Posts Tagged 'Rotorua Museum'

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

 

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News Update June 26

Kia ora ,

It has been another busy couple of weeks, with newspapers reporting council funding decisions, new exhibitions and other museum sector activities – including citizens and politicians in Dunedin debating renaming of Otago Settlers Museum, the Sarjeant Gallery’s partial closure due to earthquake risk, and Te Papa paying $1.5 million for the piano Michael Parakowhai made for the Venice Biennale. Auckland Art Gallery has added to its haul of awards, including the NZIA 2012 NZ Architecture Medal and Chris Saines’ CNZM in the Queens’ Birthday Honours, this time scooping three of the 2012 NZ Property Council Awards – Rotorua Museum only got one.

Statistics survey(s) current and coming up
We have mentioned before that MA is working on a bigger and better sector statistics project. This is now scheduled for August, and museum and gallery organisations will soon be contacted to ask for your input. This is a vital piece of work for all of us – each institution needs to have such data for its own planning, and sharing it enables everyone to gain a better understanding of the bigger picture into which we all fit. MA has engaged researcher Lisa McCauley to run the survey, whom some of you might know from her time as Auckland Museum’s research manager, and we’ve convened a small reference group to ensure that the project is robust, authoritative, useful and accessible. We’re also working with key stakeholders such as MCH and ATTTO as both providers and users of our sector information.

Staff appointments – Waikato, Rotorua, Waitangi, Palmerston North, Auckland…
Waikato Museum has welcomed new Director, Cherie Meecham, lately Deputy Director at Rotorua Museum, and will shortly farewell Deputy Director Andy Lowe to take up the Director’s vacancy at Te Manawa. Now Rotorua is now to also lose its Director, with Greg McManus to become Chief Executive of the Waitangi National Trust in early August. So we anticipate a bit of movement around the country, with a record 17 vacancies advertised in May, and senior appointments awaited at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Tairawhiti Museum, and several at Auckland Museum.

There are plenty of interesting and useful opportunities and events coming up in the second half of this year. Training sessions for UNESCO’s Memory of the World project will be held this week and next in Wellington and Dunedin, and Auckland will host creative sector networking event Survive and Thrive in early July. November’s INTERCOM conference in Sydney has extended its call for papers until 15 July. Nga mihi o Matariki,

Phillipa & Talei

PS – we’re enjoying finding out about Matariki and all things astronomical with the Carter Observatory on Facebook – a great example of successful museum engagement via social media.


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 14 September 2011

It’s all happening!  The fabulous opening of the new Auckland Art Gallery, Rotorua Museum’s beautiful extension, Whangarei Art Museum – and rugby events everywhere.

Auckland
Auckland celebrated magnificently for the re-opening of the Auckland Art Gallery.  There were various events, not-too-long speeches, much partying and lots of thank-yous, as well as rousing haka, thrilling waiata and a real live fanfare.  Now we really do have an art museum that is the equal of those in major overseas cities. A whole lot more of Auckland’s seriously good collection is on show, alongside the Robertson ‘Promised Gift’ of international masters, and some beautiful and inspiring new commissions.  The curatorial team have made the most of their ‘time out’ to thoughtfully recontextualise collection favourites and bring forgotten gems to light.  Of course it will be there for many years to come, but do go as soon as you can.

AAG lunchtime preview
lunchtime preview on opening day – nearly ready…
Chris Saines

Chris Saines' last speech at the official opening


AAG opening crowd

... before the crowd returns


AAG on Auckland waterfront
Auckland Art Gallery’s new branding is a hit with families on the waterfront walk

Rotorua
In Rotorua, I am told that a moving dawn ceremony was followed by a celebration which was suitably memorable – I regret that I could not be in both places at the same time.  However, I was delighted to go to Rotorua the following week, and see the superbly finished Don Stafford Wing, perfectly matching the orignial 100+ year old Bath House.  Inside, school groups and other visitors were totally engaged with the excellent new exhibits. And Pukaki – the ‘face’ of our 20 cent coin – has a fitting resting place at the entrance to the new galleries, which feature some magnificanet Te Arawa taonga from Auckland Museum as well as Rotorua’s own collection.  Another essential visit for museum people.

Pukaki welcomes visitors into the Don Stafford Wing at Rotorua Museum

Ashburton
There has been plenty of acrimony  over several years and a new flurry of protest in recent months as the Ashburton District Council debated whether or not to go ahead with plans for a new museum/art gallery/archive building. It’s great to see that the council has finally agreed to accept a $6.6 million tender and push ahead with it. Now there is only a building consent yet to be approved.  I do like the way the local paper reports every ‘he said, she said’ of the council debate – that way everyone knows who is on which side, and who is yet to be won over!

