We give recognition to outstanding exhibitions, programmes and projects, big and small from museums and galleries throughout New Zealand. We also offer special awards and scholarships.
About the awards
From 2008 annual museums awards have been presented to celebrate individuals and organisations that achieve excellence in the museum and gallery sector in New Zealand. The awards were paused in 2020 and a decision is yet to be made as to when to restart them.
The awards are open to individual and 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
- assist in our learning about the content and process of making successful exhibitions/events/projects with the inclusion of the Award Winners Workshop at the annual conference
- create interest in the sector by a greater sharing, and possible touring of exhibitions, through knowledge about current exhibitions.
- Exhibition Excellence - Art
- Exhibition Excellence - Science and Technology
- Exhibition Excellence - Social History
- Exhibition Excellence - Taonga Māori
- Most Innovative use of Te Reo Māori
- ServiceIQ Museum Visitor Experience Award
- Most Innovative Education Programme
- Most Innovative Public Programme
- Museum Project Excellence Award
- Arts Access Museum Award
- MSAANZ Best New Product/Best New Range Award
Judging of awards
Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges with expertise in each field. Judges will draw on their own knowledge of current museum practice in Aotearoa and will be looking for excellence in conceptualisation and delivery in all entries.
Judges will also be looking for the following qualities in entries, as appropriate:
- Vision: the project or programme demonstrates & advances the museum’s mission.
- Engagement: the project or programme creates new knowledge, awareness, access, skills or connections for audiences / participants.
- Resourcefulness: the project or programme takes the museum’s resources (such as people, collections, skills, or community context) & makes the most of them.
- Innovation: the project or programme demonstrates new thinking & approaches that others can learn from.
If judges are unable to identify a suitable achievement in any particular category, no award will be given.