Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum, as Kaitiaki Taonga Conservator Paintings, to be part of a team of dedicated and skilled professionals caring for and supporting the wellbeing of Te Papa's collections.

Reporting to the Manager Collection Care Practice, this position sits within Collection Services, home to our Collection Care and Exhibition Services teams. The role will work with Te Papa's other Kaitiaki Taonga Conservator Paintings and alongside conservators of paper, objects and textiles as well as collection managers. Outside of Te Papa's Collection Services team, the key relationships for this role include curators, designers and the Loans and Acquisitions team. The work of Te Papa's Collection Care team is underpinned by the practice of Mana Taonga - people-centred museology, which requires an added responsibility of care for the people who are associated with those objects or taonga.  

The position is responsible for the conservation and care of Te Papa's paintings collections, to enable their use internally and by a range of external stakeholders and communities. The position supports an active programme of collection development, storage, exhibition and lending. The paintings collection comprises of works by both New Zealand and international artists, dating predominantly to the 19th and 20th centuries

The successful applicant will:

  • identify conservation needs, risks and mitigation measures for paintings
  • design and carry out treatments in adherence with conservation ethical principles and following appropriate cultural and health and safety protocols
  • carry out condition assessments, surveys and complete required documentation using Te Papa's collection information system EMu
  • carry out prioritised research to identify materials and to test and develop treatment methodologies.

To be successful in the role, you'll bring the following:

  • A tertiary qualification in conservation, preferably with at least five years' proven experience working as a conservator within a museum or gallery setting
  • Strong communication skills and a passion for working collaboratively as part of a team
  • Excellent planning and time management abilities for managing multiple concurrent workstreams
  • Ability and willingness to learn and apply Te reo Māori and cultural practices
  • Experience working with contemporary art is desirable but not essential

The position description provides further information about the role. To apply please complete the online application form and upload a cover letter (no more than two pages) describing how your skills and background are a fit with the position and your ambitions for it, and a CV (no more than four pages) that details your relevant work experience.

Questions about this position can be sent to Simon Whittaker, Head of Collection Services,

The starting salary for this position will be between $77,000 - $83,000 with opportunity for progression through the salary band. Offers will be made within the range to reflect the skills and experience offered by the candidate, those required of the role, and internal relativities.

Applications close on Friday, 21 October 2022.

This is a permanent role and applicants must have the ability to obtain and maintain the legal right to work in New Zealand.

From 1 July 2022 appointment to a position at Te Papa will require a declaration of Vaccination Status (confirmation that you are currently ‘up to date' with vaccination against COVID 19 or, you are not currently vaccinated or 'up to date' with vaccination against COVID-19). Future appointees will also need to agree to comply with any future Government or Te Papa mandates or requirements relating to vaccination against COVID.

Prior to Te Papa confirming any offer of employment, pre-employment checks will be undertaken including criminal conviction history and reference checking as a minimum.

To apply for this role, please copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:

Closing date: