Otago Museum director Dr Ian Griffin is keen to join forces
with other museums and cultural organisations in order to
seek more Government funding for regional museums and similar
He was invited to a private lunch attended by Prime Minister
John Key during a visit to Dunedin last month and, with the
help of National list MP Michael Woodhouse, Dr Griffin had
the chance to briefly raise the funding topic.
Dr Griffin had aimed to ''plant the idea'' and to ''come back
later'' to the Government next year.
In the meantime, he wanted to discuss the matter further with
the heads of other Dunedin cultural institutions, including
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Dunedin Public Art Gallery,
and the heads of the nation's other regional museums.
He noted the Otago Museum was hosting a national meeting of
museum heads in Dunedin on November 7.
Dr Griffin was born in England and was involved in national
museum-related administration work there before taking up his
post at the Otago Museum in May.
His English experience told him significant changes tended to
happen when the overall museum sector ''spoke as a group,
with one voice''.
He believed in ''working together as a group'' and he noted
the Otago Museum had recently rejoined the national museums
body Museums Aotearoa.
The Otago Museum was home to several million artefacts and a
long-term audit was under way to take digital photographs of
them, to update the museum's electronic catalogue and
ultimately make the information more accessible to the
Many of the artefacts held at the Otago Museum and other
regional museums were ''of national and international
importance,'' he said in an interview.
The Christchurch earthquakes had highlighted the risks posed
to national treasures and from an earthquake security
viewpoint, it was beneficial to New Zealand that many
significant artefacts were held in different parts of the
country, rather than in one place.
Government funding was already available for some capital
redevelopment work at regional museums, he said.
His funding aim was a ''very long-term idea'', but he
believed there was a good case for some other non-capital
funding to be provided by the Government, which could include
''some of the costs'' of projects such as the Otago Museum's
cataloguing and auditing work.