Akaroa Museum exhibitions recognised in national awards

A settlers case in the Nga taenga mai Arrivals long-term exhibition, which displays objects linked to the events and people from the 1830s to the 1850s - a period of intense change on Banks Peninsula.

Akaroa Museum’s suite of three new long-term exhibitions, developed and installed after the repair and strengthening of its buildings, have received national recognition.

Nominated in the category of ‘exhibition excellence – social history’ in the Service IQ New Zealand Museum Awards, the museum made it to the finals in this category.

The judges said the redeveloped exhibitions looked “like a ‘jewel’ of an experience” and were a great exemplar for small museums.

“Perhaps the success of this redevelopment is in its use of old approaches – object-led, good design, interesting stories well executed.”

Ngā Taenga mai Arrivals, Land and Sea and Tales of Banks Peninsula are the three exhibitions.

Museum director Lynda Wallace praised collections manager Daniel Smith, who curated them.

“He set out to showcase our great collections and let the objects shine so we are thrilled that the judges picked up on that,” said Ms Wallace.

“It is always hard for smaller museums to compete with the larger institutions with their bigger budgets, and in the social history exhibition category this year we were up against some of the biggest – Auckland War Memorial Museum, Museum of Transport and Technology, the Waitangi National Trust Treaty House and Tairāwhiti Museum in Gisborne. So to be named a finalist in this category this year was really something to celebrate.” The winner of the social history exhibition excellence category was the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland.

The Akaroa Museum is open daily from 10.30am-4pm.