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New Zealand Museum Awards - Winners

Budget and location are no barrier to recognition in the 2017 ServiceIQ New Zealand Museum Awards. The best and most innovative exhibitions, programmes and museum projects were celebrated at a gala event in Palmerston North tonight.

Guest MC – and self-confessed museum enthusiast – Te Radar hosted the proceedings as part of the MA17 Museums Aotearoa conference, He Waka Eke Noa – Museums Of Inclusion. The judges found that winners included a wide range of museums, galleries and some truly inspired approaches to engaging our communities in art, science, history and culture.

Lego and yoga inside the museum, and art and community projects outside the walls featured among the winners.

Auckland Museum won both the Te Reo and new museum retail categories, and volunteer-run Mokau Museum won the Visitor Experience Award. Otago Museum combined the wonder and delight of its butterfly house with yoga practice into a new physical and spiritual museum programme.

Gisborne's Tairawhiti Museum took community engagement a step further, supporting Rongowhakaata to claim ownership of the taonga in its care. Nelson Provincial Museum brought history to a younger audience with CSI-type crime investigation, and Auckland Museum brought science concepts to life through innovative use of Te Reo. Te Tuhi had two exhibitions in the finals of the Art category, and won with Share/Cheat/Unite, a meta-exhibition responding to global and social concerns.

The museum project award went to the beautiful and carefully redeveloped Suter.

This project was fully embraced by the people of Nelson, who are justly proud of both the historical and contemporary aspects of their much-loved gallery.

Te Manawa, hosts of the Museums Aotearoa conference, were deserving winners of the inaugural Arts Access Aotearoa Award. Te Manawa's ongoing NOA Open Studios project, and Inspired By, the exhibition that the NOA members created with Te Manawa, demonstrate their total commitment to being a place for learning and enjoyment for all.

The ServiceIQ New Zealand Museum Awards are generously supported by ServiceIQ. Presenting the Visitor Experience Award, ServiceIQ CE Dean Minchington congratulated all the finalists and winners for their commitment to museums which are truly in the service of society.

See over for details of finalists and winners citations

WINNERS and Finalists in ServiceIQ 2017 New Zealand Museum Awards

Exhibition Excellence – Art
At the leading edge of curatorial practice and exhibition making within Aotearoa and internationally, this project is an example of Te Tuhi being real innovators and risk takers. Pushing their modest size staff and budget to capacity, to achieve an ambitious and responsive exhibition, with programming that reflects current methodology and consciousness around art practice and community.

Finalist The Dowse Art Museum
Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet Finalist: Te Tuhi THE HIVE HUMS WITH MANY MINDS

Exhibition Excellence – Science and Technology
WINNER: Locales / Stardome Observatory
Stardome Exhibition
The Lego History of Space is innovative and massively popular, bringing space travel to a younger audience. The genius use of Lego created opportunities for audiences to engage through hands-on displays and interactive hydraulic levers. With the world’s most popular toy at the core, this exhibition is at the interface between Toys, Science and Technology!

Finalist: MOTAT
The Innovators
Finalist: Puke Ariki
BUGS! Our Backyard Heroes

Exhibition Excellence – Social History
WINNER: Nelson Provincial Museum
Murder at Maungatapu
This innovative exhibition focussed on a very specific event, utilising images, re-contextualising objects and information resources held by the Museum. Reaching a younger audience with a range of access points including local history, local artists, theatrical display, digital media and a fascination with murder and CSI type investigations.

Finalist: Air Force Museum of New Zealand 80 Years in 80 Stories
Finalist: Auckland War Memorial Museum Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa
Finalist: Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Slice of Life:
The World Famous Dunedin Study

Exhibition Excellence – Taonga Māori
WINNER: Tairāwhiti Museum
Ko Rongwhaakata
The methodology of this series of exhibitions is significant, an exemplar for how hapū and iwi are engaged and empowered throughout the exhibition process. A museum allowing the expert voices within its community to be heard, the community claiming ownership of their taonga and their museum, and the open-hearted and supportive team at the museum is awe-inspiring.

Finalist: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu
Finalist: Nelson Provincial Museum
Mai I Hawaiiki Te Ahi Ka Roa
Finalist: Waikato Museum
Te Whaanua Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies

Most Innovative use of Te Reo Māori
WINNER: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Mana Aotūroa
An incredibly rich and well thought through programme which has carefully regarded early childhood pedagogies to teach the wonders of natural sciences in Te Reo Māori and incorporating mātauranga Māori elements.

