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

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news