As I sit to write this I feel like spring is truly here on the East Coast – the blossoms are out and the birds and bees are going crazy outside my window. After a rather wet winter summer feels like it is just around the corner, and all I can say is bring it on!
With the change of seasons brings the celebration and opening of projects big and small all around the motu. In this month’s blog I look forward to highlighting, celebrating and sharing a few recently and soon to be completed projects.
First though, I want to draw your attention to upcoming hui happening in the North Island before the end of the year.
Middle North Island Curators’ Hui, Waiouru, 2 – 3 November
The Middle North Island Curators’ Hui, which is hosted by the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa, in Waiouru on 2 – 3 November. The theme for this hui is Reflections for the Future – Commemorating War in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Middle North Island Curators’ Hui is open to those involved with curation who are based in the middle of the North Island – from Kāpiti, the Hutt, Taranaki, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupō and the East Coast including Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairārapa, Manawatu, Whanganui and everywhere in between. The group has had successful hui hosted by different museums in this part of the country for a number of years now.
The Army Museum team have put out a call for expressions of interest (EOI) to present at the hui. The closing date for EOIs and registration is 4pm on Friday 20 October. For those interested in putting your hand up, the presentations will be run in a 14 minute Pecha Kucha style, allowing for as many people as possible to share their experiences and knowledge. We look forward to one of the attendees sharing their experience of this Curators’ Hui in an upcoming post on the NZ Museums blog.
The next Kaitiaki hui is just around the corner, and will be hosted by Te Awamutu Museum and Pūrekireki Marae, in Pirongia. The dates for this hui are 18 – 20 October 2017.
Travel subsidies to attend professional development opportunities
Are you or your team keen to attend museum related training opportunities such as the Kahui Kaitiaki, the Middle North Island Curators’ Hui, or other museum and gallery professional development, but the cost of travel and accommodation is holding you back?
National Services Te Paerangi’s Travel Subsidy Grant can help subsidise travel expenses associated with museum or gallery training in New Zealand. It is an extremely simple grant application process, and can support up to $300 including GST towards your flights, accommodation and car travel. Organisations can make up to three applications per financial year.
Kawerau Museum storage project journey
Exterior photo of the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum and Library. Photograph by Sally August, Te Papa
On 29 September 2017, the Kawerau District Council will hold its grand opening of the new Museum and Archives Storage Building, which also includes a workroom for the staff of the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum. Completion of this development is a pleasing moment for all those involved in the Museum and is a significant step forward towards collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Kawerau.
When the Museum began as a Trust in 2000, space was at a premium and volunteers had no choice but to jam donated material into any space they could find. Former volunteer and now Museum Curator, Irene Sandle recalls: “Everything was squashed into where it fitted and not where it should go”.
In 2009, when the Kawerau Council was asked to take on the management of the Museum, a lack of suitable facilities to work with and care for the collections was identified as a major concern not only for the collections, but the small number of staff and volunteers as well. At the same time, the Council was also exploring what needed to be done to better care for it’s own archives.
Exterior photo of the new Kawerau Museum dedicated storage. Photograph by Sally August, Te Papa
The solution was to purchase a building across the courtyard from the existing Museum and Library facility. The public galleries within the library would be retained, and the new space would provide a dedicated storage space for museum collections, council archives, and a purpose built workroom and digitisation area to support museum and archive activities.
In the workroom, space has been set aside to allow five people to work comfortably, and there is also a place to enable safe access for researchers. The building also has the bonus of large shop windows which have been retained in the original 1950s style, and will be available for community displays, copy display material, and items that can be safely showing in this space.
(l) Pre-demolition of the West wall. (r) New dedicated storage area under construction. Photos supplied by Kawerau Museum
“It has been a very long process from first discussing plans to building work commencing and we have been very appreciative of the many museum professionals who have helped us along the way,” says Library and Museum Manager Susan Harris.
“John Coster did an excellent building assessment which provided a blueprint for architects to build on and the staff of Whakatane and Rotorua Museums also had excellent advice and ideas. The Eastern Bay Energy Trust also supported with funding for the humidity and temperature control systems.”
“The key to the success of this project has been the determination of our museum staff – that although we’re small, we need to be operating to the same standards as our larger regional counterparts, and they have kept us focused on this goal.”
Irene Sandle and Hariata Chase adding location codes in their soon to be opened storeroom. Photo supplied by Kawerau Museum
If you are interested in visiting and learning more about this project, contact Kawerau Library and Museum Manager, Susan Harris or Museum Curator, Irene Sandle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom Cultural Centre – opening in November 2017
Before this year ends the new Foxton cultural centre will be open.
There has been wonderful community support for this new development as well as significant funding boost from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage Regional Cultural and Heritage Fund.
The below clip is a great introduction and insight into the vision of this project as well as the importance of this development to the Foxton community.
There has also been some fantastic coverage of the cultural centre in both local and national media.
Congratulations to all those working on museum and gallery projects big or small! The NSTP team look forward to visiting you at your place in the near future.
If you have any questions on a museum, gallery or iwi development matters or need help to locate the services, resources or information you need, please feel free to call our freephone helpline 0508 NSTP HELP (0508 678 743) or contact NSTP by email. We look forward to hearing from you.
Nga mihi, na,
North Island Museum Development Advisor – Kaiwhanake Whare Taonga