Sally August

Sally's on-the-road diary - December 2012 

My travels over the last few months have taken me to Mangawhai, Rodney, Auckland, Waiheke Island, Rotorua, Taupō, Tūrangi, and Taumarunui. I have also visited many wonderful staff and volunteers at museums in the Rangitīkei, Foxton and Fielding areas, and participated in one of the recent North Island NSTP workshops – Ticking the Boxes: Legal Requirements in the Museum Sector, presented by the witty compliance specialist David Woodings. I have to say it’s not an easy task to make the topic of compliance entertaining, engaging, and yet very informative! 

The NSTP Museum and Iwi Development Officers have been busy this year providing support to museums, galleries and iwi around Aotearoa New Zealand, helping them access the information and services they need, and providing the all important face-to-face support and advice – discussing what they need and pointing them in the right direction to find the best solutions.

Keep us in mind next time you have a query, or think you could do with some guidance, assistance, or just someone to bounce an idea off – we’re only a friendly phone call or email away.

Find out how we can help you

Couldrey House in Wendholme

Couldrey House in Wendholme

Mangawhai Museum's new building underway

Mangawhai Museum’s new building underway

Cluster meetings – shared experience and knowledge

Over the last few months I’ve attended a number of regional meetings, including the Rangitīkei, Rodney, and Northland Museums Association meetings. These are a great way to share experiences, knowledge, and resources. It’s been especially good seeing these groups rallying together and producing joint marketing brochures.  Please remember, if your cluster group would like to produce a brochure and don’t have the ready funds at hand, perhaps the NSTP Helping Hands Grant could be of assistance.

Read about the Helping Hands Grant

Windows at Mangawhai Museum

Windows at Mangawhai Museum

Fire Safety Officer - Mike McEnaney

Fire Safety Officer Mike McEnaney

Real proof that sprinklers do work!

I’d like to thank Betty Nelley from the Kauri Museum for sharing with the Northland Museums Association her team’s harrowing ordeal in January. Betty and her team were able to reinforce how important it is to have sprinklers fitted into our heritage and arts facilities. 

Read about the Kauri Museum fire, pages 4 and 5

It was especially interesting to hear Fire Safety Officer Mike McEnaney talk about the prevention of fires and the importance of sprinklers. The resounding message from the Northland Museums Association meeting was to ensure that your museum or gallery is fitted with a sprinkler system, as it’s the best way to slow, if not stop a fire in its tracks!

Mr McEnaney went on to say that your local fire service is more than happy to answer questions and offer help, especially if it’s going to prevent a fire. I’d recommend that all organisations seek the expert knowledge of their local fire officers to ensure that you’ve got an effective emergency preparedness plan that covers fire safety and prevention, and that your local fire service is familiar with your facilities. Think about providing them with a list and floor plan of your buildings, and identifying the top 10 or so significant items in your collection, as in an emergency they may have the ability to retrieve these. Remember, if they know your facilities well they’ll know how best to fight your fire.


The New Zealand Fire Service provides a lot of very helpful information, in particular their Guidelines for Identifying and Preventing Fire Risks to Heritage Buildings and collections.

Read the guidelines about fire risks to heritage buildings

Find out more about disaster planning and recovery.

On the road in the Rangitīkei, Manawatū, and Horowhenua

Ruahine Range - a light covering of snow

Ruahine Range – a light covering of snow

Marton Museum

Marton Museum

Hunterville Museum

Hunterville Museum

Hunterville Museum - Jack Still & Robyn McNie, two dedicated volunteers

Hunterville Museum – Jack Still and Robyn McNie, two dedicated volunteers

A number of the Rangitīkei and Manawatū museums have outstanding collections of agricultural machinery and equipment. It’s impressive to see several of these collections in original condition and being stored under cover, off the ground, and in clean, dry conditions.

The Feilding Coach House Museum has a great collection management/conservation plan in place that helps them care for, manage, and develop their collections. With this plan in place, their staff and volunteers are clear about whether items are part of their primary or secondary collections, and know how best to care for and conserve these for the future. 

  • Primary, permanent collection: in original condition with no change to the object, or as little  as possible
  • Secondary collection: the hands-on specimens – educational/operational collections that may have received or will receive restoration using non-conservation techniques that are irreversible.

Read about the Coach House Museum

Taihape Museum

Taihape Museum

Feilding's Coach House Museum & Community Archive

Feilding’s Coach House Museum and Community Archive

Foxton's Museum of Audio Visual Technology

Foxton’s Museum of Audio Visual Technology

Earthquake strengthening

Earthquake Strengthening         

Foxton’s Museum of Audio Visual Technology is unique. It houses a vast collection of audio visual arts and associated equipment. It also has a working film theatre that screens to local service clubs, groups, and educational establishments, as well as for museum members.

This wonderful old town hall-come-picture theatre has recently undergone a major overhaul. It has been earthquake strengthened, with a web of bracing/reinforcing that should significantly help this building and its interesting, eclectic collections survive into the future.  

This is just one of the new collection storage areas in the Museum of Audio Visual Technology, and yes, that is a novelty radio-come-toilet roll holder – there are a number of interesting collections to be found here.

Visit the Museum of Audio Visual Technology

Rotorua's iconic museum

Rotorua’s iconic museum

Memory Bank in friendly Taumarunui

Memory Bank in friendly Taumarunui

I’m looking forward to meeting more of our museum and gallery colleagues at your place in the New Year.

Meri Kirihimete – Merry Christmas

Ngā mihi nui, nā

Sally August