Taking in the enormity of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami is difficult. The latest message from ICOM Japan on 30 March estimates that there are 400 museum in the areas affected. Information is scarce as access is so limited, and they do not yet know what the future options might be. Of 144 museums whose current situation is known, some museums are safe, and 31 very seriously damaged – ‘some museums were vanished by the Tsunami’. You can read Professor Mizushima’s message uploaded on the nzmuseums blog here.
There is a lot of talk now about the economic effects of the Christchurch earthquake. While our situation may not have the global ramifications of the disaster in Japan, there will still be a major impact on New Zealand’s economy. The howls of anguish as the IRB decision to move the Rugby World Cup games from Christchurch was announced, show how vital tourism is to us. Recent statistics show that not only has international tourism been hit by the global financial crisis which began in 2008, but domestic tourism is also suffering.
Compared to the previous year, figures for the year to December 2010 show:
- domestic overnight trips fell by 3.8% to 16.1 million
- domestic day trips fell by 6.5% to 29.a million
- spend by domestic travellers fell by 1.1% to $8.8 billion.
Many of our museum and gallery visitors are New Zealanders from outside the local area, so this decline may result in lower than predicted visitation for some. For the latest data see www.tourismresearch.govt.nz
In other research, Suzette Major and Rose Gould-Lardelli are conducting a study of arts management, in particular the role of arts managers and the career paths and general characteristics of those who manage artists or arts organisations in the New Zealand creative industries. Even if you are not currently an ‘arts manager’, your views could contribute to this research – or you could forward this request to other people you know in the arts management field. Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ArtsManagementSurvey
Roger Fyfe, Senior Curator Anthropology at Canterbury Museum, delivered the 2010 McMillan Brown Lecture series in Christchurch last November. These are now being played on National Radio. The first in the series, ‘Who Owns the Past?’, aired on Sunday 27 March, and surveys the development of museums in New Zealand in the 19th and 20th centuries. If you missed the broadcast, I highly recommend that you download or listen to this fascinating lecture on the Radio NZ website here.
And for those who are interested in images of post- (and pre-) earthquake Christchurch, there is very good high re aerial imagery here.
We’re now in final count-down to the MA11 conference in Nelson. We are expecting around 150 delegates and speakers, and looking forward to some insightful discussion, catching up with friends and colleagues, and having some fun as well. We will be announcing the winners of the 2011 NZ Museums Awards, and electing new Board members at the AGM. Election and voting information will be emailed to members next week.
Kia ora ano,
Phillipa and Sophie