Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Cultural desecration at Nat Library must ceasse

Labour
2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark said today that new reports of the disposal of priceless collections of books and other material from the National Library is a public scandal.

"In recent weeks public concern has been mounting at the demolition of major collections held in the National Library because of the determination of the library's management to narrow its mandate.

"The latest stories emanating from the library suggest that it has sold, or is selling, a major Shakespeare collection, a Gauguin collection and a number of European collections including work by Camus.

"Shelves filmed at the National Library [see attachments] show the kind of material which has been earmarked for thoughtless disposal by the library's philistine management. Books marked down for sale include impressive volumes on the art and culture of Asia and Europe.

"What is happening at the National Library amounts to the dumbing down of New Zealand's national literary collection. Scholars across the board are stunned at what is happening.

"The so-called National Librarian, who has no library qualifications and who failed to mention the word 'book' in a submission to a select committee last week, appears to believe that only material relating to New Zealand's colonial period and Maori heritage is strictly relevant to the collection.

"While those two areas are clearly relevant, and should be maintained and built upon, New Zealanders also have a right to expect that their National Library will retain and build on the international collections representing the many cultures which have contributed to our country. The international intellectual and cultural heritage is something in which all New Zealanders have a stake in.

"Last week in Parliament the Minister responsible for the National Library excused this wave of destruction through the national collections by claiming that only material seldom consulted was being disposed of. One MP quipped: 'on that basis you would sell the Dead Sea Scrolls'.

"But this is sadly no laughing matter. Some years ago Treasury wanted to cash in on early editions of Milton's work in the National Library. Now it is not only Milton's work which is at risk, but work covering an astonishing range of international art, literature and music.

"With a general election less than four months away, the continuing destruction of the national collections is utterly inexcusable. I serve notice to the National Librarian now that Labour not only condemns out of hand what he is sanctioning, but on the day after the election of a Labour government, will demand a halt to this sabotage of New Zealand's National Library collection.

"The National Library's purpose and mission has been to serve as a custodian of knowledge about New Zealand and the world. It is fast becoming a laughing stock because of this extraordinary attack on collections built up since the library began.

"Who would ever have thought that the future of something as fundamental to New Zealand's intellectual and cultural life as the National Library would become an election issue? The National Party should be ashamed of the destruction it has sanctioned at the National Library," Helen Clark said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels