Gavin Reedy

Gavin's diary – October 2010 

A lot has happened in the last few months. Celebrations for Matariki were a neat time of year and it was great taking part in the activities around Te Papa.

From all signs that we have seen and discussed, the year ahead is going to be … busy.

We have held two taonga conservation workshops over the past few months, in Ruatahuna and Otaki, and I’ve spent time working on creating new templates with our team to help streamline the administration side of things and refining the processes for iwi requesting our services. There has also been a marked increase in iwi requesting National Services Te Paerangi (NSTP) services, and it is exciting to hear about the projects our people are doing around the motu.

Our first NSTP iwi workshop of the year was held at Mataatua Marae in Ruatahuna and was tutored by Rangi Te Kanawa. We were warmly welcomed by the tangata whenua and I was excited to enter an area with so much history from the past to the present day. 
 
Here in Ruatahuna we trialled a new timetable for this workshop: we started with presentations on the Friday night which meant we could start the practical work (measuring out dimensions, cutting and creating storage systems) on Saturday morning, work into the evening, and get all projects completed by Sunday lunchtime.

These workshops are a weekend of hard work and intense concentration to get the measurements for the storage containers just right. Because the whanau on the course were experienced weavers and artists, they got through a huge amount of work. The whanau did an excellent job, and Rangi was impressed by their speed to learn and complete the tasks at hand.  
 
I left Ruatahuna with a sense of a community that works hard to retain and keep alive the customs, language and protocols of the past, but with a positive eye to learning new techniques and taking on board technologies for the future.  Thank you to Te Urewera hapu and all the whanau up there who made this workshop a success. He mihi nui tenei ki a koutou katoa.

The second taonga conservation workshop of 2010 was held in Otaki and this workshop was organised collaboratively for Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Toa. As mentioned in previous newsletters, the whanau bring along their treasured taonga to these workshops and Rangi then assesses the condition of the taonga, and teaches how to design and construct storage systems for them.  The weekend was productive and it was neat to see all the whanau getting in there and having a go! Thank you to everyone who was involved and who made the workshop possible. Nga mihi ano hoki ki a koutou katoa.    
 
We have an upcoming digital photography workshop in Whanganui  later this month. While I'll be reporting on this workshop in my next on the road diary, I'd like to thank Che Wilson and especially Sheena Maru in advance for helping us trial our new processes for iwi workshop requests.
 
 I’ll finish with a quick look at the months that were:

  • Over the last month or two we have noticed an increase in iwi enquiries, requests from iwi interested in understanding more about the services that our team provides. We are happy to help, so please keep those calls and emails rolling in.
  • We have been busy working towards gaining our qualification to assess those who are undertaking the National Certificate in Museum Practice. I have been actively encouraging whanau all over the motu who are already working in the museum sector, or with taonga, to look at up-skilling and undertaking this professional development while on the job.   

Want to know more? Contact us now.