Wakahuia (treasure box), 1800, Maker unknown, New Zealand. Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992. Te Papa

Kaitiaki Hui update 

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā pātaka korero o te motu, tēnā ra tātou katoa.

This year's Kaitiaki Māori hui was held on 15 April 2009, the non-conference workshop day of the Museums Aotearoa annual conference, in Gisborne. It was attended by twenty-five participants who were eager to see this forum develop into an opportunity for Kaitiaki Māori to share case studies, give presentations, and to discuss and gain feedback from their peers, as well as being a time to share issues and challenges.

After confirming the minutes from last year's hui, Rhonda Paku (Manager Iwi Development, NSTP) started the ball rolling with a Power Point presentation to share the results from the Kaitiaki Māori Survey conducted by NSTP in September 2008. The results highlighted interesting trends in terms of the career path most commonly travelled by Kaitiaki Māori entering the museum sector, their level of qualification, and the length of time they remain in the sector.

Of the total respondents (51), almost half (or 22 respondents) came to work in museums from the tertiary sector, while the number of respondents holding a tertiary qualification was 60.7%, or 30 of the respondents. The average length of time that respondents have worked in the sector is 8.7 years, while 22% (or 11 respondents) have been in the sector for 16 to 20 years!  Interesting stuff?  Definitely, and the results will be sent out to all Kaitiaki Māori on the database very soon.

There was also discussion about the potential involvement of kaumātua to provide advice, and to guide this group as they have done in the past. Most agreed that this would be invaluable but, recognised the sometimes sensitive, or operational, nature of discussions that are held in this forum. While no decision was made about how to proceed, further discussion is likely at the next meeting.

The current Kaitiaki Māori representative on the MA Board, Laureen Sadlier (Registrar, Museum of Wellington), asked for nominations for the Bicultural Chair of the Museum Training Council, and for further interest from anyone who might be willing to share the role on the Board with her. No names were forthcoming from this hui, but at a subsequent meeting with him, Manu Kawana (Kaihautū, Te Manawa) volunteered to assist Laureen on the Board and to share this role. Thank you Manu! 

In addition, Michelle Hippolite (Kaihautū, Te Papa) also joined the MA Board and is keen to strengthen the position of Kaitiaki Māori by helping with the communication of key messages to Museum Directors to help garner their support for Kaitiaki Māori.

This tied in nicely with discussions about a communications strategy, and various existing website models were shared with the group as examples of how such tools could help Kaitiaki Māori share its mission and vision, to network and keep informed of news, to hear about professional training opportunities, and future hui and events. Websites can also be used by Board representatives wanting to get feedback from the group on matters as they arise. Attendees were very keen for some of these ideas to be explored further.

So in all, an interesting hui with lots of valuable feedback. To keep up to date with emails and notices of forthcoming events, contact us or subscribe to our e-news.