Judith Tizard – Museum sector coming together in an innovative way

By The Hon Judith Tizard, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage

26 September 2008

It’s great to be blogging on this newly launched website, NZMuseums.National Services Te Paerangi, a team at New Zealand’s national museumMuseum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa have worked hard with the museum sector to get this site off the ground. It’s a great initiative, and I’ve had fun over the last few days exploring the site and finding so many different items from the collections of New Zealand’s museums, including the small, mainly voluntary, museums.

All of these objects and stories of local history come together to represent the bigger picture of our nation’s history, and this is an excellent user-friendly way to find it, and get a sense of who New Zealanders are. By searching this site you will find the history and beauty of Maori taonga; the adaptability of the colonial and recent settlers to New Zealand; the many pieces brought here as reminders of ‘home’; and items that show innovation and change through the years to the present day, amongst other stories.

In line with New Zealand’s Digital Content Strategy launched a year ago, and current projects such as Digital New Zealand, the site has assisted a large community – the museum, culture and heritage sector – to get out there to a global audience, to be online in a digital world. Most of these museums have no other digital presence and cannot afford access to one, and through NZMuseums they now have an affordable option. Of the many and various New Zealand-based digital options for sharing histories, it certainly is great to see the museum sector come together in this innovative way to help Kiwis everywhere to discover, engage and share their heritage with the world.

I look forward to seeing the site develop over time, to finding more and more objects and stories as museums add more content, and as new museums come online. It’s also a great opportunity for the museum sector, as a marketing tool this site certainly has inspired me to visit some of these museums that I haven’t come across before, in the near future.

I look forward to reading other’s comments through this blog – what other people think about this site, if they are also finding and learning interesting new pieces of information, and discovering that it’s a new way to get the ‘whole picture’ of New Zealand and what we are made of.

Great work National Services Te Paerangi and the museum sector!