchurch will be able to access these when their power and communications are restored.

We understand that most of the damage this time is confined to the city and Lyttelton areas. Here is what we have heard about Christchurch institutions so far.

Air Force Museum
Updated 24/2 Message from Director Thérèse Angelo:

Firstly, and most importantly all of the Museum staff and their families are safe and uninjured. As far as we have been able to ascertain, our volunteers are also OK. Some staff have damage to their homes but many live on the west side of Christchurch or in rural locations and have no damage to report at all.

The Museum itself is in good shape with only minor damage such as ceiling tiles down and fluorescent lights falling. A structural survey yesterday has given the buildings the green light to re-open when we wish. I understand we still have all services to the site but this may change over the next couple of days.

However, given the significant damage to local infrastructure, water, sewer and roading problems, along with petrol shortages, the Museum will remain closed until Monday at least. This also gives staff time to try and start processing the enormity of what has happened to Christchurch. Some staff have also headed out of town for a few days to settle jangled nerves.

Akaroa Museum
Is unaffected this time, all are OK.

Arts Centre of Christchurch
No direct word, but news and internet photos show significant damage.

Canterbury Museum
Staff are all OK. The sprinklers were activated and lots of loose things moved around in the staff areas. The situation in the public and storage areas is unknown but presumed to be ‘a mess’ and some bits have fallen off the building. With the whole central city cordoned off, they do not expect to get back in until after the weekend. The museum server is completely out of action so no staff will be able to access their work e-mails, even from outside the museum.
Updated 25/2: Director Anthony Wright will be releasing a media statement shortly, check their site. Anthony has confirmed that all staff are OK, but some have had their homes completely destroyed. He was able to enter the museum today with structural engineers, who inspected all spaces from the basement to the roof in both the main museum building and the Robert McDougall building. Both have been declared structurally sound, which is great news. Otherwise, there is loose masonry on the building, and the exhibits look to be 95% ok upon initial inspection (although by torchlight). It is not known about collection damage in the collection areas, however the water damage from activated sprinklers is reportedly only in a small area. It will be several weeks before staff can be admitted back into the building.

Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA)
Updated 25/2:
The building is still standing, but everything has come off the walls. They will be postponing the Anthony Harper Award dates, as well as their planned recruitment for a new position.

Christchurch Art Gallery
Updated 24/2: Gallery staff are all accounted for and safe, apparently no structural damage – ‘we’re in good shape considering all that has happened’. CAG is once again starring on TV news as the Civil Defence HQ, and will be closed until further notice while they support Civil Defence. They have sustained a small amount of damage to the collection. 10-15 works are affected & they are assessing condition & repair options.
Updated: 25/2: Experiences of CAG Senior Curator Justin Paton reported in the guardian here.

Lyttelton Museum
Has been closed since the September earthquake, and apparently suffered additional damage on Boxing Day. We have no information as yet, but fear it is now even worse.

Okains Bay Museum
Is unaffected this time, all are OK.

Our City O-Tautahi
Updated 31/3:
This was in the Municipal Chambers building which suffered damage last September and was still closed to the public. It is within the restricted ‘red zone’ and the current situation is not yet known.

Sound Archives
We’ve had unconfirmed reports that the archive has flooded. Will update when we learn more.

The Physics Room
All staff are safe, don’t expect to get back to their building to assess it for some while.

Timeball Station (NZHPT)
Is severely damaged, but thankfully both staff members there at the time of the quake got out safely. No news yet about the collection items which have been stored offsite since the September earthquake.

We have also heard that Lincoln Entomology Museum, Landcare Herbarium, Ashburton area museums, as well as South Canterbury Museum are ok.

We know that this information is only about the public face of these museums, and many staff will have huge challenges ahead with their own homes and families. Our thoughts and best wishes go to all our colleagues.

Kia kaha,

Phillipa and Sophie

Special Update 22 February 2011

Oh no, not another one. As I put aside conference planning to write about the latest news, I felt our 8th floor office gently swaying. Little did I know that the effects in Canterbury were far worse. Unlike last September’s quake, this one struck in the middle of a busy day. It has caused even more damage in the city area, including in the Canterbury Museum and the Cathedral. However even that is overshadowed by the as yet uncounted human cost.

Like the rest of the country, we are watching and listening to news, and will bring you details about museums and galleries in Canterbury as they come to hand. We send all our aroha to friends and colleagues who have been affected.

We will distribute the last fortnight’s news stories and regular notice updates tomorrow. Meanwhile, we would like to announce an extension of the deadlines for earlybird registration for MA11, until 7 March. Application deadline for the helping hands grants to attend has also been extended until 28 February. And a reminder that New Zealand Museum Awards 2011 applications are due by 5pm this Thursday, 24 February. We will extend all these deadlines for earthquake-affected colleagues – please just let us know you are intending to apply.

 

News Update 26 Jan 2011

Welcome to 2011! We hope you’ve all had a happy time with friends and family over the festive season. Latest museum news is online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view).