Diversity Award for Pataka
In other news, Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures has been recognised by the Human Rights Commission for its outstanding contribution to community-building and inclusiveness.  As HRC noted for Pataka’s Diversity Award, it “has become the cultural heart of Porirua City. In the 12 years since it opened Pataka has developed a reputation for showcasing the best in Maori, Pacific Island, New Zealand, Asian and other diverse international contemporary art & culture”.  See reports fromt he Diversity Awards and the Hamilton forum in August here.

Ethics of disposal
Those who were at MA11 in Nelson will recall a lively discussion of the ethics of disposal, which included the case of New Zealand-related objects fromthe British Empire & Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, UK, appearing on the open market with no provenance.  Another chapter in this saga has been published by The Art Newspaper. The article ‘Rise and fall of the British Empire Museum’ (3 Sep 2011) can be found here under the tag museums.

Official Information Act
In other news, the New Zealand media are again looking into losses and thefts of museum objects, especially the emotive topic of medals.  The recent arrest of an ex-NZ Army Museum staffer for stealing hundreds of medals shocked and surprised many, and has spurred some awkward Official Information Act (OIA) requests from the media.  One thing to note is that the OIA applies to government departments and to local government – but our advice is that organisations and collections which are governed by trusts are not covered.  This means that local government funded museums and galleries may be subject to the OIA for organisational matters, but collections that are the repsonsibility of a separate trust are not.  So if you are approached by journalists or others seeking information under the OIA, you may not be legally obliged to provide it – although you may decide to do so anyway in the public interest.

And elsewhere around the country, it’s hard to avoid mention of rugby.  Seemingly every museum and gallery has managed to relate current exhibitions and programmes to rugby in some way.  And a timely release this week of a Quarterly Focus report on visitor satisfaction by Tourism Research makes explicit correlation between visitor satisfaction, repeat visitation, and willingness to recommend – word of mouth being a hugely important factor in marketing the country as a destination as well as specific activities such as exhibitions and events. I hope all our RWC 2011 visitors are extremely satisfied with their experiences in museums and galleriesaround the country.

I wish you a busy and productive time while the country is consumed by rugby!

Ka kite,
Phillipa

News Update 11 August 2011

Southland Museum and Art Gallery has attracted much comment after a letter to the Editor of the Southland Times calling an exhibition of Ralph Hotere drawings ‘trash’ and ‘not appropriate for young adults’.  It’s good to see people taking an interest in their local museums and galleries, and that the letter drew extremely supportive responses from other readers!  You can read these and other news stories in the members’ area of our website here (you need to be an MA member to log in).

Activity around the country
Around the country everyone is gearing up for – or hiding away from – that sporting event which will overtake us from 9 September.  Museums and galleries have been making special efforts to put on great shows such as the inspiring and wide-ranging 2-part exhibition exploring currents of art throughout the Pacific, Oceania at Te Papa and City Gallery Wellington.  And there is a flurry of activity as opening dates loom for Auckland Art Gallery, Rotorua Museum, the relocated Whangarei Art Museum, and the NZ Rugby Museum in its new home at the redeveloped Te Manawa.

You can check out these and all the other cultural activities being promoted to our rugby visitors as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival.

Mix and Mash is here again – Digital NZ has opened a competition with $40,000 in cash and prizes for the best mashup and remix of NZ content and data. There is online information and tutorials, and you are encouraged to take part in the discussions. There was also an actual launch event in Auckland on 4 August.  The competition is open until 15 September, with winners to be annouced on 3 October.  Visit the Digital NZ mixandmash website for details.

People in the news
We all know that museum and gallery people are interesting, although we don’t always know about the things that our colleagues do outside of work time. One such person is Jennie McCormick, customer services officer at Te Tuhi. Jennie’s alter ego is an amateur astronomer, and was the subject of Radio NZ’s Spectrum documentary last week, which you can listen to here.

Also on the radio was Tina Barton, Director of the Adam Art Gallery, talking about their current show Behind Closed Doors, which brings artworks from private collectors’ homes into the gallery. You can listen to Tina on The Arts on Sunday, 31 July.  Other recent Radio NZ interviews have been with Scott Pothan (Whangarei Art Museum), Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery) and Bill Macnaught (National Library, ex-Puke Ariki).

Diversity in focus
And a reminder about the museums and galleries session which is part of the Diversity Forum in Hamilton on 22 August.  This is a great opportunity to spend some time focussing on professional practice with interested colleagues.  You can download the flyer and registration information here.  I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa

News Update 10 February 2011

The latest batch of museum news is online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view). We’re a couple of days late with the latest news as we’ve been away in Rotorua. The Museums Aotearoa Board met on Tuesday, hosted in fine style by Rotorua Museum. We really appreciated their cheerful hospitality as well as their air conditioning – it felt like about 30 degrees outside, especially to those of us from further south! and it was great to have an opportunity to see their re-development progress, which is on track towards a successful opening on 20 August.

