Scholarship & Awards

Mina McKenzie Award


Mina McKenzie made a long-standing and significant contribution to the museum profession (see over for background notes). She was inaugural Director of what is now Te Manawa, President of AGMANZ/MAANZ, member of the Te Māori exhibition committee, convenor of the first Kaitiaki hui, and committed to developing people, skills and networks across the museum world. Mina has left an important legacy through her work and the people she supported and mentored. Museums Aotearoa established the Mina McKenzie Scholarship fund in 2001, which provides financial support for educational opportunities for museum professionals on a 2-4 year cycle.

About the Award

This new award was established in 2017 to link Mina McKenzie's legacy with the Museums Aotearoa Awards programme of recognising, celebrating and promoting museum and gallery achievements.

The Mina McKenzie Award will be presented annually to an individual working in the museum and gallery sector, who has made an outstanding contribution in the past 2-4 years. This is not a monetary award, nor a lifetime achievement award, instead is intended to recognise specific achievements and contributions, especially those which are additional to the individual's job description. In Mina’s memory, this award has a special focus on the particular aspects she saw as integral to the sector’s growth and success.

Nominations are now open, and can be made by any member of MA. Nominees can be paid or unpaid staff or volunteers working in any aspect of the museum sector. Nominations will cite key achievements, such as how the nominee has:

  • demonstrated commitment to equal representation of tangata whenua within the sector
  • empowered kaitiaki Māori
  • encouraged and empowered emerging museum professionals
  • contributed to innovation within their workplace or community
  • inspired others through visionary leadership
  • made a difference to institutional practice
  • brought in fresh ideas or perspectives to their museum/gallery
  • devised and led a new initiative
  • changed local/community perceptions of their museum/gallery
  • contributed to the sector more broadly - e.g. raised its profile with new audiences

The Award will be decided by a judging panel appointed by the Board of MA with input from Mina McKenzie’s whānau.

To nominate a person for the 2019 Mina McKenzie Award, please send an email or attach a letter to by Friday 5 April with the following information:

  • your name and contact details
  • nominee's name, position, employer and contact details
  • name and contact details of another Museums Aotearoa Member who supports your nomination
  • a short explanation of the nominees key achievements, outlining how they meet the criteria above

Announcing the new award

The 2019 recipient of the Mina McKenzie Award will be announced at the 2019 Awards reception on 22 May 2019, at Te Papa.


Attingham Summer School 

The Attingham Summer School is an intensive programme for the study of historic country houses and their collections, based in three different centres throughout the United Kingdom.  The School offers a unique opportunity for participants to become acquainted with the history, architecture, contents and context of historic buildings and their gardens and estates.

It examines how they are managed and explores contemporary challenges for display, access, conservation and interpretation.  It is regarded as the leading study opportunity of its type anywhere in the world.  Each year, 48 people from around the world participate in the School.  Around thirty country houses are visited and renowned tutors lead discussions on heritage conservation and interpretation and the decorative arts.  Today, alumni from the Attingham programme are the leaders of major heritage agencies and art museums throughout the world.  For details of the Summer School see

Applications are now open for New Zealand arts and heritage professionals to attend the Attingham Summer School in 2019.

Mid-career arts, heritage and decorative arts professionals who wish to attend the prestigious Attingham Trust Summer School in England and participate in its exclusive three-week study course need to apply to the Attingham Trust  by 29 January 2019.


Interested individuals should be full-time employees of an organisation working in the heritage, art or museums sectors.


New Zealand financier, art connoisseur and heritage advocate, Errol Clark, created a remarkable opportunity to expand New Zealand's knowledge of built-heritage and decorative arts with the establishment of The Clark Collection Scholarship in 2003.   This enabled one New Zealander to attend the prestigious Attingham Trust Summer School in England and participate in its exclusive three-week study course each year until 2016.

Citing his reasons behind the scholarship, Mr. Clark notes, "New Zealand's built and environmental heritage has, over a long period, been subject to an inadequate application of resources, both human and financial".  Mr. Clark sees the programme assisting New Zealand to "advance overall levels of competence, knowledge and sector best practice in the decorative arts and built heritage".  For that reason, he has negotiated a unique arrangement with the Attingham Trust whereby one New Zealander is admitted to the programme each year.

In 2019, The Clark Collection may offer a scholarship to cover admission and fees for the Attingham Summer School to an approved applicant.  Any scholarship offered does not cover travel to/from the UK or accommodation outside the course period. A successful candidate will need to secure other funding for all associated costs. This could be via their employer, another charitable source, or private funding.

