Posts Tagged 'Rugby World Cup'

Jock Phillips – Was This Real New Zealand? TelstraClear Museums Aotearoa Lecture

The inaugural TelstraClear Museums Aotearoa Lecture was held Tuesday 17 April 2012, 6.30pm-7.30pm at Soundings Theatre, Te Papa.

Was this Real New Zealand?

Jock Phillips looks at the ways in which our history and identity is approached and presented, drawing on his Rugby World Cup Real New Zealand Festival road trip and his experience of the national museum (Te Papa) and the National Encyclopedia (Te Ara).  How do we exhibit our history, what makes a museum exhibition work, and what did the ‘Real New Zealand’ festival say about the state of our culture?

Jock Phillips is Senior Editor of Te Ara, the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand in the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. He was previously New Zealand’s Chief Historian following 16 years teaching American and New Zealand History at Victoria University of Wellington.  He was also the founding Director of the Stout Research Centre for the study of New Zealand society, history and culture; and was the Conceptual Leader for the History exhibitions at Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand.

He has published thirteen books on New Zealand history, of which the best known is A Man’s Country: The image of the Pakeha male – a history.  His latest book, Settlers (with Terry Hearn) covers the history of British immigration to New Zealand.

Telstra Clear Ltd has joined with Museums Aotearoa in the spirit of collaboration to launch the Museums Aotearoa Lecture.

Jock Philips – Was This Real New Zealand Part 1 from Museums Aotearoa on Vimeo.

Jock Philips – Was This Real New Zealand Part 2 from Museums Aotearoa on Vimeo.


Reflections on MA12 – Andrea Hemmins

Over the next few days we will be posting some reflections from people about their experiences at MA12, starting today with Andrea Hemmins from The Kauri Museum.

Collaboration For Success while Maintaining Integrity

The Museums Aotearoa 2012 conference theme of collaboration was very timely and encouraging. With challenging times for Museums and Galleries now and ahead, keynote speakers were positive, realistic and some truly inspiring. The sharing and exchange of ideas and experiences was enhanced by being in Wellington, and at Te Papa, the heart of New Zealand’s culture and heritage. There was a mutual awareness of the current financial challenges and how adaptions can be made to overcome pressures facing most GLAM sector institutions.

The view from Te Papa

This was highlighted and reinforced by the Stick it to the Man campaign. A bold and honest move by Te Papa to urge the public to have their say about Te Papa today and Te Papa tomorrow. A simple but very effective campaign where a life-sized cut out of Director Michael Houlihan invites visitors to stick a ‘post it’ with their opinion on various walls throughout the galleries. The day before the conference a few ‘post its’ graced the walls, by Friday layers of colourful opinions and ideas sprung fourth and became part of the Te Papa experience. A clever method of empowering New Zealanders with a voice about their/our Te Papa; and most importantly creating a feeling of coming together for the greater good. Also an example of how the visitor can participate as collaborator. This all done at a time when media announcements were being made about budget cuts and limitations.

The reality is, no matter what industry you’re in, today there are now limitations we may not have experienced yesterday. Knowing that we’re in it together and can find ways to utilise each others resources and skills is a useful way to uphold staff morale, visitor experience and overall understanding. Being creative about overcoming restrictions and celebrating team achievement empowers everyone to a higher level.

Speaking of teamwork and celebration, Jock Philips kicked off the conference with an overview of his travels during the New Zealand Festival and Rugby World Cup to discover What is Real NZ? He frequented a multitude of small and large museums and outdoor celebrations from Invercargill to Auckland, drawing up a variety of conclusions in a blog along the way. He commented that the most successful places provided an ‘urgent relevance to the world around’ and that successful celebrations were where communities centred the activity, naturally bringing people together in a hive of activity and enthusiasm; whereas towns that sent visitors in different directions to the outskirts tended to dilute the atmosphere.

Jim Marchbank, previous CEO of Science North in Ontario Canada, provided very good practical advice for museums and galleries seeking collaboration with outside commercial and non-commercial partners. He spoke of collaboration for survival, and the need to remain true to mission statements and brand identities while fulfilling the mutual benefits for all parties involved. ‘Use your strengths and pursue win-win’ he stated. Though he was also quick to point out the importance of flexibility within your own organisation to cater to the requirements of an external party so as not to halt progress. He raised how expectations on both sides of a collaboration should be made clear in the beginning and that major decisions be shared so empowerment is equal and encouraged. A sense of pride on both sides is an indicator of success.

Umberto Crenca’s presentation was truly charismatic and inspirational. His presentation The Art of Community, about the complete turnaround of the city centre of Providence, Rhode Island, through the use of art, foresight, and pure determination, gave us all a reminder of why we love what we do. Whether museum, library or gallery based, GLAM professionals generally have a heightened social conscience, his work setting up the AS220 organisation to revive the city centre and install a sense of place through community participation for social improvement was commendable. This was recognized by the resulting applause. Each of us facing challenges of our own could relate to his vigor and drive to strive on for social awareness, education and facilitating overall greater good for communities.  

Umberto Crenca

The final segment was dedicated to Christchurch, with the museums and art galleries discussing how they came through the earthquakes, and how their futures look. A discussion involving emergency policies and procedures was very informative. On the panel, Coralie Winns Gap Filler project aiming to raise the morale of Christchurch residents through community projects in empty spaces around the city was greatly inspiring.

In summary, the conference relayed the importance of new and long term close working relationships for mutual gain; togetherness; and the power that can be harnessed by individuals and communities while upholding original long term personal and/or institutional goals. In the words of Victoria University student Shannon Wellington, in reference to collaboration ‘risk anything except your institutional integrity’ and put eloquently by celebrated maori language educator Mereana Selby, ‘behave in a mana enhancing way’.

Andrea Hemmins
The Kauri Museum

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 1 April 2011

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

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:

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

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