Gavins diary March 2009 

Mau tonu ki ngā taonga I tuku iho mai, he mātauranga kei roto mō ngā rā e heke mai.

2009 started off in sunny Whangarei, where I spent time with local iwi representatives discussing their heritage projects, aspirations and training needs, met with local agency staff that support iwi and museums, and had a chance to catch up with Linda Wigley and the hard-working Whangarei Museum staff, kaumatua, and supporters.

My visit coincided with Linda’s announcement that she was taking up the position of Director of Otago Settlers Museum, so museum staff were considering their future in the context of this news and the political environment they face. However, all are positive that the relationships and guidance Linda fostered will continue to be built on by the museum staff and Māori communities, who are committed to moving the Museum’s development plans forward.

Getting the opportunity to discuss the needs of museum staff undertaking the National Certificate in Museum Practice was a priority for me, and the feedback I received will help NSTP and ATTTO to inform and guide the support we provide to museum trainees.

I was also fortunate to be taken by Te Warihi Hetaraka and Chris Booth, two prominent and acknowledged artists based in Whangarei, to the Waka and Wave sculpture that stands at Hihiaua Point near the entrance to the Whangarei Town Basin. The sculpture combines wave forms and a carved Māori waka (canoe) emerging from the sea and suspended in stone. It is no coincidence that the location of this sculpture is an ancient site where iwi made landfall by canoe, and is also the planned site for future initiatives that will cater for arts and education, involving all sectors of the community.  

I discussed the work of National Services Te Paerangi with several organisations while in Whangarei, and noted the high level of engagement, interest and collaboration between local iwi, government organisations, community groups, local project developers, and regional hapū and iwi – an essential way to work, and key to community growth and sustainability, especially in economically challenging times.

In each case, my message was simple – that National Services Te Paerangi is here to assist museums and iwi to tell their stories in engaging and meaningful ways, to help them share their collections, and to enhance their skill base by developing appropriate training, resources, and information.

I would like to finish this diary by giving a big mihi/thank you to all who I met, spent time and shared stories with. Ka nui aku mihi ki a koutou katoa!

Mā te hā o te tohorā hei arataki
Gavin Reedy

Gavin Reedy, Iwi Development Officer
Contact Gavin by email or call 029 601 0440.