On the road in the North Island – October 2016

By Sally August, Museum Development Adviser North Island, National Services Te Paerangi

This time of the year is always frantic! Winter is well behind us and Spring springs us into action with Christmas just around the corner. We are all working hard to fit in as many projects as possible before Christmas and the busy holiday session.

In the last few months I’ve heard from many North Island museums about your newly opened exhibitions, and how you’ve been making improvements to your storage areas, displays and interpretation. In fact, some of you have pulled off some major projects that have been years in the making. One such development project was revealed in late August. The Western Bay Museum, Katikati, opened its new museum with a grand celebration. Many special guests attended this landmark occasion, including kaumatua and representatives from local iwi, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council staff, Museum trustees, staff and volunteers, and of course there was a great turn out from the Katikati and Bay of Plenty community. A huge congratulations must go to Museum Manager Paula Gaelic and her wonderful team of trustees and passionate museum volunteers, for without your vision and collective efforts this wonderful new museum wouldn’t have been possible.

Western Bay Museum Grand Opening hits the news – read more

For those of you interested in learning more about Western Bay Museum’s development journey, I’d recommend you check out Paula’s NZMuseums blog written one year prior to the opening.

In the lead up to the opening of the Western Bay Museum, National Services Te Paerangi supported a workshop and aided in the mounting of this 1870s textile.


In this photo: Paula Gaelic, Manager Western Bay Museum; Samantha Gatley, Textile Mounting Expert; Irene Sandle Curator, Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum.

Guest speaker at the Western Bay Museum opening was Roy Clare, Director of Auckland Museum. Roy and his team have been a great support leading up to this grand opening, and it was wonderful that Roy could be part of this event. Below is a post that Roy shared on Instagram along with several photos of the event:

There’s always room on the planet for just one more museum. New Zealand’s newest museum opened yesterday – joining some 500 others – welcome Western Bay Museum in Katikati. Nau mai Haere mai – it was a personal privilege to be invited to speak at the formal event. The pouwhakarae depicts Tamawhariua the eponymous ancestor of the local hapu Ngāi Tamawhariua – the kaupapa manifests inclusivity; Mayor Ross Paterson spoke of the community’s support; while the guests toasted the occasion; and all enjoyed a dance performance in celebration. Expressing the support of Auckland Museum I referenced the significance of museums in affirming identity, re-connecting the past, stimulating enquiry, enabling understanding and nourishing a sense of place and well-being. History starts a split second ago ….. museums help us to span time and peer ahead with greater confidence. Western Bay Museum has all of that potential.

There was heart-warming evidence of a genuine community commitment to Western Bay Museum – I wish the fledgling museum well and acknowledge the vision, energy, flair and commitment of Museum Manager Paula Gaelic, without whose leadership and drive the project may never have flown!

I’d sincerely like to thank Roy and his team at Auckland Museum for their continued support of fellow museums, not only in the Bay of Plenty, but also in the greater Northland and Auckland regions. Your professional, friendly approach and regular attendance at meetings, including at the Northland Museum Association hui, have let staff and volunteers alike know who they can contact if in need. You and your team over the years have continued to offer advice, support and opened your doors from time-to-time to share expertise. The National Services Te Paerangi team and I thank you, Roy, and wish you well in your journey ahead.

Do you have a textiles project underway like Western Bay Museum? Here are some resources that may help:

How to care for textiles and kākahu

Conservation guidelines

How to apply accession numbers to textiles (video)

National Services Te Paerangi also supported an Expert Knowledge Exchange in the Bay of Plenty recently – this time at Tauranga Art Gallery. Thank you to Karl Chitham, Jo Torr, Sarah Board and Anne Peranteau for supporting this exchange.

Read Claire Regnault’s great blog about the Tauranga Art Gallery exchange


In the last few weeks Tairawhiti has been busy enjoying the many events related to Te Ha Trust and its associated partners. I know other organisations around the country, including Mercury Bay Museum, are gearing up for 2019, the 250th anniversary of the arrival of James Cook’s ship Endeavour to New Zealand in 1769.

Two events in Gisborne that drew a great turnout and got locals talking, questioning and thinking about our histories were the First Meeting Korero, and the film screening of Tupaia’s Endeavour directed by Lala Rolls.

The Tupaia’s Endeavour documentary took viewers through the time of Cook, but as the title suggests it focused on Tupaia’s perspective. It featured many well regarded historians and artists. The doco took us from Taputapuatea Marae (Opoa, French Polynesia), to Uawa (Tolaga Bay), and tapped into taonga Māori held in the UK. I understand that a three part series of this documentary will air on Maori Television in coming months, but for those wanting to get a taste, check out this clip.

The Gisborne Herald recently featured an outstanding article on the recent First Meetings Korero event that succinctly captured the many varied, heart felt, and well researched points of view of 10 locals, including Nick Tupara, Norman Maclean, Pene Walsh, Teina Moetara, Nona Aston, Robyn Rauna and Caren Fox. The article is well worth a read!


Paora Tibble, Iwi Development Adviser & I talking with Te Ara Pourewa Graduate Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies students. Thanks to Michelle Horwood, Programme Co-ordinator, and students for hosting us at Toihoukura, EIT.