NZ Museum Awards

ServiceIQ 2015 New Zealand Museum Awards entries are OPEN

We are delighted that ServiceIQ is our major sponsor for this year's awards programme.

This year there are seven awards categories. A new Award for 2015 is the ServiceIQ Best Museum Visitor Experience. This is open to an organisation or individual and will recognise outstanding customer service through hosting, retail or other visitor-focussed area of museum activity.

Our judging panel:

  • Te Radar - Guest judge and MC for the Awards celebration
  • Dr Conal McCarthy - Museum & Heritage Studies Programme Director, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Priscilla Pitts - former Heritage Destinations Manager, Heritage NZ
  • Greg McManus - Chief Executive, Waitangi National Trust
  • Manu Kawana - Te reo category

The panel will be looking for inspiring projects showing commitment and success in engaging audiences, bringing collections and stories alive for the public, demonstrating excellence in museum practice, and innovation.

Entering the New Zealand Museum Awards

Application forms, information and criteria for Project and Individual Achievement categories.

Entries must be received by 5pm, Thursday 19 March 2015.

See below for FAQs or look at Previous Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do the judges need to know?
A: They need to know basic information such as who was involved, what the project entailed, where it was held and when. They also want to know what is special about your project - why you undertook the project in the way you did, what challenges you overcame, and why it is worthy of recognition.

Q: What supporting evidence should I submit?
A: More is not necessarily better, however to illustrate your project, you could include some or all of the following: plans, reports, photographs, graphic material, visitor book comments, blog posts, media hits. Please keep material submitted within the limits specified int he application form.

Q: What are the judging criteria?
A: The judges will be looking for excellence, relevance, inclusion, collaboration, innovation and vision. Some or all of these criteria will be applied as relevant to each Award category. For details see terms and conditions above.

Q: Who are the judges?
A: The three judges for 2014 all have experience with museums and galleries and bring a range of perspectives to the awards. They are: Manu Kawana, Kaihautu at Te Manawa, Jane Legget, Senior Lecturer at AUT, and Helma van der Berg, owner and founder of Clearview Winery. The Te Reo award will be judged by Manu Kawana together with guest judge, Jeremy Tatere-McLeod.

Q: What qualifies for the 'Most Innovative Public Programme' award?
A: This category is intended for gallery and museum projects that engage the public and are not exhibitions. These could be education programmes, public events, conferences or technology projects. We welcome entries from all kinds of projects which contribute to the museum and gallery sector, are innovative and extend the museum or gallery's public outreach and engagement.

Q: What qualifies as a project for the 'Best Museum Project' award?
A: This category is intended for a range of gallery and museum projects that are not exhibitions. There are lots of exciting initiatives going on such as education programmes, public events, interpretation, physical development, collection development, sustainable practice and research projects. We welcome entries from all kinds of projects which contribute to the museum and gallery sector.

Q: Will awards be made in every category?
A: The judges may decide not to make an award in some categories – and may choose to recognise other achievements as well. 

Q: How can you compare the work of museums with larger budgets to smaller museums with stretched resources?
A: The awards celebrate the unique and creative ways museums bring collections and stories to life - this does not always require big budgets. As well as the separate exhibition categories, the judges have the option to specifically recognise smaller museums in other categories.

Q: Can I nominate a museum or person for the awards?
A: All nominations must come from Museums Aotearoa members. If you are not a member but would like to be involved, either go and talk to your local museum, or contact Museums Aotearoa.

If you have any questions about the awards which you think would be of interest and/or benefit to others, contact us and we may publish them here.

Awards Background

From 2008 annual Museums Aotearoa Awards have been presented to celebrate individuals and organisations who achieve excellence in the museum and gallery sector in New Zealand.

The Awards are open to individual or museum members of Museums Aotearoa, and are intended to:

  • encourage continuous improvement and development of museums and galleries.
  • inspire and recognise best practice and innovation.
  • acknowledge the contribution made by individuals to their institutions and to the gallery and museum sector.
  • enhance the profile of galleries and museums in local and wider communities.