Posts Tagged 'Te Papa'



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.

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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.


Reflections on MA 12 – Ashley Mackenzie-White

Today we have an account by Ashley Mackenzie-White who left the conference full of questions.

MA12: Collaboration in Practice, 18-20 April 2012

 ‘They don’t realise they are experiencing art, but they have a feeling’ – Umberto Crenca 

It is a week since I walked out of Te Papa, acutely aware that the buzz of the MA12 conference would wear off and that soon I would find myself unable to turn to someone who just gets it. As it was said at the end of the 3 day conference; there will always be more questions than answers.  For me, these questions include:

Why didn’t I know about the amazing work of Te Kura before now and how are we, the museum sector going to help?

Why don’t we have our own version of AS220 in Aotearoa?

Why didn’t Pou Temara speak to the entire audience?

Why, in a museum filled with post it notes, was there no place to comment on what we loved, liked or disliked about MA12?

Why at a conference made up of discussions about tikanga Maori, taonga Maori, and more centrally collaboration, was there no discussion about the recently cancelled work by the Mexican artist, Teresa Margolles? Isn’t this decision relevant to all people who work in our sector as it raises questions about consultation and collaboration, censorship and cultural sensitivities, tikanga and korero?

In the three days at MA12, I heard about the exciting projects happening in the Far North.  I learnt that as beneficial as licensing trusts may be, it is the people that always come first, and that we should never take them or the time we have with them for granted. I heard many times how we should feel the fear and just do it. I heard that cooperation is about meaningful involvement, that museums are places of social commentary and that sometimes people have to put their ideals aside to enable a better community. I got excited about boosted.org.nz as well as equal pay. On Day Two, I was pleased to learn thanks to Jim Marchbank – former CEO of Science North, Sudbury, North Ontario – that there are commercial companies that want a long lasting experience that ‘emotional response’ rather than to slap us with their brand.  I was shown, thanks to the amazing people of Canterbury, the transformative power of art, the power of the human spirit, and the importance of our cultural & heritage institutions in the face of disaster.  

For those at the conference, or around Aotearoa, who were privileged to hear and meet Umberto Crenca from AS220, Providence, Rhode Island, you will have experienced that same awe, inspiration, faith and perhaps frustration that I felt during and after his keynote address on the closing day of the conference. These same emotions came to the fore when Coralie Winn from Christchurch showed us the stunning work of the Gap Filer community where all things from fridges full of books, to sculpture,  fill the spaces where buildings once stood.

Museums, galleries, archives, libraries, public spaces and government departments all have the ability to change people and their communities.  Museums, galleries, archives, libraries, public spaces and government departments survive by virtue of the values and passion that fulfil us. This was seen in the conference bags, made from exhibition advertising and lovingly reconstructed by the team at Mana Recovery. These bags are a physical manifestation of what the conference taught me; that it is the people that paint the pipes in copper colour then sprinkle them with dust that will save us from the ‘cuts’.

To the casual observer, the conference went extremely smoothly and our national museum was a gracious host. Phillipa and Sophie and their team have again pulled off a tour de force on their limited budget and tight resources, so hats off to them for a highly successful and engaging MA12.

Ashley Mackenzie-White
Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Reflections on MA 12 – Peter Read

Over the next few days we will be posting some reflections from people about their experiences at MA12, today we have Peter Read from the Otago Settlers Museum.

MA12: Collaboration in Practice

At the end of Day 2 Phillipa asked me what I had enjoyed most about MA12: Collaboration in Practice so far. ‘All of it’, I replied, from my usual perch on top of the fence. 

I was glad to have travelled up to Wellington the day before the conference to catch Jock Phillips setting the scene with some insightful opinion delivered in the inaugural Museums Aotearoa Public Lecture.

The following morning, as the number of delegates assembling in the level 2 foyer at Te Papa grew to critical mass before heading up to Te Marae for a powhiri, the first impression gained was how hot it was. Perhaps it was a combination of all the hot air being expelled by chin-wagging delegates and the balmy Wellington weather. It was a sign of things to come. There would be much more talking and continued good weather (other than a bit of a soaking on the way to the Mayoral reception preceding the awards dinner).

Mayoral reception

From the spirited debate of the Willie Jackson-chaired Taonga to Taonga session to the tales of collaborative projects both inside and outside the museum sector, Day 1 was a consistently stimulating affair that provided much food for thought.

Former CEO of Science North in Sudbury,Ontario,Canada – Jim Marchbank, keynote speaker for Day 2, delivered international flavour and prompted a yearning to hit the road and visit the institution he led for 24 years. Later that day we did hit the road. Unfortunately Canada was out of the question, so I settled for Porirua, where I could take in some institutions closer to home that I had also heard good things about and had long-hankered to see.

Jim Marchbank, Science North

It was true, by the end of Day 2, I had enjoyed it all in equal measure. Then along came Umberto Crenca, keynote speaker for Day 3, with his story of the revitalisation of central Providence into an arts and entertainment district. Bert’s story, ramped up in passionate style, blew us all away. The session on the lessons in collaboration learned from the Christchurch earthquakes was similarly inspiring.

As with all conferences some of the most valuable things afforded by MA12 were the opportunities to catch up with people, take a break from our own institutional timetable, and gain a view of what is going on in the wider museum world. For me MA12 also achieved what it set out to do, providing some valuable examples of, and showing some of the lessons learned from, collaboration in practice.

Peter Read
Otago Settlers Museum

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 2 May 2012

It has been a busy few weeks in the MA office.  Last Friday we farewelled Sophie de Lautour Kelly, who has been our Museum Membership Manager for the past two years.  On Monday Sophie flew out of Wellington on the first stage of her international adventures – first stop Australia, and then the world!

Yesterday we welcomed Talei Langley to MA.  Talei comes to us from a varied background in marketing, communications and general office support.  More recently, Talei has completed Honours in Art History and is planning a Masters thesis. There is still lots of catching up for us to do after the conference, and we’ll be working on a backlog of admin matters as well as planning activities for the remainder of 2012.  When Talei applied to MA, she said she works well under pressure and loves a job with plenty of variety – she’s sure to get all that as our Museum Membership Manager. 

MA12 papers and feedback
We’re gathering up presentations and videos from MA12 conference and getting them formatted to put up on our website.  There will also be some write-ups in the next MAQ later this month.  In the mean time, you can listen to our Canadian keynote speaker, Jim Marchbank as interviewed by Kim Hill on Radio NZ.  We would also love to hear your feedback on MA12 and any suggestions you have as we begin planning MA13 in Rotorua.  We have set up a feedback survey here.  If you didn’t attend, we’d be interested to hear your perspective too, and any suggestions for making it the annual conference easier to get to.

More events coming up 
There are lots more great opportunities on the horizon for getting together and professional development.  This week was the second in the Te Papa / Victoria University museum studies seminar series,  Conal McCarthy kicked this off last month by exploring the meaning and context of ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ in museum and university research.  He highlighted the positive and negative characteristics of each, and held out a challenge for research to be more collaborative across the museum sector.  Yesterday Claudia Orange and her team picked up the museum side of the challenge in a multi-player presentation titled Curating for the future: how museum research develops scholarship in the arts, sciences and humanities to shape research opportunities for researchers and museum audiences. This evoked an interesting discussion about who and what museum research is ‘for’.  Look out for the next in this series on Monday 21 May, when David Luoni will share his Masters research into leadership in museums.

Putting collaborative theory into practice, VUW is offering a one-day ‘Wananga Taonga’ to introduce professionals to Maori perspectives on museums and heritage.  This course is in Wellington on 1 June.

And a reminder of two Medallic Management Workshops this month in the South Island: Otago Settlers Museum on Tuesday 15 May and Air Force Museum on Wednesday 16 May.  There are some other useful National Services Te Paerangi workshops in June. See listings below for details. 

International Museum Day 
IMD is on 18 May, with a theme of museums in a changing world.  Falling on a Friday this year, IMD is a great opportunity to add something different to museum and gallery programming.  It could be as simple as letting visitors know that there is an international museum community.  Or you could offer back-of-house or late tours, relate the theme to your exhibits in some way, ask visitors for their views on our changing world, or link up with a distant museum.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination…  MA will be putting out a media release around 14 May – please let us know how your museum is planning to mark IMD.

If we’ve missed any vital information, or you have other ideas and suggestions for MA, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

Museum snippets, 19 October 2011

If you missed Hamish Keith proposing ‘Te Papa North’ on Morning Report today, you can listen on the Radio NZ website.

And don’t miss Auckland Museum’s new taonga show Tāmaki Paenga Hira, which premiers on Māori Television tonight at 8.30pm.

Ka kite ano,
Phillipa


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