Museums Aotearoa is a small organisation with over 1500 individual and museum / gallery members across New Zealand. We are staffed by a permanent team supported by a Board of elected and seconded volunteers.
Museums Aotearoa office
Our Board employs an Executive Director and Administration & Membership Manager who are responsible for the day-to-day running of Museums Aotearoa. This team hires additional staff and contracts assistance for projects such as research, awards and conferences.
We currently have a team of two people in the Museums Aotearoa office:
- Phillipa Tocker, Executive Director
- Sarah Robinson, Administration & Membership Manager (part time)
Museums Aotearoa members
We have over 1500 individual, associate and museum / gallery members across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Museums Aotearoa Board
Museums Aotearoa is governed by a board made up of elected and co-opted members from across the museums and galleries sector. The Board meets quarterly and sets our strategic goals, making sure we are doing the best work we can to support and represent our industry.
Current board members
Elizabeth Cotton, Head of Human History, Auckland Museum (Museum member and Co-Chair)
Elizabeth is Head of Human History at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum, where she leads the curatorial and collection management teams across the Māori, Pacific, Archaeology, Applied Arts & Design, and History areas of the Museum.
Liz is currently a member of the Museums Aotearoa Board, ICOM Aotearoa New Zealand Committee, and Portage Ceramics Trust Board, and is an Honorary Academic at the University of Auckland. Her research interests are in the future of curatorial practice and indigenising museum practice.
Henriata Nicholas, Exhibitions Coordinator, Te Awamutu Museum (Kaitiaki nominee and Co-Chair)
Henriata – Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tuwharetoa - Te Arawa, Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Kahu - Waikato/Tainui - was born in Rotorua, and is now residing in Waitomo working for the Te Awamutu Museum. A traditional Māori artist-designer, Henriata obtained a Certificate in Commercial Design from Waiariki Polytech in 1987, sparking a career as a graphic designer for 20yrs+ in Rotorua and Auckland.
In 2002, she gained a CNZ indigenous links grant to study and research in Hawaii, this began a 15yr+ artistic passion as the first contemporary Wahine Māori Uhi Te Moko artist in Aotearoa. She was a researcher and writer for the Mau Moko book project in 2004, and in 2005 was asked by Pearson Longman to write an interlude for 'Beyond Words: Reading and Writing in a Visual Age'.
She then obtained a Masters of Arts Management (with distinction) from Auckland University of Technology in 2010, and has continued to advise and consult on iwi cultural integration art projects within major public works. Most recently she was appointed Exhibitions Coordinator at Te Awamutu Museum to refurbish four social history galleries, curate local community-based and national touring exhibitions, foster strong iwi relationships, and develop a strong exhibition, public programming and events schedule.
Michael Frawley, Director, MOTAT (Museum member)
Michael is of Māori (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Apakura) and European descent and was appointed Director/Chief Executive of MOTAT in February 2013. He was charged with the late Dame Cheryll Sothern’s challenge of developing a strategy and management structure that transformed MOTAT from being a ‘museum of things’ to a ‘lightbulb institution’ that is audience-focused, vision-based and has a transformative impact on its community.
Michael is passionate about using Aotearoa’s past and present to inform and develop our country’s future and mana. As the whakaukī says: Kia whakatōmuri te whakamua - I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on the past.
Mark Sykes, Manager Collections & Research | Kaiwhakahaere Kohikohinga Taonga me te Rangahau, Whakatāne Museum & Arts (Kaitiaki nominee)
Mark – Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Whānau a Ruataupare, Ngāti Porou. Mark is Kaiwhakahaere Kohikohinga Taonga me te Rangahau, Manager Collections and Research at Te Whare Taonga ō Taketake, Whakatāne Museum. Mark returned from Wellington in July 2019 to take up this role.
Mark had previously worked at the Whakatāne Museum, firstly as a volunteer undertaking an inventory of the weaving collection. After graduating from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi in 2008 with a Bachelor of Art and Visual culture, he was offered an internship at the museum. At the end of 2009 Mark relocated to Wellington to undertake further study at Victoria Universtiy, graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies, and then in 2017 graduating with his Master in Museum Practice, also from Victoria University. During Mark’s time in Poneke he worked with the Te Papa Kaitiaki Māori roopu. Working at Te Papa Mark learnt the significance of relationship building within the museum sector and the wider communities, especially with Ngā iwi o te mōtū.
