Green fern in foreground with lighter green background.
Internal Event

Repatriation and Ethics zui: 17, 24, 29 & 30 Sept, 7 Oct

17 Sep 2020
Internal Event

Following on from our previous zui discussing the MA Code of Ethics and Repatriation addendum, a series of Zoom hui have been held to explore repatriation and ethics further. The video from the first on 28 August can be viewed here.


DSM Zui: Code of Ethics & Repatriation

Thu 17 Sept, 4-5:30pm

For Directors of Smaller Museums only.

There is no recording available for this zui.



Thu 24 Sept, 12:30-2pm

If you'd like to watch the recording of this zui get in touch with us.

Questions discussed:

1. Does your museum hold human remains, burial taonga or modified human remains?
a. If yes, do you have existing policies relating to repatriation and/or human remains?
i. Do these align with the addendum?
ii. In what way will this addendum be applied to your work?

2. What support would you need to be able to implement the addendum into your current museum practice?

3. How do you think the addendum could be incorporated into the structure of the Code of Ethics?

4. Do you have any questions for us?


Ethical care of sensitive collections

Tue 29 Sept, 1-2pm

If you'd like to watch the recording of this zui get in touch with us.

Questions discussed included:

1. Other than burial taonga, does your institution hold any material that would be considered sensitive? If so, what is it that makes them sensitive?

2. Does your institution have policies developed to guide your practice in this area?

3. Does the CoE give you enough guidance on caring for these collections? If not, what additional guidance would be useful for your work?

4. Does the CoE provide enough guidance on how to engage with communities in regards to sensitive collections?


Collections: Acquisitions, provenance, conflicts of interest 

Weds 30 Sept, 4-5pm

If you'd like to watch the recording of this zui get in touch with us.

Questions discussed included:

1. Does the CoE currently provide you with effective guidance on the ethics of collecting and caring for collection? Can you identify any gaps?

2. Have you or your organisation had any cases of issues with provenance, and how did you resolve them?

3. What kinds of conflicts of interest have you experienced professionally, and are they covered by the CoE?

4. Have recent events or social issues - eg Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Covid-related funding crises - raised any new ethical issues?

5. Are these ethical issues/dilemmas or should they be contained in institutional policy?


Definition of 'museum'

Wed 7 Oct 12:30-1:30pm

If you'd like to watch the recording of this zui get in touch with us.

This hui is an opportunity to discuss the principles that sit alongside the ICOM (International Council of Museums) definition in the introduction to our current Code of Ethic and Professional Practice.

ICOM is busy reviewing their definition of what a museum is – it is not an easy task to succinctly articulate what we know is a diverse sector, and is generating much debate.

Our hui will focus on the set of principles that were developed in the past to help express museum practice in Aotearoa | New Zealand (see CoE p2):

  • Museums preserve, interpret and promote the natural and cultural inheritance of humanity.
  • Museums that maintain collections hold them in trust for the benefit of society and its development.
  • Museums hold primary evidence for establishing and furthering knowledge.
  • Museums provide opportunities for the appreciation, understanding and management of the natural and cultural heritage.
  • Museums hold resources that provide opportunities and benefits for other public services.
  • Museums work in close collaboration with the communities from which their collections originate as well as those they serve.
  • Museums operate in a legal and in a professional manner.

Do we agree with these principles? What is missing? Are we happy with the way they are described?