Museums Aotearoa Board Members inspecting progress at Rotorua Museum

We also really enjoyed meeting with members from the area, some of whom had driven quite some distance to be there. We had afternoon tea and a good discussion of current issues and projects, including the work towards accreditation for museums and galleries in New Zealand. This is an important development in encouraging and recognising best practice standards in all museum and galleries, whatever their size. Another topic of discussion was a review of the Code of Ethics. We will have discussion papers about both these projects circulated for debate at the AGM in April.

MA11 conference planning has been taking much of our time, with details of the 3-day programme on Collecting Culture being finalised. Our hosts at Nelson Provincial Museum and the Suter are looking forward to welcoming colleagues to their place, and to their region. The first day of the conference will be held at the pan-iwi Whakatū Marae which will provide an ideal setting to explore bicultural collections. Thursday and Friday will be at various venues, including the Suter and Nelson Provincial Museum, with the Awards dinner at Nelson School of Music. The conference will be followed by a BarCamp convened by National Services Te Paerangi on Saturday 16 April. More details and registration information are on our website, make sure you register before 25 February to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount. And don’t forget, National Services have travel subsidies available, specifically to assist smaller organisations to attend MA11. These are being administered via the Helping Hand Grants, click here for application forms.

Here in Wellington, talk is focussed on politics. Controversy within the Māori Party is hotly debated, as well as the second reading of the new Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill. This Bill is being brought to the House by Hon Christopher Finlayson, as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. Being Attorney General as well as the Arts, Culture & Heritage portfolio, our Minister is a very busy man. Currently before the parliament he also has the Cultural Property (Protection in Armed Conflict) Bill (to enable NZ to ratify an international convention), the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Bill (which re-jigs the Arts Council and its committees), the Ngā Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill, Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill, a Legislation Bill and a Whanganui Iwi Bill.

On top of all this, the General Election has been set for 26 November this year. So it is even more vital that issues for the museum and gallery sector are well-understood by politicians on all sides of the debate. Museums Aotearoa keeps in contact with various ministers and MPs, in government and in opposition. Next week we have another meeting with Hon Christopher Finlayson, and we’re delighted that he will address the MA11 conference at the closing session on Friday 15 April.

This month deadlines are looming for conference registration and awards entries. More details are on our website, or contact us at the Museums Aotearoa office in Wellington.

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie

News Update

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome back to our new format news and notices. Now that we are putting out the news fortnightly, you are getting more up-to-date coverage about museums in the news around the country.
Click here to view the latest batch of news from 30 June – 15 July. The index of stories is now listed by organisation. Please note you will need to be logged in to the Members’ Area to view online.

It is great to see many museums and galleries getting good publicity about their programmes, and to read the other news about museum developments, politics, funding and sometimes the bad news such as cut-backs or thefts. We can all learn from the experience of others. We’re very happy that Whangarei Museum has had a good outcome following the very unfortunate theft of geckos – and to see that the culprits have been caught!

To add to the NZ news clippings, check out some of these other interesting links:

  • Label-writing – a new look at engaging (not off-putting) audiences. Click here to read more.
  • Michael Houlihan will soon leave National Museum Wales to take up the Te Papa Chief Executive position in August. After the change of government in the UK, their national museums are facing substantial cuts in funding. Click here to listen to Michael discuss this on the BBC.
  • Creative NZ have just announced the establishment of two new funding programmes to replace the previous Recurrent Funding Programme. Click here to read more.

And there’s lots of useful information on our own Museums Aotearoa website. For instance, the presentations made by Lawrence Yule and Barbara McKerrow to MA10 are especially relevant when thinking about local government and museums in the lead-up to October’s local elections. Click here to view the MA10 presentations online.

Our own recent activities include a visit to Rotorua Museum on Monday, where Greg McManus gave us a tour of the construction of the new addition which is the final stage of their centennial development. It was fascinating to see the old façade being kept and extended over a new skeleton of steel which replicates the original exterior design – but saves much of the cost and space required by the complex timber structure of the older parts. The new wing is due to open in August next year, just in time to welcome the thousands of Rugby World Cup visitors predicted to descend upon us in September 2011.

Click here to find out more about the Rotorua Museum development, and check out their photos on Facebook.

Ngā mihi,

Phillipa and Sophie

Rotorua Museum – Exterior juxtaposition

Jeremy Hubbard, Sophie de Lautour Kelly; Jo Doherty; Greg McManus all following OSH guidelines on site (see appropriate footwear!)


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