Mark has been with Kāhui Kaitiaki since 2008, and over the years has advocated strongly for having more Māori kaimahi being kaitiaki of our taonga within museum collections, and being the voice for our taonga and our iwi. During his time at Te Papa, Mark and the other Kaitiaki Taonga Māori travelled with exhibitions nationally and internationally, most notably Tohoora Giants of the Deep, which toured for over 10 years in the United States and Canada. This experience was a chance for Mark to advocate for a indigeous voices within the museums and galleries that he worked in while overseas, and provide an insight for museum workers on Kaitiakitanga.
In Mark’s current role at Te Whare Taonga o Taketake, he has been able to utlilise his experiences and knowledge from working for the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to work within his own rohe in Whakatāne. Mark has been on the MA Board since early 2019. Mark’s interest in the arts, as a practising Kairaranga of traditonal weaving, enables him to engage with not only the art communities, but more importanly with his iwi Ngāti Rangitihi. Mark is a Marae Trustee for Ngāti Rangitihi and holds the position of Co-chair. The trustee is embarking on a Oranga Marae Project to rebuild the Whare Kai, and part of the Project Team.
Jamie Metzger, Assistant Curator Māori, Otago Museum (Kaitiaki Ika Tauhou nominee)
Jamie Metzger (Ngāi Tahu, Pākehā) is a graduate in Art History and Design Studies and holds a Masters Degree in Applied Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies. For the past 7 years Jamie has worked at Otago Museum in roles across the collections division and is currently in the role of Assistant Curator Māori. Jamie is also a PhD student at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago. Her doctoral research is an investigation of the customary concept of mauri from the perspective of taonga.
Bridget Mosley, Director, Waitomo Caves Museum (Museum member)
Louisa Hormann, Archives Technician, Air Force Museum (Emerging Museum Professionals - EMP nominee)
Originally from Whanganui, Louisa joined the archive and research team at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in 2017. She completed a Master of Arts in History (with distinction) and Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 2016, serving as student representative on the University Academic Board and Faculty Academic Committee, and secretary on the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand Board. Since moving to Ōtautahi Christchurch, Louisa joined organising committees for the 2018 EMP Huakina and the Canterbury 100 Reflections on the Commemoration of World War One Conference, working alongside EMPs and established professionals in the Canterbury region.
Olivia Taouma, Teu La Vā Manager, Auckland War Memorial Museum (Pacific Advisory Member)
Olivia comes from an extensive background in Pasifika arts and culture, arts management and education, ranging from programming, producing, directing, teaching and management, to being an artist herself. She worked intensively through 2013–2017 as the sole Arts and Culture Pacific Programmer for the whole of Auckland, under Auckland Council. She worked as the Operations and Production Manager for the highly successful Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA).
Over the years, Olivia has developed strong links with Pasifika communities across Auckland, New Zealand and overseas. She comes from an education background in New Zealand and Samoa, and has been involved in books on Samoan bilingual education and dance in education. She co-wrote Samoa’s teacher guides, Samoa’s Performing Arts for Secondary Schools, and lectured at the National University of Samoa. She is a prominent figure in the Pasifika arts and culture scene in New Zealand.
Jenny Harper FMANZ (Individual Member)
Jenny Harper, now retired from the public sector, tackles various art-related projects which interest her. She was director of Christchurch Art Gallery from 2006-2018. Before this Jenny worked at Victoria University of Wellington, developing the Art History programme and establishing the Adam Art Gallery; in 2003, she was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic). She was Director of the former National Art Gallery in Wellington, becoming Director of Art & History at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa after legislative change in 1992.
Jenny was commissioner for New Zealand’s presentations at the Venice Biennale in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2011 she was awarded an MNZM for services to the arts, a Companion of the Auckland War Memorial Museum in 2016, and in 2018 she received a D.Litt (hon) from the University of Canterbury.
Jenny was made a Fellow of Museums Aotearoa in 2015. She has previously served on the AGMANZ Board, Museum Training Council 2007-2010, MA Board 2010-2014, and was a member of and MA's Code of Ethics review group 2012-2013.
Migoto Eria-Rowell (Individual Member)
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tuhoe and Ngāti Raukawa
Migoto is the Manager of Iwi Development at National Services Te Paerangi. Her mahi involves delivering programmes on the care of management of taonga. She has been a curator at museums throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) including the inaugural Curator Māori at Otago Museum, Curator Māori at MTG Hawkes Bay and Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Victoria University and a Masters of Mātauranga Māori from Te Wānanga o Raukawa. Migoto is a passionate advocate for Te Reo Māori, working to promote and preserve its use within the organisations she works for and in the community.