ICOM New Zealand

International Council of Museums

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Have you seen this medal?

medalFROM NATIONAL SERVICES TE PAERANGI On 26 November, a silver Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal was stolen from a display case at Aratoi Museum of Art and History in Masterton.

The medal was on loan to the museum from the family of Hoani Paraone Tunuiarangi, a Wairarapa chief and Volunteer Force captain who travelled to England to take part in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897.

The medal is on a ribbon with a broad gold stripe down the centre. This is a distinguishing feature as the ribbons of Jubilee medals are usually just blue and white stripe.

As you can imagine, the team at Aratoi Museum would very much like to have this rare and significant taonga returned.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the medal, please contact Alice Hutchison (Director, Aratoi) on 027 602 5884, Masterton Police on 06 370 0307, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For more information on museum security, see the website of ICOM International Committee for Museum Security (ICMS)

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Auckland Art Gallery Brings Lindauer to Berlin

Lindauer opening Berlin 2014

At the pōwhiri to open the exhibition. | Photo: AFP

On the 20th of November Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki launched their exhibition Gottfried Lindauer : The Māori Portraits at the German National Gallery in Berlin. It is the first time that the descendants of the people depicted have given their permission to show the images outside of Aotearoa New Zealand. The event was attended by the German Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr. Anne-Marie Schleichas, as well as the President of ICOM, Dr. Prof. Hans-Martin Hinz.

Some of the press coverage of the event is below.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has an ongoing project to make accessible Lindauer’s portraits of Māori, alongside both historic and contemporary responses to the portraits. For more information, click here http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/library/whakamīharo-lindauer-online . Congratulations to Rhana and her team for this highly successful project.

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News from Cambridge University – A single-step method for conserving waterlogged wooden artefacts

Photo: Mary Rose Trust

Photo: Mary Rose Trust

A safer, greener material for conserving waterlogged wooden artefacts, such as those recovered from Henry VIII’s ship Mary Rose, could preserve important pieces of our history for generations to come.

A team of researchers, led by the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the Mary Rose Trust, have designed a new, more effective, method for preserving waterlogged historical wooden artefacts. The natural polymer-based system appears to protect against all three primary causes of degradation in waterlogged wood, the first time this has been possible in a single treatment.

See more at this link.

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ICOM New Zealand Conference Report 2014

Ak Museum

Beautiful Auckland War Memorial Museum

The 2014 ICOM New Zealand conference 22-24 September at Auckland War Memorial Museum was, by every measure, a great success. It took place in their spectacular rooftop atrium, with commanding views of Auckland and the harbor.

Lib Tanya Nicola Rego

Libby, Tanya and Nicola gearing up for the first wave of delegates

Registration opened early on day one and the desk was stalwartly run by Tanya Wilkinson and Libby Sharpe with the aid of some well-deserved caffeine. We understand Ms. Sharpe even went without breakfast to ensure all was in order from the outset.

Roy Clare Welcome

Roy Clare and Harry Williams

Our first order of business was a mihi by kaumatua Harry Williams, welcoming us to the conference and explaining the Māori world view from an Auckland perspective, which was especially useful to those joining us from out of town and overseas. Auckland War Memorial CEO Roy Clare then gave us a welcome, and shared his perspectives on his museum and the wishes for the conference. Ralph Johnson from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage was also in attendance to offer his welcome. I was then very pleased to be able to introduce Dr. Professor Hans-Martin Hinz, President of ICOM to the podium who added his welcome to the event.

HM Welcome

Prof Dr Hans-Martin Hinz delivering his keynote address

After that, we broke for a short kapu tī and began to greet old friends and make new acquaintances. It was then time for Hans-Martin to give the first keynote speech World War I and the End of the German Colonial Empire – Do we need to remember it 100 years later? You can download a copy of his talk here: New Zealand speech HINZ, September 2014_English_NEU. His speech was responded to thoughtfully by Professor Peggy Fairburn-Dunlop from Auckland University of Technology.

Hans-Martin Keynote

Mike’s sketch of the speech by Hans-Martin and response by Peggy

Mike Dickison, Curator Natural History at Whanganui Regional Museum (and official tweeter of the conference) captured the talks in this delightful sketch.

After lunch, we heard from Louise Furey, John Coster, Moira White and Mike Dickison, exploring various aspects of collection-based research in a session Museum Research and Pacific Collections, chaired by Jane Legget. Mike’s research (How do we narrate the Pacific Extinction) asked the question – per a tweet of his on the topic – “Biggest mass extinction in the last 10,000 years was in the Pacific, but it’s had no cultural impact. Which museums deal with it?” It highlights the potential that museums have to address issues of conversation using their collections.


Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai, Richard Wolfe, Linda Tyler and Tarisi Vunidilo

In the afternoon Tarisi Vunidilo chaired Session B Connecting Museums and Research Across Time and Space. The speakers were Richard Wolfe, Linda Tyler and Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai, addressing topics that ranged from modern art and interpretation of barkcloth making to built heritage at the University of Auckland.

Art Gallery 2

Rhana Devenport, with Lisa Reihana at the Auckland Art Gallery function

The evening was an excellent opportunity to socialize. It started at Auckland Art Gallery, hosted by the Director, Rhana Devenport. We heard about the some of the most recent activities of the Gallery, as well as its initiatives to connect to Pasifika peoples. Once work of art, in particular, was important to see – a piece of wall paper entitled “Les Sauvages Del La Mer Pacifique“, which prepared us well for her joint talk the next day with Lisa Reihana on Lisa’s work In Pursuit of Venus.


Niki Hastings-McFall delivering the dinner address

The conference dinner immediately following the Art Gallery function was held at the very stylish Wine Chambers. The delicious food was followed by our guest speaker, Niki Hastings-McFall. Niki was known to many there and her talk, relating to how museums aided and influenced her artistic practice, was very well received.

ICOM NZ delegates at Te Awe, Ak Mus

A visit to Te Awe, the visible collection care facility at Auckland War Memorial Museum

The next day began with a tour of the Pacific Collection at Auckland War Memorial Museum. Seeing their beautiful collection facility made a few of us a tiny bit envious, as well as impressed at the level of care of their enormous, important, and highly diverse collection. A highlight of this visit was to be taken to Te Awe, the Museum’s visible conservation facility.

Sean Mallon tries to find the words to respond to Damon Salesa's sobering keynote address

Sean Mallon tries to find the words to respond to Damon Salesa’s sobering keynote address

The first presentation of the day was the second keynote address, by Associate Professor Damon Salesa of the University of Auckland. His sobering talk covered the disparity between Pasifika peoples and “mainstream” groups in Auckland, pointing out how pervasive it is and how poorly addressed by any official sector of society. What are museums opportunities and responsibilities with respect to this issue? Sean Mallon had the challenging task of responding to his talk, which he did with aplomb.

Damon Salesa Keynote ICOM NZ 2014

Mike’s sketch of Damon’s keynote address and Sean’s response

Both these talks were also captured pictorially by Mike Dickison.

After lunch, we held our Annual General Meeting. Reports were read and received. You can download the slides from the Chair’s report here. ICOM NZ Chair’s Report 2014

Our triennial elections were also held, officiated by Hans-Martin Hinz and Robin Hirst, Chair of ICOM Australia. A huge thank you to the outgoing Board members (Conal McCarthy, Mike Houlihan and Wen Powles and Philippa Tocker), as well as all those who put their names forward for the ICOM New Zealand Executive. Your interest and commitment ensure that the association will remain strong into the future.



The new Board was elected as follows:

  • Eric Dorfman, Chair
  • Tracy Puklowski, Deputy Chair
  • Scott Pothan, Secretary
  • Victoria Esson, Treasurer
  • Courtney Johnson, Member
  • Ian Griffin, Member
  • Jane Legget, Member

We look forward to working with you to ensure that ICOM New Zealand delivers the very best value possible to its members.

Speakers session B

Marine Vallée, Chole Searle, Libby Sharpe, Michelle Horwood listen to Ole Maiava

The next speaker session, chaired by Conal McCarthy, was entitled Engaging Pacific Communities with Museum Collections. Its speakers, Libby Sharpe and Michelle Horwood, Chloe Searle, Ole Maiava and Marine Vallée, spoke about various aspects of creating connections to Pasifika peoples through the medium of exhibitions and programming. Some projects were in their early stages and some included lessons learnt. Hearing about the challenges as well as the successes provided a balanced picture of what Museums need to think about when planning to engage with these communities.

I chaired the final session, which was devoted to Maintaining Diverse Connections. The speakers, Stuart Birnie, Jacqueline Charles-Rault, Rhana Devenport and Lisa Reihana. This final session of the conference was, nicely, a chance to think about various ways we connect the wide-ranging aspects of our practice in the service of our community, whether in the form of supporting the creation of new contemporary art or the passing down of traditional sea-faring knowledge. In closing the conference, it seemed that we had achieved an important sense of cohesion over the two days, not only with the talks but with the many conversations between sessions that the talks catalyzed.

HM Voyager

Hans-Martin Hinz tries his hand at the tiller at Voyager Maritime Museum

The final, optional, day of the conference was the trip, which took us to Fresh Gallery in Otara, where we saw the exhibition Tauhi Vā by Auckland-based Tongan Art Collective, No‘o Fakataha and included a welcome from Nicole Lim, Gallery Coordinator and Curators’ talks from Dr. Billie Lythberg and Tui Emma Gillies. This was followed by lunch at the Pah Homestead and a welcome and tour from Dr Oliver Stead, Deputy Director. The day finished with a visit to Voyager Maritime Museum, where we were escorted by Karen Walters and Stuart Birnie. I would like to thank all of our hosts on behalf of the conference delegates for our exceptional reception.

Planning for the conference, of course, began months in advance, and we must wholeheartedly thank the organising team which included, from the ICOM New Zealand Board, Conal McCarthy and Courtney Johnston, as well as a seemingly vast army of personnel from Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Art Gallery.

On a personal note, I’m very grateful for – and inspired by – the level of intellect, talent and participation poured into this conference by its members, and others who chose to participate.

- Eric Dorfman, Chair ICOM New Zealand

And now, a few more pictures…

Rhana and LisaArt Gallery1RobinClaudia OrangeHMH and Robin Hirst at AK MusDamon Salesa Keynote ICOM NZ 2014FreshHeilalaPeggy

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Thank you!

Ak MuseumWe’re currently working on a full conference report, which will be posted in mid November. Until then, however, please let me give my heartfelt thanks to all of our presenters, hosts, participants and supporters who helped make this conference the stimulating and highly relevant success that it was.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou,

Eric Dorfman, Chair ICOM New Zealand

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ICOM New Zealand conference starts on Monday

WELCOME We’re very much looking forward to meeting you at our conference at the Auckland Museum on Monday 22 September. Some useful information:

Opening hours: The Museum will be open to ICOM NZ delegates from 9.30 a.m. Participants should come to the South Entrance, also known as the Atrium Entrance.

Registration desk: The Registration Desk will be staffed from 9.30 a.m. in the Museum Events Centre on the 3rd Floor of the Museum. Your registration materials and event tickets will be given to you at this time.

Your morning coffee: The Museum Café will be open. Early birds are welcome to visit the café.

Public galleries: The public galleries open at 10.00 a.m.

Parking: There is parking in the Museum’s underground car park, from which participants can gain direct access into the Museum. There is some free parking (3 hours max) around the outside of the Museum.

Twitter: Dr Mike Dickison will be ICOM’s official tweeter for the conference. Follow him on @adzebill  keep track of the activities using #ICOMNZ2014

FINDING YOUR WAY These maps will get you to the Auckland Museum and inside to the conference venue.

Auckland Museum wayfindingAuckland Museum map

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Voting for ICOM New Zealand Board Members

logo votingWe will be electing a new Board at the ICOM NZ AGM at 1300 on the 23rd of September. Voting will take place at the conference and only ICOM NZ members in attendance or who have provided proxy forms will be entitled to vote. You will receive ballot papers and instructions on the day. Voting is open to all individual and institutional members. There is no limit on the number of proxies an attending member may present. You can download proxy forms at this link.

In this round of elections, only one person for each of the officer positions have stood, so voting will only be required for the remaining Board Members.

Position Candidate Vote
Chair Eric Dorfman Director, Whanganui Regional Museum No Voting required
Deputy Chair Tracy Puklowski Associate Director Museum of Living Cultures, Te Papa No voting required
Secretary Scott Pothan Director, Whangarei Art Museum No voting required
Treasurer/Membership Secretary Victoria Esson Manager National Services Te Paerangi, Te Papa No voting required
Board Members – vote for three only 
Board Member Ian Griffin Director, Otago Museum  http://www.otagomuseum.govt.nz/
Board Member Courtney Johnston Director, Dowse Art Museum  http://dowse.org.nz/
Board Member Jane Legget Head of Research, Auckland War Memorial Museum  http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/
Board Member David Robinson Chief Operating Officer, Te Papa  http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/pages/home.aspx
Board Member Chloe Searle Curator (collections and exhibitions), North Otago Museum  http://www.culturewaitaki.org.nz/north-otago-museum/
Board Member Phillipa Tocker Executive Director, Museums Aotearoa  http://www.museumsaotearoa.org.nz/
Board Member Tracey Wedge Coordinator Museum Operations, Southland Museum and Art Gallery  http://www.southlandmuseum.com/

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