Museum restructuring 'astonishes'

The likely loss of a senior manager at the Otago Museum through proposed restructuring is a ''tragedy'', former Otago Museum Trust Board chairwoman Margaret Collins says.

Museum director Dr Ian Griffin recently said financial pressures facing the museum should be addressed ''as a matter of urgency''.

A redundancy proposal was put to the museum's four-strong senior management team, aiming to reduce it to three.

It is understood the proposal suggests cutting the post of collections, research and experience director Clare Wilson.

Affected staff had until this Wednesday to respond and a final decision is to due be made by next Friday.

''I think it's a tragedy to lose her skills,'' Mrs Collins said this week. Mrs Collins served as a Clutha appointee on the trust board for 21 years, including 12 years as chairwoman, before leaving the board in 2010.

Approached for comment, Mrs Collins said she had no knowledge of current details involving the museum but was ''astonished'' and ''mystified''at the approach apparently being taken in the proposed restructuring.

Mrs Collins said that under the previous board, which she had headed, Ms Wilson had been viewed as a potential successor to then chief executive Shimrath Paul.

Current board chairman Graham Crombie said that, given financial pressures, the museum was having to look at ''how we operate'' and such matters were ''always difficult''.

Ms Wilson declined to comment on the restructuring.


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