Museum announces Research Centre & Award recipientsDate: 27 February 2012
The awards were made to the late historian Dame Judith Binney, archaeologist Dr Nigel Prickett, historian Professor Russell CJ Stone and the late anthropologist Professor Roger Neich.
Creating the Research Centre focuses on the collections and demonstrates that scholarship and the acquisition of new knowledge remain at the heart of the Museum’s remit, Roy Clare, Director of Auckland War Memorial Museum, said. “A lot of excellent research is happening here already. This development will make it easier for the Museum to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and produce increased quantity and quality of research outcomes. We believe bringing all our research activity under the umbrella of a Research Centre will help take us to the next level and better serve our diverse audiences. It will lead to increased partnerships and new projects. We are bringing our collections and expertise, and we are looking for partners to bring their resources and skills to the table.”
Building on the Museum’s legacy of research and scholarship would be a priority over the coming years, Mr Clare said. Establishing a Research Centre would connect the Museum to other kinds or research and new people across the sector. No museum could undertake a comprehensive range of research on its own, and partnerships made museums stronger.
“Collections-based research is what differentiates museums. Research and scholarship bring collections alive and enable a museum to serve its diverse audiences. “We want the deep specialist knowledge of our Curators and entire research and collections team to be published, offer value to research partners, and create new knowledge and insights which interest and benefit society.”
The Auckland Museum Awards event featured a keynote address by Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister.
Dr Nigel Prickett was made an Associate Emeritus of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The Museum awarded the title of ‘Fellow’ to the late Professor Roger Neich, Professor Russell CJ Stone, and to the late Dame Judith Binney, who was given the name Te Tomairangi o Te Aroha (‘the little rain of love’) by Tūhoe for her research and publishing contribution.
At the event, Auckland Museum’s former Director Dr Rodney Wilson was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for his services to museums rendered over a lifetime. And finally, the Auckland Museum Circle Foundation announced it has underwritten the recent acquisition of a precious greenstone Mere associated with Ngapuhi chief and warrior Hongi Hika which was given to Samuel Marsden’s daughter in 1830.
Commenting on the announcement, Roy Clare said: “The Circle Foundation makes a hugely valued contribution to the life of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. We deeply appreciate the work of the Circle and the on-going support for research and scholarship provided by the Auckland Museum Institute."
Note to editors: Support for the creation of a Research Centre at Auckland War Memorial Museum has come from a number of scientific and civic leaders. A selection of comments is outlined below:
Dr Di McCarthy, Chief Executive, The Royal Society of New Zealand: “This is a wonderful initiative by Auckland Museum and is applauded by the Royal Society of New Zealand. I believe the Museum is perfectly placed to extend the network of research centres in New Zealand using its unique capabilities.”
Stuart N. McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Auckland: “The University of Auckland is delighted to see the establishment of a research centre at Auckland Museum. Our two organisations have a long history of collaboration in research and this centre will undoubtedly enhance those collaborations.”
Bruce Campbell, COO, Plant & Food Research: “This exciting development will be welcomed by Crown Research Institutes. Establishing a Research Centre at Auckland Museum will encourage our researchers to consider fresh partnership opportunities and I personally look forward to seeing how the Centre will develop over the next 2-3 years.”
Auckland Mayor Len Brown: “Learning and innovation are at the heart of Auckland’s future. A research centre at the museum would be a substantial boost for our research and innovation sector and strengthen the reputation of one of New Zealand’s leading museums.”