Message from the Manager NSTP - December 2013 

Kia ora koutou

2013 is rushing towards its end and I am sure a lot of you are preparing for a busy time ahead when visiting groups and those on holiday can take the time to visit your various organisations. National Services Te Paerangi has been flat out hosting a number of high-calibre international and national speakers.

I was lucky enough to catch Simon Knell, Professor of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, in Dunedin at the inaugural ICOM NZ conference hosted by the fabulous Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. Simon gave a very stimulating presentation on how museums, objects, and collections change. He challenged my thinking around creativity and museum spaces, the nature of collections, and even the definition of museums. For Simon, a museum is:

A situated and changing performance involving the spatial arrangement of things. We use museums to navigate changes in our thinking, beliefs, relationships and place in the world.

He reminded us that the key to success for museums is to define how communities engage with them and their collections, and that what has happened in the past should not limit nor define how those interactions take place. His challenge for us is to inject creativity into what we do and continue to find ways to create meaningful, long-lasting, transformative experiences for diverse audiences. It was great to hear an international perspective and keep thinking about how NSTP can support museums in New Zealand to be the best they can be.

NSTP has been working on renewing our strategy and key initiatives for the next few years. This comes as we align to the strategic priorities for Te Papa and respond to how the sector and iwi engage with us. We have a draft that we will be seeking your views on early next year. We are always keen to hear your ideas and views on our work and how we can better support what you do.

Have a great holiday season. See you all in the next year.

Ngā mihi o te wā me te Tau Hou

Victoria