The beginning of 2011 has been a shaky one both here and further afield.
The Christchurch earthquake in February was, of course, an enormously profound event and shocked the entire nation with its violence and the cataclysmic damage caused right in the heart of the city. It seems so unfair that a city already damaged by the September earthquake – and dealt with tragedy close to home at the Pike River Mine – once again had to clean up the mess, pick up the pieces, and comfort the grieving. The people of Christchurch have done just that and have demonstrated tremendous resilience – as have museums, galleries, and iwi organisations that have had to patiently wait for access to their buildings and collections.
Since the quake, National Services Te Paerangi has been working alongside a number of organisations affected by that event to assist with thinking about recovery, repair and reimagining the future. I would like to remind Christchurch colleagues that we are here to assist, and can do so in a short or long-term capacity – the Helping Hands Grant is a quick easy way to access funding up to $1000.00. The free phone helpline service 0508 NSTP HELP is also a simple way to access advice – if we can’t help you we will find someone who can.
There are also a number of online resources that might be helpful.
Minimising Disaster:This guide looks at how you plan for recovery from emergencies. Emergency procedures: This guide shows you how to develop an emergency procedures flipchart. The model has been developed in consultation with the emergency services. Preventive conservation: This guide looks at practical steps you can take to ensure the protection, safety, and security of your collection. Condition reporting: This guide offers a systematic approach to reviewing the condition of items in your collection, and a consistent framework and set of terms for making useful reports. Other resources can be accessed via Museums in a box and are helpful for householders as well as museums. Judith Taylor, our South Island Museum Development Officer, has also made regular trips to Christchurch since the quake, and is a great person to help get the advice and resources needed.
Remembering to support one another, and also reminding ourselves that museums are a vital part of rebuilding communities will keep our sector positive and strong. Why not take time on 18 May – International Museums Day – to remember what a great sector we are? Kia kaha, Victoria.