Previous Clark Collection Scholarships:

2016: Jeremy Smith, Director, Olveston Historic Home
         (an additional Attingham Trust scholarship was awarded to Rebecca Rice, Curator Historical New Zealand Art, Te Papa)

(there was no scholarship in 2015)

2014: Sarah Farrar, Senior Curator Art, Te Papa

2013: Finn McCahon-Jones
2013 Scholarship - Finn McCahon Jones

2012: Greg Donson, Curator, Public Programmes Manager, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua
 2012 Scholarship - Greg Donson (pdf)

(there was no scholarship in 2011)

2010: Justine Olsen, Curator, Decorative Art – Contemporary, Museum of new Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
 2010 Scholarship_- Justine Olsen (pdf)

2009: Josephine Hughes, designer at the Hawke's Bay Museum & Art Gallery.
2009 Scholarship - Josephine Hughes (pdf)

2008: Priscilla Pitts, General Manager Heritage Destinations for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga.
2008 Scholarship - Priscilla Pitts (pdf)


ASIA New Zealand Foundation Museums Aotearoa Awards

New Zealand's Asian population is predicted to reach 788,000 by 2026 - is your museum or gallery prepared?

The Asia New Zealand Foundation offer a range of grants to the New Zealand Museums Sector.  The objectives are:

  • developing increased awareness of Asia by the New Zealand museums and art galleries sector
  • greater understanding of Asian material and its handling
  • the development of professional networks between Asia and New Zealand cultural institutions, and
  • an increased number of Asian-related exhibitions.

For information about these opportunities see the Asia New Zealand Foundation website.

Up until 2014 Museums Aotearoa partnered with Asia:NZ to offer museum/gallery-specific awards.

Asia:NZ - MA Museum and Gallery Award 2013

Applications were called in June 2013 for a grant of up to $6,000 towards professional development opportunities with Asia, for individuals or organisations working in the museum and gallery sector, projects to be undertaken before July 2014. Successful projects will be announced in due course. 

Asia:NZ - MA Museum Placement Award 2012

Asia New Zealand Foundation offered a work placement for a museum education specialist at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore in 2012.

This significant opportunity for professional development was undertaken by Susie Cox from Christchurch Art Gallery, who worked alongside staff at the Asian Civilisations Museum for 6 weeks and exchanged ideas, experience and skills.

ASIA:NZ - MA ICOM Conference Bursary 2011

Museums Aotearoa and the Asia NZ Foundation offered a bursary of $2,000 towards the cost of attendance at the ICOM Triennial Conference in Shanghai in November 2011, which was awarded to Eloise Taylor, Public Programmes Team Leader at Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery. Eloise was selected from a strong field of 7 applicants.

Eloise Taylor and MA Board member Greg McManus at ICOM Shanghai

Asia:NZ - MA Museum Placement Award 2009

Asia New Zealand Foundation offered a work placement for a museum education specialist at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore in 2012.

This placement was undertaken by Sara Sinclair from the Otago Settlers Museum.

Sara Sinclair, Otago Settlers Museum

Mina McKenzie Scholarship

This scholarship is offered on an occasional basis from a fund established in memory of the late Mina McKenzie, and provides assistance to enable museum workers to undertake education, training or development that will directly benefit their museum career. Applications can be made by individual members of Museums Aotearoa or staff of member institutions.

Mina McKenzie Scholarship recipients 2014

The Mina McKenzie Award 2014 was split three ways and the recipients, all working in conservation, were:


Jade Hadfield Ngāti Whatua, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kāi Tahu

Jade has completed a Masters of Cultural Material Conservation at the University of Melbourne and this award supports her work on a research project exploring the use of P-XRF, (an X-ray analysis instrument) and the possibility of its application in analysing earth samples to determine provenance for taonga Māori.


Kararaina Te Ira Ngāti Raukawa, Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Kauwhata

Kararaina has also completed a Masters of Cultural Material Conservation at The University of Melbourne.  She has worked with several New Zealand conservators, including Rangi Te Kanawa, Dean Whiting and Jim Schuster and the award supports her as she continues to build on her knowledge of conservation of taonga Māori.


Damen Joe Waikato, Ngā Rauru Kī Tahi

Damen is a Conservation Technician with Auckland Libraries and is one year into a Preventive Conservation Masters degree from the University of Northumbria, UK.  This award supports his work on a project to reconsider relationships between institutions and iwi Māori through preventive conservation.

Applications for the 2014 Mina McKenzie Scholarship have closed. 

 Mina McKenzie Scholarship background (pdf 137KB)

 Mina McKenzie Scholarship conditions (pdf 48KB)

 Mina McKenzie Scholarship application form (pdf 70KB)

If you cannot download the information please contact the MA office. The closing date is Thursday 20 March 2014.

Miri Young was the 2010 Mina McKenzie Scholarship recipient. This Scholarship contributed towards Miri's postgraduate study in the United States. Miri has completed her Masters/Advanced Certifcate in Museum and Holocaust studies at New York University, and is currently working in the cultural sector in London.


Miri Young