Posts Tagged 'Christchurch'

News & MA12 Update 23 December 2011

This is our final update for the year, hopefully you are all getting into holiday mode now, enjoying a well deserved summer break.

For your summer reading, we have uploaded the latest batch of Museum News here, which covers lots of interesting stories from 5-22 December. Download here.

Just now we are hearing about yet another series of large quakes in Christchurch today. Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in Christchurch who have had an incredibly challenging year. We are sincerely hoping that papatuanuku will be calming down over the Christmas break, with aftershocks settling down. Kia kaha.

We have enjoyed working with you all in 2011, it has certainly been a very full year. We are looking forward to coming back in the new year and hopefully seeing many of you at our conference in Wellington, in April. More details below:

MA12, 18-20 April 2012: Save the date!

Registrations for the MA12 Conference will open in January. The conference is titled Collaboration in practice and will be held at Te Papa in Wellington from 18-20 April 2012. A full programme will be provided in January, but in the meantime we are excited to announce our 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

The annual New Zealand Museum Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday night at the City Gallery, with some fine dining and a fantastic local band lined up for entertainment.

Further chances to catch up with colleagues will occur over welcome drinks at the Museum of City and Sea. Governors/Directors and Kaitiaki dinners will also be held on Wednesday 18th.

The conference will be preceded by the Museums Aotearoa Inaugural Public Lecture on the evening of Tuesday 17 April in Soundings Theatre, Te Papa.

Other related sector events and group meetings will also be held on Tuesday 17th April, including a Poutama 3 workshop entitled Lighting for the Future run by National Services (see

A limited number of travel and accommodation scholarships (up to $300 per organisation) are available, kindly sponsored by National Services Te Paerangi. We will provide further information about these when registration opens.

A further email will be sent out once registrations open in the New Year. Looking forward to seeing you in Wellington!

On a final note, congratulations to Heather Galbraith and Justin Paton who are to have key roles in developing New Zealand’s presence for the 2013 Venice Biennale. They will join Commissioner Jenny Harper as Deputy Commissioner and Curator respectively. Full details are on the Creative New Zealand website, where you can also find information on funding available and recipients of the latest grants.

Mere Kirihimete!

Phillipa and Sophie


News Update 26 July 2011

Last week I visited Christchurch for the first time since January – and since the most devastating earthquakes. Walking around the barriers around unstable buildings and outside the central city cordon, I was just one of a number of onlookers. Some like me were seeing things for the first time, others were locals, all trying to get a sense of the scale of the disaster and what is happening in the recovery efforts. It was very sad to see so much damage, shops and businesses, museums and galleries closed to the public, and the city so quiet.

However, there are encouraging signs of new energy and momentum. Despite continuing aftershocks, teams of people are repairing, planning and rebuilding all over the city. Cafes are re-opening, parking fees reinstated, and there was even a busker outside Canterbury Museum playing to the trickle of workers and tourists walking past. His recorder music – ranging from ‘La vie en Rose’ to ‘Favourite Things’ – was hauntingly appropriate in the grey winter afternoon.

Canterbury Museum – fenced in (July 2011)

While many museums and galleries are still closed lots is happening. Canterbury Museum is planning to re-open on 1 September. They are working hard on sorting out collections, installing exhibitions and dusting off the galleries to welcome the public back with several new shows.

Christchurch Art Gallery will have to wait until the council and CERA staff move out, an unstable neighbouring apartment block is demolished and various repairs are made to the building, all of which is likely to take until the end of the year. In the mean time they are very busy with collection work and off-site projects. CAG staff post regular news updates online, and their ‘Bunker Notes’ blog is both whimsical and informative

current ‘exhibitions’ at Christchurch Art Gallery (July 2011)

The second annual museum sector Remuneration Survey is now underway. Strategic Pay’s survey team has been contacting museums and galleries to invite you to particpate – which also qualifies you for a discount on the price of the report. Following feedback from 2010, some minor adjustments were made to the list of museum-specific positions. Strategic Pay will also be liaising with local councils where appropriate, as all councils now subscribe to their biannual Local Government Survey. The first museum sector survey provided excellent data as well as an overview of remuneration practices in the sector. With more participants and cumulative data, this will become an even more useful tool for museums and for our advocacy on behalf of the sector – I encourage every museum and gallery to take part. You can contact Strategic Pay on 09 303 3045 or

While UK textile historian Annabel Westman was here for the MA11 conference earlier this year, she recorded an interview with Radio NZ. It was broadcast on The Arts on Sunday on 24 July, and you can listen to it here.

In the UK, the latest round of funding cuts is biting deeply. The Museums Association has conducted a survey, The Impact Of Cuts On UK Museums, which reveals that one-fifth of UK museums have had cuts of 25% or more. Of those:

•over 60% have cut back their public events
•half have reduced opening hours
•over 85% have cut staff
The MA also reports that over 40% of local authority museums have cut paid staff by 10% or more in the last year. The report can be downloaded here.

I hope to see many of you at the museums and galleries session which is part of the Diversity Forum in Hamilton on 22 August. This promises to be an inspiring and interactive forum exploring diversity in programming and audiences, with a focus on engaging youth. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues from other museums and galleries. You can download the flyer and registration information here.

Nga mihi,


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