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Museums Trust collection storage meets high standards

Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust collection storage meets high standards of care.

The Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust held its first meeting of the year on Monday 10th
3.30pm. The Trustees could not ignore the recent media attention regarding collection storage.

As guardians of the collection on behalf of the people of Hawke’s Bay the Trust is charged with ensuring proper care of the collection today and for the future.

The Trustees are confident that the storage and standard of care of this, the largest and most important of the NZ regional collections, meets very high levels of professional care. Over the last few years the packaging of the collection has been upgraded to meet museum standards for disaster planning and risk management particularly as it relates to earthquakes. As a consequence of this higher level of protection the bulk of the collection has increased.

At the same time the Trust’s collections have grown since the Museum closed in 2010 this has also contributed to the current situation.

The Chair of the Trust Barbara Arnott said “a good analogy is a pair of shoes packed in a shoe box rather than lying in the bottom of the wardrobe will take up more room but be better cared for.” This bulk has necessitated greater storage needs for the same size collection.

“The figures currently circulating are inaccurate and irrelevant to the maintenance of Hawke’s Bays treasures. All of Hawke’s Bay should be proud of the strength of this important collection and the high standards of care and attention it receives” said Barbara Arnott.

The Trust is not concerned that the collection is to be stored over two sites. Museums throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world maintain offsite stores and in many cases it is considered best practice as it inherently reduces collection risk.

Parts of the collection were never intended to be stored in the new MTG building.

Nor is there any consideration of returning items to donors as a method of making space. The collection is currently well housed and well cared for, in an environment capable of meeting current and future needs.

The Trust is proud of its association with the high standards of the professional staff of MTG Hawke’s Bay, who have managed the collection on the Trust’s behalf through the design and development phases of the current project. It supports MTG Hawke’s Bay staff in their work on the Trust’s behalf.


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