Contracts axed early

Hokitika Museum. PHOTO: HOKITIKA MUSEUM
Hokitika Museum. PHOTO: HOKITIKA MUSEUM
Two head positions at the Hokitika Museum have been axed, as part of another review, less than a year after being established.

Museum director Judith Taylor and museum services manager Maire Hearty have both had their contracts with the Westland District Council subsidiary Destination Westland terminated early.

They will finish in two weeks.

Destination Westland board chairman Ian Hustwick confirmed the staff cuts during the submission hearings for the council's draft annual plan.

Destination Westland took over the museum management, as well as the i-Site and events department last July.

Ms Taylor, an adviser for Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa's National Services, was appointed to the museum director's position in December, filling an 18-month vacancy.

She had been working out of the temporary research centre alongside four other staff. They have recently been moved back into the old premises in Drummond Hall, in Tancred St, at the back of the Carnegie Building.

Mr Hustwick confirmed the museum services manager role would also go in the restructuring. Three remaining museum staff would be working out of Drummond Hall with a focus on cataloguing the collection.

Only about 5% of the museum collection was catalogued at present, he said.

The former research premises in Revell St had now closed.

The Carnegie Building is also expected to close later this year for earthquake strengthening work which could take up to a year to complete.

Mr Hustwick said it was possible Drummond Hall could still be used during the works programme.

Carnegie staff are employed under a separate budget and Mr Hustwick said discussions were under way concerning opening times and staff needs.

He would not be drawn on cost savings resulting from the latest changes.

-By Janna Sherman (Hokitika Guardian)

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