Friends of the Museum

Friends of the Museum are a group of people interested in arts, history and culture who support the museum, like to know what is going on (and coming up) and to whom we give some exclusive benefits – such as discounts on product, special events, and invitations to openings. They’re people who are passionate about the museum, invested in the community, and care about what happens here at MTG.

This week we had a special event for our friends and invited them in to participate in a range of curatorial-led presentations.

Some enjoyed a tour through Napier Cemetery with Gail Pope, learning the history of both the cemetery and some of the people laid to rest there. I well remember, early in my time at MTG Hawke’s Bay, going on one of these tours and I found it fascinating. I’d also been asked by a friend from Auckland if, when I was in Napier, I could try to find the gravesite of someone connected to their family – Bright Cooper. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered his story was part of the tour! This tour is offered periodically over the summer months, so there’s an opportunity for everyone to have the experience.

Others elected to do a public art walk with Jess Mio. This walk takes in a surprising amount of public art within a relatively small footprint around the museum. These works, primarily in the form of sculptures and murals, speak to shared identity, history and contemporary issues for our city, nation and the world. There are some hidden gems in the city that not everyone knows about and Jess’ in-depth knowledge about the meaning and significance of these works certainly made me see many of them in a different light.

The third group focused on pounamu – exploring the ancient Maori pukorero (oral tradition) of Te Whatu o Poutini (the Eye of Poutini), which articulates the journey of Poutini Taniwha, Waitaiki and Tamaahua from Tuhua (Mayor Island) in the Bay of Plenty, to the Arahura River. An oral geological map, this pukorero also expresses the intimate spiritual relationship Maori have with the Arahura River, pounamu stone and each other. The feedback on this was so great that I’ve asked Michelle to repeat this talk for the team here so all staff can share this experience.

Each group came back energised and excited about the activity they participated in, speaking very highly about the event and how much they enjoyed their experiences with the curators. In fact the occasion was such a success I’m sure we’ll need to re-offer these activities again (and others) sometime in the future.

Meanwhile the team here are busy installing ‘Te Taenga Mai O Salome’ in one of the upstairs galleries. This exhibition by well-known artist Yuki Kihara will be our last display to open this year and will be available for the public to enjoy from Friday 8 December.

Cemetery Tour

  • Stitch at MTG Hawke’s Bay, 2-3 December. Public stitching project available all day
  • Embroidery workshops with Jo Dixey, 2-3 December, 10:30am – 4pm, $50 per workshop. To book call MTG 835 7781 or email
  • He Manu Tioriori, exhibition exploring Ngati Kahungunu’s love affair with music reopens this weekend. Featuring jazz orchestras, church and brass bands through to ragtime Jazz, RocknRoll, Country and Western to contemporary and Kapa Haka.
  • Drop in Zone, enjoy craft activities and a reading space complementing the exhibitions. Open every weekend.

Laura Vodonavich – Director, MTG Hawke’s Bay

Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today 2nd December 2017


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