High praise for Aotearoa’s museums and galleries

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has praised the museum and gallery sector for its dedication to conserving, documenting and sharing Aotearoa’s diverse arts, cultural and heritage treasures.

Carmel Sepuloni today addressed more than 200 delegates at The Museums Aotearoa annual conference, held in Christchurch this year.

“For a relatively small country, New Zealand’s museum and gallery sector punches well above its weight, with an impressive number of innovative places, people and ideas,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“There are more than 470 museums and galleries spread throughout the country, with collections that collectively tell the stories of our peoples and environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

“The Government recognises the valuable role museums and galleries play in relation to regional and national economic growth.  Supporting Māori and Pacific peoples’ cultural objectives, as well as those of other cultures, is hugely important.

“Museums and galleries also play a key role in promoting a sense of community inclusion and participation. Success in this area is demonstrated by the fact the sector collectively attracts over 12 million visitors each year.

Carmel Sepuloni spoke ahead of a panel session considering issues around repatriation and the ongoing care of human remains held in museums and other institutions in New Zealand.

“Museum practice is constantly evolving, and one development I welcome is the increasing number of ancestral or human remains in institutions around the world that are being repatriated to their countries of origin.

“It is heartening to see nations, including our own, begin to acknowledge past wrongdoings and show respect for traditional knowledge and culture.

It’s also exciting to see first-hand the desire of New Zealand museums to work with each other and the Government towards a more proactive policy for repatriating koiwi”