Museum performs 'strongly' despite challenges

Continued pressure on Otago Museum resources, and some disruption arising from staff changes, are reflected within a positive overall performance by the museum, a just-released report indicates.

The museum's statement of service performance for the financial year ending on July 1 noted that goals had been achieved in 56 out of 62 (90%) of a wide range of performance measures.

That successful outcome involved many areas of activity, including in its more than 460,000 visitors, up from a 400,000 target.

Another goal was to add further correct entries to the museum's collection management system, lifting that total to 400,000 (428,049 achieved).

The museum also met its goal to develop and run two significant community-oriented events, with The Big Get Together and the Animal Attic Carnival organised.

And 6884 school pupils had taken part in formal education programmes. The target was 4700.

But the museum did not fully meet some objectives, including to attach 10,000 radio frequency identification device tags to artefacts to strengthen management control (8218 tags added).

The museum had also aimed to process 9000 items through the continuing audit of the collection (5761 items completed).

Progress with both measures had been delayed, partly because some audit staff had left, and time was needed to recruit replacements.

Staff had also faced ''competing priorities'' over other goals, the report noted.

A ''performance planning programme'' for all full and part-time staff had been planned, involving a formal annual review.

Members of the museum management team had not been reviewed because of the ''extended period with no chief executive'' after the resignation last year of former museum chief executive Shimrath Paul.

Until new museum director Dr Ian Griffin began his duties in May, the museum management team had ''collectively acted as the chief executive'', the report noted.

The Otago Museum Trust Board has long acknowledged heavy pressures, including rising costs, faced by the museum, and funding from the Dunedin City Council has not increased for three consecutive financial years.

Museum visitor experience manager Caroline Cook said the museum had performed very strongly overall, and also performed well in a few areas where goals were not fully achieved.

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