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Looking to the year ahead...

Looking to the year ahead there’s a lot going on at MTG Hawke’s Bay. Our collections team will be hard at work on the new facility and preparing the collection for moving to the new facility in Hastings. This is a more time consuming and complex matter than you might suppose. Objects are not necessarily going from like to like storage.

The new facility has modern museum storage systems which means many of the collections need to be repacked to fit the new system. Other items, such as paintings, which are currently stored in crates, need to have new hanging mechanisms attached so they can be hung on mesh racks. This means they will also be easier to see and access.

We have a number of interesting exhibitions in the pipeline. We’ll have a show to celebrate the creative outputs of Fane Flaws, one of Hawke’s Bays creative treasures. A rich selection of stunning and award winning fashion designs by Minh Ta will be on display, along with the fascinating story of her life.

Fiona Pardington visited MTG in 2022 to photograph the huia in our collection. The results of this visit will be displayed and are sure to be impactful, as Fiona’s works always is. And the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake gallery will be re-envisioned to incorporate more of the stories from across the region, as well as a little bit about the science behind earthquakes and, importantly, what to do to keep yourself safe.

Obviously a fair bit of our year will be focused on the new facility in Hastings as there will always be details to iron out and compromises to be made. Our team will be involved in these decisions to ensure operational practicalities and a positive experience for visitors is kept in mind. I have no doubt at the end we will have created a facility that will protect and treasure the collections we hold on behalf of the community, while at the same time making them more accessible to all.

At the same time as we will be working on the building project, the Joint Working Group (Napier & Hastings Councils, Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust and Iwi) will be exploring alternatives to the existing governance model of the museum. Currently MTG has one of the most complex governance set ups in the country and everyone is committed to trying to find a model that works better. I’m sure we’ll land on a model and funding structure that allows the museum to grow and flourish, as there is always more we would like to do for the community.

No doubt 2023 will bring plenty of surprises and hopefully plenty of successes as well. We wish you and your families a happy and safe year and we look forward to seeing you at the museum.

Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper 7 January 2023 and written by Laura Vodanovich, Director at MTG Hawke’s Bay

16 January 2023

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