Posts Tagged 'Far North Regional Museum'

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.

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.



News Update 13 July 2011

The latest museum news round-up is full of positive stories of happenings in museums and galleries around the country as well as the effects of more earthquakes in Christchurch and the recovery efforts.  You can find this in the members’ area of our website here (note: you need to be a member of Museums Aotearoa to access this information).

More rounds of consultation are underway aorund the country.  Especially at the local government level, this seems to be continuous – if not drafting the next Annual Plan, there’s a specific topic such as animal control, transport or parking to consider, or another round of Long Term Plan consultation.  One reason for this is that we’re living in a time of constant change.  So it seems incredible that many of us, including Museums Aotearoa, are still operating under 103-year old legislation.

Currently much of our not-for-profit sector is governed by the century old Incorporated Societies Act 1908 – an Act which the Law Commission argues is in need of major reform.  Introducing the review, Law Commissioner Professor Geoff McLay says preliminary consultation and research suggested there were a number of problems with the old Act including the lack of adequate processes for dealing with conflicts of interests and resolving internal disputes.  “Getting basic governance structures right, understanding what is appropriate conduct for those who govern societies, and providing for suitable mechanisms for resolving disputes is critical for all organisations, especially those which seek government or other sponsorship. The 1908 Act, in our view, does not require societies to ask the appropriate questions when they are being set up. Nor does it provide incentives for already existing societies to improve.”

The Law Commission has released an Issues Paper exploring the shortcomings of the 1908 Act, the implications of possible changes, and seeking public input into the review/reform process.  The paper acknowledges the valuable contribution of non-profit organisations, especially incorporated societies, to society as a whole.  It seeks to create an ‘enabling environment’, with a balance between greater accountability and governance controls, and unnecessary compliance costs.

The range of issues and options for reform raised in the paper includes:

  • minimum governance rules as a condition of incorporation
  • a code that makes the obligations of committee members clearer
  • how to provide for the resolution of disputes between members and their societies
  • what rules ought to be required to societies’ constitutions
  • whether a new Incorporated Societies Act should also replace the ability to incorporate under the Charitable Trusts Act

There are 23,052 incorporated societies and 20,106 charitable trusts in New Zealand.  A quick search of the register brings up 99 societies and 113 charitable trusts with museum or gallery in their name.  These include not only museums and galleries themselves, but also friends and supporters organisations, and some institutions have two or more societies and trusts associated with them.  I encourage all museums and galleries to look into the implications and opportunities raised by this review, to seek input from your governance bodies and legal advisors, and to respond to the Law Commission by 30 September 2011.

Te Papa  is also in consultation mode.  They have already done a great deal of work with their staff, and are now seeking wider stakeholder input into developing Te Papa’s proposed vision and ten year strategic plan.  There is an online discussion, ‘Envisioning the Future’, where you can provide direct feedback.  The Te Papa Statement of Intent 2011-2014 has also been released, and can be downloaded here.

On the national stage, we’re gearing up for two major festivals – the Rugby World Cup 2011 and November’s general election.  Your views on the election issues and policies as they affect our sector are invited, and MA will be bringing you some commentary as we get closer to the election.  However, we’ll leave the rugby commentary up to others!

And on a final note, we’ve just been sent this picture by the folk at the Far North Regional Museum, which we shall share with you. They’re going full steam ahead with preparations for moving into the Te Ahu complex, Kaitaia’s new multi-purpose community facility.  Te Ahu will be a focus for both visitors and local communities, bringing together the functions of museum, i-Site, Library and exhibition space, alongside a cinema, council service centre and other community activities.  More images, plans and information is on the Te Ahu website here

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 currently online as a downloadable PDF, index will follow shortly.

Another busy fortnight, and we’ve been out and about. Both Sophie and I visited Auckland privately, and squeezed in some museum visiting while we were there. I had a quick look at the Walters Prize exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery, and visited the new home of the Wallace Arts Trust, the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre at Pah Homestead, where finalists in the 2010 Wallace Art Awards are on show until 3 October before travelling to TheNewDowse (opening 22 October). While we await the announcement of the Walters Prize on 8 October, interviews with the four finalists can be found online here and you can also vote for the ‘Peoples Choice’.

Last week I spent a very enjoyable 2 days in the Far North with the Northland Museums Association. Heritage Kaikohe hosted the meeting, and treated some 40 visitors to train rides as well as warm hospitality and a cosy fire. Serious discussion of museum strategies, national and local issues took up most of Friday, with a little time for local politics as well. The NMA is made up of a wide variety of museums, from the council-owned Whangarei Art Museum, to the independent Kauri Museum, and volunteer-run Hokianga Historical Society (Omapere). They span tourist areas such as Russell and country towns like Kaikohe.

It was sad to hear about Omapere having to move their collections into containers after the building they shared with the i-Site was declared unsafe, although Alexa tells me they have now been offered space at the local school. We wish Far North Regional Museum all the best as they negotiate their way forward as part of the Te Ahu complex, Shirley and friends at the Jack Morgan a successful opening and a well-deserved breather, and Mangawhai Museum success in raising funds to put a roof on top of their newly-built walls and floor. All in the NMA show great enterprise and enthusiasm. Best wishes also to Scott as Chair, Eileen as secretary, and Lynda for her work as out-going secretary. And a big thank-you to all the folk at Heritage Kaikohe for their hospitality, especially Ian, Heather and Trevor.

NMA members take the Heritage Kaikohe train, driven by Trevor Bedggood (photo: Don Hammond/Far North Regional Museum)

I have also been out and about as a ‘lay’ juror for the Wellington branch NZ Institute of Architecture Awards. I’ve seen some really inspiring spaces, both public and private. This has afforded a fascinating insight into how awards work from the selectors’ perspective – very timely as we begin work on growing the Museum Awards for 2011. Watch out for notice of criteria and entry opportunities before the end of the year.

With the school holidays now underway, many museums will be busy with holiday programmes and lots of families visiting. And Auckland is in the thick of its Heritage Festival, with lots of museums and galleries taking part. The festival runs from 18 September to 3 October, click here for details. Further south the biannual Otago Festival of the Arts is coming up 8-17 October, including theatre performances at Otago Settlers Museum and exhibitions at Dunedin Public Art Gallery as well as lots of other dance, theatre and music events. We hope you all have lots of visitors and lots of fun.

Nga mihi,

Phillipa and Sophie

PS – don’t forget to vote for your local mayor and council!

“No one can be forced to vote. However, it’s vitally important that those of us who can, make the effort to do so, even if it only goes so far as reading the voter’s guide that comes with your voting paper before deciding whose name to put a tick beside. If nothing else, to most people’s minds, anyone who chooses not to vote also loses their mandate to complain over the next three years when decisions are made which they do not agree with.”
(Race to be mayor springs into life, Bay of Plenty Times, 25 September 2010)

Ian Wards, Phillipa Tocker, Heather Ayrton and Ian Day at Heritage Kaikohe (photo: Don Hammond/Far North Regional Museum)

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