The educators worked with experts at the museum to develop new language for scientific concepts and models of delivering content, based on collections. This programme has the potential to create aspirations for tamariki to become global leaders in science.

Finalist: MOTAT
The Innovators
Finalist: Nelson Provincial Museum
| Good Luck for this Rooster Year | Ngā mihi nui mō tēnei tau o te Tamaheihei
Finalist: Waikato Museum Te Whaanua Maarama: The Heavenly Bodies

ServiceIQ Museum Visitor Experience Award
WINNER: Mokau Museum "Save Mokau Museum"
What a great story of a small museum, run by volunteers endeavouring to save their museum with a strong focus on the visitor. By connecting with the local marae and working with local council and tourism they achieved a lot with very little, using buckets of ingenuity and being very open to input from others. With nearly 500% increase in visitor numbers, positive feedback and multiple channels undertaken to make the change, this could serve as a model analysis and approach that other volunteer museums could adopt.

Finalist: Public Art Gallery
Yayoi Kusama: The Obliteration Room – Open Fun Day: Spot Ya
Finalist: MTG Hawkes Bay Somebody's Darling: Stories from the Napier Cemetery 1855-1917

Most Innovative Public Programme
WINNER: Otago Museum
Yoga with the Butterflies
Museum spaces can be used for a variety of purposes, through this unique, innovative and 'out of the box' public programme the visitor experience goes from passive observation to a more involving interaction with the exhibit. Yoga as an exercise combines the physical and the spiritual – not areas with which museums regularly get involved. A new and refreshing way to encourage interactions with the butterflies and the space, comments from visitors were outstanding and their responses deep.

Finalist: Christchurch Art Gallery
Good Vibrations
Finalist: City Gallery Wellington
Bullet Time Education Programme
Finalist: Sarjeant Gallery
The Tote Bag Project
WINNER: Otago Museum
Yoga with the Butterflies

Museum Project Excellence Award
WINNER: The Suter
The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū Redevelopment Project
The design is visionary and clever, retaining the feeling of the old and a connection with the gardens, keeping the essence of what was there before, and adding modern elements. A very innovative re-fresh, adding a new state of the art storage centre and other facilities to create multiple uses and welcoming spaces. The redevelopment not only involved community, but gave them a sense of ownership. This 20-year project shows perseverance and commitment to building a legacy, aiming for the future!

Finalist: Pearson & Associates
Kaikoura Museum

Museum Shops Association of Australia & New Zealand – Best New Range
INAUGURAL WINNER: Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa
The range presents a wide variety of price points and product types, catering to a broad range of customers. All products have been produced using suppliers local to Auckland where possible, or at the least within New Zealand. Environmental consciousness has been recognised through the use of organic and unbleached fabrics. Very clear & cohesive design with minimalistic black & white style across all products. The work of producing a CD specific to the exhibition is a great innovation in the industry and the clear process to establish credits to the musicians is commended. The relevance of the exhibition merchandise to the museum and the exhibition is clear, and the many artists and musicians donating fees back to the museum shows community support for the initiative.

Arts Access Aotearoa Museum Award
NOA Open Studio and Inspired by
NOA Open Studio demonstrates a commitment to open access for all, proudly putting this front and centre at Te Manawa. Inspired By takes this a step further by giving otherwise unseen and unheard creative voices professional curation and high-quality exposure as an integrated part of the exhibition programme. These projects are the product of an ongoing commitment to inclusion across Te Manawa – from governance to front of house staff, fully embracing community ownership of the museum.

About Museums Aotearoa
Museums Aotearoa is the professional association for New Zealand's public museums and art galleries and those who work in and support them.

New Zealand museums and public galleries care for more than 40 million items relating to New Zealand’s history, culture and creativity. Generating in excess of 1000 public exhibitions and publications and attracting well over 12 million visits each year, museums and galleries are ranked as a top attraction for New Zealand's overseas visitors.

New Zealand museums are actively focused on enriching their communities by enhancing the quality of their facilities, collections, programmes, products and services.

About ServiceIQ
ServiceIQ is the industry training organisation (ITO) for the aviation, hospitality, retail, travel, tourism, museums and wholesale sectors.

We’re all about empowering and motivating people to provide great service. This helps businesses remain competitive and New Zealand to be internationally recognised as a great place to live or visit. It also gives people working in our industries valuable skills and knowledge along with nationally recognised qualifications.
MA17 conference: He Waka Eke Noa – Museums of Inclusion

Updated on 24th May 2017