Victoria Esson

Message from the Acting General Manager - March 2013 

Kei te whai kiko te hanga hou o Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa’s new strategic direction takes shape

Kia ora, koutou
Ngā mihi o te Tau Hou 

Happy New Year (if I can still say that!)

We thought it would be timely to update you about the exciting changes that are taking place at Te Papa and our new direction for the future.

From Mike Houlihan, Chief Executive, and Rhonda Paku, Acting Kaihautū:

On 14 February, Te Papa turned fifteen years old. The museum has been hugely successful, and we are now planning to ensure that our success continues into the future. Almost eighteen months ago, Te Papa began developing a vision and long-term strategic plan to guide us through the next ten years. We sought feedback on our proposed new vision – changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives – from our own people, stakeholders, and partners. In response to these views, we began to look at how, as an organisation, we had to change and develop to achieve this new vision.

Towards the end of last year, working with our then Kaihautū, Michelle Hippolite, we consulted with staff on a proposed organisational structure. Having considered their feedback, we then made decisions about the structure Te Papa needs in order to deliver on our strategy. What we are going through now are the practical steps necessary to implement this new structure. We expect to have the new structure in place by the end of March, along with a new leadership team who have a wealth of experience in museums and a progressive view of what is possible in the sector.

From April, you will begin to see our new strategic direction take shape. Over time, you can expect a much greater turnover in our touring exhibitions, as well as more interactive ways of accessing them. We will also focus increasingly on collecting and recording the contemporary world in order to inform the future.

The Arts at Te Papa will have more floor space and be viewed in the broadest sense. This will include traditional art and visual culture, incorporating the fine arts, taonga Māori, Pacific arts, photography, new media, design, decorative and applied arts, and other forms of visual culture. We will also continue to honour mātauranga Māori, and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in the collection, preservation, and presentation of art.

There will be a greater emphasis on the important contribution Aotearoa New Zealand has made to science and technology on the world stage. We will continue our internationally recognised research to develop our knowledge and understanding of the natural world.  

Te Papa will continue to challenge and empower people to have a positive impact on the nation. In practice, this will be delivered primarily through a new directorate, the Museum for the Future.  While another directorate, the Museum of Living Cultures, will largely ensure that we continue to build on what has made Te Papa unique and successful. We will continue to provide a stimulating and inspiring experience that gives New Zealanders and international visitors an understanding of our unique cultures and of Aotearoa New Zealand’s place in the world.

We will also continue to care for all our taonga (treasures), but with an increased commitment to the principles of mana taonga (shared authority). Te Papa will share decision making with iwi, communities, and individuals in managing and understanding their taonga (treasures) and work with them to help tell their many stories.

This is an exciting time for Te Papa.  We’re confident that our vision and the changes we are making will ensure that the museum meets the needs of today’s New Zealanders, and of the next generation, as we continue to supporting the museum, arts, culture, and heritage sector.

Please contact us if you have any queries or questions. National Services Te Paerangi will remain available to you in the same way we always have been.  

Nga mihi

Email National Services Te Paerangi.