Strategic stewardship of the collections is the primary responsibility of curators, who shape and drive the strategic development of the collections in support of the Museum’s purpose. Our curatorial team do this through relationships with collectors and donors, targeted acquisitions through purchase and fieldwork, and by enhancing the content of existing collections. Our processes also ensure that the acquisition backlog is not added to.
This work is underpinned by the Collection Development Plan at a strategic level and at a tactical level, by the annual collecting plans for each collecting area. A robust acquisition approval process includes consideration of storage, conservation requirements, interpretive value, significance, importance for He Korahi Māori and activation of Teu Le Vā. This is overseen by the Collection Development Committee to ensure whole-of-life costs and resource requirements are assessed prior to items being included in the collection.
An extensive programme of Collections Access and Readiness Projects have been funded in order to reduce historical collection backlogs of objects and complete their processing, record enrichment and digitisation.
The Collection Development Plan 2017 sets the Museum’s collection priorities for the next five to ten years. The priorities are to support research, community access, learning, exhibitions, gallery renewal and public programmes that can be delivered onsite, offsite and online. The plan confirms the criteria for both acquisition and disposal of objects, given the Museum’s limited resources.