Judith Taylor

Judith's on-the-road diary - March 2013 

New space for displaced museums

The new wing, and base for the Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre, at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch, opened on 19 February. The building was in the planning stages when the Christchurch quake struck in 2010. Luckily the ground at Wigram is stable, and this project was one of the first to get underway after the earthquake.

Support from the wider heritage sector, the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage has enabled the museum to expand. This support has also meant that large parts of the new building can be used as a centre for collections retrieval and rehabilitation while displaced museums plan their rebuilding projects.

Read about the Air Force Museum online.
Read about the Earthquake Appeal Trust online.

Lyttelton Museum collections 

Lyttelton Museum Collections in storage at Wigram, courtesy of the Air Force Museum.

Plane at Air Force Museum

Do we ever have enough space? The scale of objects at Wigram makes this unlikely!

Affordable, safe work spaces are in very short supply in Christchurch. At Wigram, museums will be able to store and work with their collections at no charge for at least the next three years. The Air Force Museum is working with National Services Te Paerangi to develop workshops and to provide general support where needed. A full time, year long, NSTP sponsored intern position will be advertised soon. A digitisation business is also located in the building.

Throughout New Zealand the cultural sector has been wanting to help with materials and expertise. This is the time to get involved in directly supporting Canterbury!

Email the Air Force Museum.

38 years of Waitangi Day celebrations

Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum hosted its 38th year of Waitangi Day celebrations for an appreciative crowd of around 1,000. Director Murray Thacker said this is the longest continuous celebration of Waitangi Day – which always attracts a great crowd to enjoy the formal pōwhiri and welcome, museum collections, hāngi, stalls, and family activities in the spacious museum grounds.

Visit Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum online.

Typsetting demo Okains Bay 

Waitangi Day activities at Okains Bay Museum.

While Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum is well known for its extensive collection of taonga Māori, there are many other collection areas. The newly developed Chris Pryor Print Shop was open, and visitors were enthusiastic about the working presses and typesetting demonstration. Lively sound effects punctuated the day with stationary steam engines fired up, musket and blunderbuss demonstrations, and a canon fired every half hour.

The crowd gathered as two waka progressed up the river, a huge hāngi was brought up, and lunch was served for 600. The museum is an important asset for the BanksPeninsula community. It’s a great place to visit.

Moa bones identified in Expert Knowledge Exchange at North Otago Museum

North Otago Museum was concerned about its large collection of moa bones, which was stored in cardboard boxes. Multi-skilled though they are, museum staff lacked the background to identify the bones. Chloe Searle (Curator collections and exhibitions) applied for an Expert Knowledge Exchange to bring Dr Paul Scofield, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at CanterburyMuseum, to assist with identifying and re-housing the collection. National Services Te Paerangi contributed boxes and other materials for the project. Chloe said ‘I am so pleased to have been part of the Expert Knowledge Exchange programme. It has been really beneficial for our museum. It's a relief to have the moa bones catalogued and stored correctly. I also really enjoyed discovering what an interesting collection it is.’

Read about North Otago Museum online.
Read about the Expert Knowledge Exchange online.
Read about Canterbury Museum online.

Exchanges were also arranged late last year to assist Greymouth museums with planning and decision-making, following on from building inspections that found significant structural work may be required.

The Expert Knowledge Exchange programme is open for applications all year round and brings an expert to your museum to share skills and expertise.