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2019: A year in review

2019 has been another busy year and I thank the wonderful team here at MTG Hawke’s Bay who’ve worked so hard to create a series of great exhibitions, public programmes, education programmes, tours, events and other activities.

We were delighted to receive another award – with George Nuku: Bottled Ocean 2118 winning Best in Design. This exhibition, spanning the summer of 2018 and 2019, was definitely a highlight, with visitors loving the beautiful underwater display, along with the message about our environment and hopes for the future. There were many impactful exhibitions throughout the year including; Project Banaba, Turuturu, Mystery of History alongside our newest exhibition Tender is the Night.

Preparing objects for Silver: Heirlooms from the Collection involved a conservator advising and training staff on cleaning the collection and we embarked on a group silver cleaning spree. The result is a visually stunning display of gleaming silver, which the public have embraced. Toi Āhua, located in the foyer, has welcomed visitors into the museum throughout the course of the year. This installation of Iwitoi Kahungunu artists’ works is on its fourth and final iteration and I’ve loved watching each installation change and getting to know the new works on display.

My personal favourite this year though is Rongonui – Taonga mai ngā tāngata, ngā wāhi, me ngā takahanga: Treasured taonga from people, places and events. This exhibition swells with powerful stories and mana and in my opinion, is a must see.

We’re now at the end of our second year cohabitating with the library and working together has become part of our normal rhythm. Community satisfaction continues to increase and this year over a quarter of a million people have come into the facility to visit the museum, library or both. Our museum store has had a huge transformation and we’ve had great feedback on the range of product, price points and improved retail space.

Work on finding a good long-term solution for collection storage continues and the Joint Working Group involving Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust and Ngāti Kahungunu has made positive progress on this matter.

As always, it’s people that make everything happen – especially the talented team at MTG. Throughout the year we’ve been sad to see some amazing staff leave to pursue new opportunities. As a result we’ve had the opportunity to welcome in new team members – each bringing different skills, experience and expertise.

Our dedicated team of volunteers continue to support the museum with their valuable time, talents and enthusiasm. Te Rōpū Kaiawhinga Taonga, MTG Foundation and the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust, who provide advice, guidance and support, have all worked incredibly hard throughout the year and I appreciate their on-going commitment.

We’re very grateful to all those who continue in big and small ways to support the museum – ensuring MTG is the very best it can possibly be. As always, the museum is open throughout the holiday period, so we hope you’ll come in and enjoy the exhibitions and experiences the team have put together.  

7 January 2020

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