Over the break, the NZ print media seem to have been having a bit of a holiday too, with lots of listings and information about happenings and summer attractions, but not much hard news about museums during the ‘silly season’. However, it is good to see that the former Te Awamutu Museum director convicted of stealing medals from the museum has now been named, and sentenced to nine months detention, 350 hours community service and ordered to pay reparation of $19,138. While the damage to reputations – which extends to the whole museum sector in such cases – still lingers, at least the message has been reinforced that thieves get caught and held accountable. And it also reinforces our need, as volunteers and professionals, to heed our own Code of Ethics. There will be a discussion paper to be circulated prior, and more opportunity to engage with these issues at the MA11 confernce in April.

In the wintery northern hemisphere, museum news continues throughout the holiday season. The big freeze has not only brought snow, but more cuts and budget challenges in the UK, Europe and the USA. You can read another chapter in the continuing debate about the sale of collection items to raise funds in this article from the New York Times.

Over the last fortnight, major news stories seem to have been crime and natural disasters. Luckily the crime hasn’t been in museums, and while we hope that the recent flooding in the north island hasn’t affected members, it seems minor in comparison to the devastating floods in Australia. We send our aroha and special thoughts to friends and colleagues as they begin the long task of cleaning up.

Recovery is still going on in Canterbury since the September 2010 earthquake. I was in Christchurch last week, where a small working group is scoping development of a museum accreditation scheme as mooted at the 2010 AGM. There will be more work on this over the next couple of months to bring an options paper to the 2011 AGM. While in Canterbury, I experienced first-hand the continuing aftershocks, being woken up both nights I was there. I must say that Cantabrians seem to be a very resourceful bunch as they get on with their work and their lives despite the persistent tremors. And I noticed that the earthquake display at Canterbury Museum was very well-attended!

And following its star turn as civil defence centre last September, Christchurch Art Gallery has been scooping the audiences with its Ron Mueck show. With queues out the door and opening until midnight on the final Saturday, they finished the 4-month run with 135,140 visitors, including nearly 10,000 over the last weekend. It has been touted as the most popular paid-entry exhibition in NZ by a living artist. Who says blockbusters are passé?

Please see our website to find out about the important activities coming up for Museums Aotearoa:

  • MA11 conference registration – earlybird registration open until 25 February
  • 2011 NZ Museum Awards applications – due on 24 February
  • Attingham Summer School 2011 – expressions of interest due on 1 February
  • National Visitor Research project – throughout January-February

We are also offering a joint MA-ICOM membership this year. Details are on our new membership brochure/application form, which can be downloaded from our website here, or contact the office if you would like us to send you some hard copies.

Many museums and galleries are launching new shows over the next few weeks, and we wish you all the best with them. In the MA office we are busy with membership and getting details sorted for the MA11 conference, as well as this year’s Awards. Don’t forget to register/enter, more details about both are on our website.

Nga mihi,

Phillipa & Sophie

 

News Update

Kia ora

Check out the latest batch of museum news that has been uploaded today, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view). This is a slim edition due our special ahead-of-schedule news last week (which now has an index online to view).

The media over the last week has shown us a roller coaster of images and news from Canterbury. We are all extremely relieved that no lives were lost and there was relatively little damage to museum and gallery collections. Serious damage will need to be dealt with at Kaiapoi Museum and the Logie Collection at Canterbury University, and many heritage buildings are damaged or still awaiting assessment. We also feel for all the private owners and collectors whose treasures have been lost.

However, major institutions such as Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery and the Air Force Museum have come through almost unscathed. The art gallery staff are this week cleaning up after hosting civil defence HQ, in readiness for reopening to the public along with other Christchurch institutions such as Ballantynes.

There is a huge job to be done to repair and clean up across the affected region, not to mention the emotional and psychological healing that will be required. It is great to see groups such as NZ Conservators of Cultural Materials and NZ Institute of Architects stepping up and offering help, as well as the Canterbury Disaster Salvage team and many other individuals and organisations. National Services Te Paerangi has several useful links and contacts up on their website worth checking out. We wish everyone involved a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, the wheels of government continue to turn. We notice there have been significant changes made to the LEOTC funding model this year, and it will be interesting to see what this looks like for the museum sector in both the short and long term. The most obvious change is a move away from annual tender rounds based on specific ‘learning areas’ of the curriculum, allowing proposals for any learning area to be submitted. The other notable change appears to be a greater regional emphasis in the selection process. Also any new contracts entered into over the next two years will have an end date of June 2013 to bring all contracts into the same cycle and ” to pave the way for the new contracting environment”. There is information about these changes on the LEOTC website here, and the current tender document (number 30798) is available on the government electronic tendering service website here, for download.

And in Auckland the framework for the new Auckland City is now in place, ready for the new council to take up the reins following the October elections. The Board for Regional Facilities Auckland, the new ‘super-CCO’ group responsible for Auckland Art Gallery alongside the zoo and various stadia and events centres, has been announced, Appointees include Sir Don McKinnon as Chair, with Dame Jenny Gibbs as Deputy Chair. Regional Facilities Auckland is expected in future to also be responsible for the Auckland Museum and MOTAT, as well as Voyager Maritime Museum and others currently under the Auckland Regional Amenities Act, further details are available online here.

There have been Mayoral debates in several cities, and some interesting statements by candidates. So keep in touch with goings-on in local politics and make sure you vote for your local councillors who actively support arts, culture and heritage. Many candidates have profiles on the national election website or visit www.localgovt.co.nz for links to all local councils as well as news and other useful links.

Best wishes to all, especially our friends in Canterbury,

ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie


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