Year of art achievements and change

Looking back on 2018 I can’t help but feel a sense of awe and pride in what the team at MTG Hawke’s Bay have achieved. It’s been another incredibly busy year with some big achievements and changes along the way.

The team won the Exhibition Excellence – Taonga Māori Award from Museums Aotearoa for our “He Manu Tioriori” exhibition, exploring 100 years of Ngāti Kahungunu’s love affair with music. This exhibition was popular with visitors and locals alike, showcasing the rich talent within Ngāti Kahungunu for singing, composing, song writing, performing and more.

We welcomed in our library colleagues, who reopened to the public from the MTG building early in the year. It’s been a bit of an adjustment for both staff and public but everything seems to have settled down and is working really well. With the arrival of the library we were able to remove the entry fee to the museum, leading to a dramatic rise in visitor numbers, build an access ramp to the Century Theatre Foyer and establish wifi in the building.

Another significant event was signing a contract with Te Papa to provide the digital education programme Raranga Matihiko. Working in partnership with Te Papa, Auckland Museum and Waitangi National Trust, we provide digital education targeted towards lower decile schools in the region. This programme aims to ensure all students have access to digital technology and the opportunity to gain digital literacy skills within a museum environment – rich with their heritage and stories.

Our regular education programme benefited from the ongoing support of Napier Port. And this year we welcomed new sponsors; the Masonic Hotel and Esk Valley Wines who provide annual sponsorship for accommodation and wine. The New Zealand Institute of Architects, Napier Branch, provided one-off sponsorship towards the development of our latest exhibition “The Architectural Legacy of J.A. Louis Hay”. We’re very appreciative of the support we receive from our sponsors, which all goes toward providing the best possible museum experience for the region.

The end of year highlight was the unveiling of IVY our beautiful new sculpture at the entranceway to the museum. This stunning sculpture was the product of incredible generosity from the Reydan and Roger Weiss Trust and we’re very privileged to have an artwork of this calibre not only in our region but on our very doorstep.

All this was achieved by the amazing team here, alongside fare-welling and welcoming staff, hosting film festivals and other events, while at the same time producing a simply stunning array of outstanding exhibitions. We were delighted by the popularity of the Nyree Dawn Porter exhibition, while the overall stand out exhibition for our visitors seems to have been “George Nuku: Bottled Ocean 2118” and the mesmerising effect George has produced with discarded plastic – creating a beautiful immersive experience.
We wouldn’t be able to do half the things we do without the enduring support of many, many people. To our Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust Board members, the Hawke’s Bay Museums Foundation, Te Rōpū Kaiawhina Taonga, MTG volunteers, patrons, sponsors and friends – thank you from the bottom of my heart for your ongoing support and encouragement. To all those who have visited throughout the year and for your overwhelmingly positive feedback, thank you. We hope to continue to delight, challenge and surprise you in the year ahead.

  • Summer Cycling Carnival – The Cycle Chic Film Tour, a captivating selection of short cycling films to inspire, encourage and celebrate women who love to bike, Friday 4 January, 7:30pm. Tickets available at MTG or online at
  • Twilight Art Class, enjoy classes in the gallery exploring various mediums used by the Webb family throughout their journeys. This session focuses on watercolour. Tuesday 8 January, 6-8pm. $35 per class ($30 for friends of MTG). Please register to secure a place 06 835 7781.
  • Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation – NZ Singing School Classics, 11 January, 7.30pm in the Century Theatre. Tickets available through Ticketek –

29 dec_mtg-george-nuku-exhibition-aug-2018-16

Image Caption: Detail from the ‘George Nuku: Bottled Ocean 2118’ exhibition

Laura Vodanovich – Director, MTG
Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today, 29 December 2018



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