About » Benefactors
Patrons are a cornerstone in the creation of an exceptional museum. Prized pieces, special collections and spectacular exhibitions, the Museum would be unable to obtain any of these on its own. Each is made possible through the generosity of everyday people who choose to become patrons.
Community money, through council rates, pays MTG Hawke’s Bay’s day-to-day expenses, but it is patrons who have created its reputation for excellence.
Philanthropy comes in many forms: gifts, bequests from trusts and estates, donations, sponsorship of specific rooms within the Museum. Vital conservation of older works is also only possible through funds gifted to MTG Hawke’s Bay. Patronage solves a very real challenge museums face: how to add to the great collections of yesteryear and how to ensure they are still around for many years to come.
There is a rich history of philanthropy at MTG Hawke’s Bay. In the best possible way, the direction of the Museum has been shaped by its patrons: the collections, specific artefacts, whole galleries. The generosity of the community tells MTG Hawke’s Bay’s story as much as its influential directors.
McLean family, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Ta-u-rangi, 13405
The patronage of Sir Douglas and Lady Florence Maclean galvanised the decision to build the original Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery.
Lady Florence gifted to the Museum an extensive collection of artefacts, antiques and archives on the proviso they were housed in a ‘fire-proof building’. So began the construction of the first section of MTG Hawke’s Bay. From there, over 850 items were gifted to the Museum across a range of diverse areas echoing the exotic, eclectic tastes of the McLean family. Many items were of historical importance to Hawke’s Bay. Lady Florence and Sir Douglas, first president of the Napier Society of Arts and Crafts, had owned Maraekakaho Station. Douglas’ father Donald had been instrumental to the development of the region in the mid 1800s. The McLean Gallery and HBMT’s collection of works by Horatio Robley are also made possible by the generosity of the McLean family.
Gwen Malden, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Ta-u-rangi, 7264a
Gwen Malden gave much to MTG Hawke’s Bay. Gwen, herself a watercolourist, parlayed the profits of an inheritance into a trust, which then paid for the construction of MTG Hawke’s Bay’s Malden Gallery in 1954. Today the Gwen Malden Trust continues the good works of its founder through many generous gifts across Hawke’s Bay in the areas of art, music, education and welfare. The former Malden Gallery is now home to the Archive of the Hawke’s Bay region.
Harold Holt, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Ta-u-rangi, 5379
To celebrate a century of trading, H R Holt, of the Carter Holt business conglomerate, gifted enough funds to build a southern section onto the original Museum. This opened as the Holt Gallery and was in existence from 1959- 2010. Later, Holt took up a position as President of the Hawke’s Bay Art Society and, in the 1980s, again contributed to the construction of new display cases for the museum.
The recent legacy of Napier lawyer W T Dobson was also a generous one. The MTG Hawke’s Bay redevelopment fund contains $400,000 from this trust.
Morris Spence, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Ta-u-rangi, 7608
Morris Spence was a prominent Napier accountant with a passionate belief in the potential MTG Hawke’s Bay. In his will he generously provided for the upkeep of the Museum. His highly personalised vision was to contribute financially to the less glamorous areas in which he guessed the Museum would always struggle. In the 1950s he created a trust that still pays annually towards building maintenance.
Mary Bestall, collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Ta-u-rangi, 3354
Mary Bestall, widow of influential Museum Director Leo Bestall, died in 1976 and through her will solidified an already strong relationship the Bestalls had with MTG Hawke’s Bay.
The Museum benefited from a generous acquisition fund. In her will she specified funds should be used ‘for the purchase of pictures and other works of art for display in the Art Gallery or Museum’. Today, administered by the MTG Foundation, works are still bought each year through the Mary Bestall fund.
Countless small contributions, and a few substantial ones, mean MTG Hawke’s Bay is intrinsically linked to many families across Hawke’s Bay.
Such gestures within a museum have a long life and they continue to pay dividends to the community for a very long time.
Contemporary patronage in the world of creative industries is a fulfilling and inspiring undertaking. It contributes much to the arts, to cultural wellbeing, to the preservation of social history. It is only through such contributions that a bright, buoyant future for MTG Hawke’s Bay is possible.
To find out more about ways of giving to the MTG Hawke’s Bay please visit our Donate and Support pages.
Visit the Napier i-SITE to find out more about what is happening in Hawkes Bay, from events, activities and accommodation.
View website for Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre
Unique Art Deco heritage has been preserved with the skilful addition of modern theatre facilities making it the best provincial performing arts centre in the nation.
View website for Napier Municipal Theatre
Located in the Art Deco city of Napier. We have worked closely with our builders to promote and develop high quality housing within an open-aspect environment.
View website for Parklands Residential Estate
We offer an all purpose built venue that uniquely combines spectacular outlooks with functional layout.
View website for Napier Conference Centre
Situated in the centre of Napier, in the middle of Onekawa Park, the Napier Aquatic Centre is a safe and affordable aquatic facility for everyone.
View website for Napier Aquatic Centre
Located on Marine Parade, Napier, is the Bay Skate Park - home to skateboarding, BMX, roller derby, inline hockey and scootering.
View website for Bay Skate
Strive to Inspire, Educate and Entertain by providing access to information through various resources within our Libraries. We aim to provide more than you expect.
View website for Napier Libraries
We are Hawkes Bay's premier holiday accommodation park providing an array of facilities to keep the entire family entertained.
View website for Kennedy Park Resort Napier
Come to Par2 MiniGolf and meet Seamore the Seagull at our sea-side minigolf courses. Challenge your friends and family for a round.
View website for Par2 MiniGolf
The Faraday Centre in Napier, is Hawke's Bay's Museum of Technology. It's a place of discovery where history comes alive through hands on experience.
View website for The Faraday Centre
Build on the blossoming national and international interest in William Colenso's life and ideas as the result of the William Colenso Bicentenary Celebrations in Hawke's Bay in 2011, and a body of new publications and research.
View website for William Colenso
For Napier City residents and citizens to have easy access to see what council are currently working on, completed, what they do, facilities, and council information.
View website for Napier City Council
Nowhere else in New Zealand will you discover a wider range of marine animals and native species in a single facility than at the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
View website for National Aquarium of New Zealand
If you have any questions, problems or feedback for MTG Hawke's Bay please let us know about it.