Museum to host gathering

Otago Museum will host next year's national conference of Museums Aotearoa, New Zealand's museum professional body.

Hosting the gathering marks a big change in stance by the Otago Museum, which had previously not been a member of the national organisation for some years, before rejoining last year under new director Dr Ian Griffin.

The three-day conference will be held in April. Most of the 150 participants will come from outside Otago, including many from the North Island.

''This is a fantastic opportunity for our museum to show what we are doing, to our colleagues all over New Zealand,'' Dr Griffin said.

Because of the Otago Museum's upcoming turn as conference host, a large delegation, involving six people, had attended the recent Museums Aotearoa national conference in Napier.

This had given Otago Museum staff a chance to network with colleagues, and to learn as much as possible about the way the conference was run ''so we can do an even better job next year'', he said.

Museum marketing and development director Caroline Cook said Dunedin had ''fantastic''cultural institutions, including the Otago Museum, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Staging the national conference would inject more visitor spending into the Dunedin economy, and also further boost the national profile of the Otago Museum and other Dunedin cultural institutions, Ms Cook said.

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