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Te Papa launches a free helpline service

Te Papa launches a free helpline service for the museum sector in New Zealand

Where do museums turn when they need to know how to store a korowai cloak, or advice on developing policies? The 0508 helpline of course!

In partnership with TelstraClear, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa), is implementing a free helpline service for museums, the first of its kind in New Zealand. The purpose of this TelstraClear service is to provide improved access to information and advice to museums beyond the Wellington region at no cost to the caller.

The service will be managed by National Services Te Paerangi, a team within Te Papa whose mission is to strengthen the museum sector by providing practical and strategic help to the many and varied museums and iwi throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. The service will be launched by The Honourable Judith Tizard, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage on Wednesday 13 September, 10am at Te Papa.

Since 1996, National Services Te Paerangi has worked in partnership with museums and iwi throughout New Zealand on nearly 300 projects and training opportunities, spanning various aspects of museum practice. Organisations supported range from small voluntary museums through to large regional institutions, from Northland to Stewart Island, and as far afield as the Chatham Islands. Despite this great record, National Services Te Paerangi only comprises 5 staff, which means that the team are always on the lookout for innovative ways to improve access to information and services.

“Presently, National Services Te Paerangi has approximately 450 museums on its radar. It is estimated that over 90% of these organisations are smaller regional volunteer-staffed museums, operating on limited budgets. The implementation of the TelstraClear 0508 help-line service enables these organisations, and others in the museum sector, to contact National Services at any time during the week to discuss any issues they may have,” says Tracy Puklowski, General Manager of National Services Te Paerangi today.

TelstraClear Chief Executive Allan Freeth says the company is proud to build on its eight-year sponsorship with Te Papa, “The TelstraClear 0508 helpline will provide museums around the country with easily accessible advice and information, while the Internet kiosks we’re providing at Te Papa will provide members of the public with fast and simple access to the world wide web”.

Philip Howe, Director of South Canterbury Museum, agrees that the new service will have far reaching benefits, “The helpline will be of enormous benefit to museums of all sizes in New Zealand. For smaller museums, the phone line will act as a first port of call for assistance and advice on all matters relating to museum operation and activities”.

The term ‘museum’ includes: museums, art galleries, whare taonga, tribal museums, cultural centres, historic places, science centres, interpretive centres and exhibition centres. They usually carry out a range of functions, which include but are not confined to, care of collections, public programmes including exhibitions, education, and community relationships.


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