Otago Museum management is strengthening its focus on
collections and aims to double the percentage of overall
staff devoted to collection-related duties.
Museum director Dr Ian Griffin said recently that over the
next few months the museum would be ''investing significantly
in our collections team''.
Several new positions would be created, including a director
of collections and research, a manager of conservation and a
Curator Maori, he said in a recent report.
After extensive consultation with staff and museum colleagues
throughout New Zealand, the museum would be reintroducing the
job titles of ''curator'' and ''collection manager'' at the
This would bring the museum back into line with all other New
Zealand museums, he said.
For the past few years, only 11% of the Otago Museum's staff
had held collections-related roles.
He planned to ''double this percentage over the next two
financial years'', bringing the museum ''into line with the
norm in other museums''.
''I sincerely believe that the museum has underinvested in
its collection for decades, and I see it as critical that we
address this issue as a matter of urgency,'' he said.
Museum officials indicated that the number of staff involved
in collection-related duties would rise from six to 11, but
any costs this year would be met from the existing budget.
Dr Griffin said the museum management team was also working
on an extensive change programme aimed at reviewing and
improving systems and processes which had been inherited,
some of which were paper-based and ''extraordinarily
He believed significant operational efficiencies would be
achieved, ''freeing up an enormous amount of staff time''.
Museum marketing and development manager Caroline Cook said
one of three new collection-related posts had already been
A collection conservator would also be appointed, and overall
staff changes would be made as resources permitted.
Strengthening collection-related staffing would bring many
benefits, including helping deal with queries arising from a
growing number of overseas researchers wishing to access the
Increasing resources in this field was ''critical'' to the
museum's overall goals, including better conserving,
protecting and managing its collections, she said.