16 October 2007

Fun while it lasted

Hamilton City Council CEO Michael Redman has announced the separation of City Libraries and Waikato Museum into stand-alone entities.

The libraries and museum have been operationally joined in the Arts and Culture Unit of the Council for more than ten years. The restructure will see the disestablishment of the Arts and Culture Unit.

The merger has been the subject of long-standing and strong opposition from within the arts community over the years with claims that it devalued the unique character and role of the individual facilities.

Mr Redman says there is also a much bigger view about the part Council plays in ensuring the city has a strong cultural feel. He says the notion that arts and culture should be delivered through just one Council unit was an outdated one.

"You can't throw a blanket over these facilities and treat them as one. Council's new Creativity and Identity Strategy gives impetus and meaning as to how we can advance the city's creative and cultural experience. We are preparing for a dynamic period in this sector," says Mr Redman.

Press release: Hamilton City Council


Great said...

This is a great example of why Redman left the mayoralty to take on the CEO role - that kind of administrative structure has all sorts of flow-on effects that are much more difficult to affect from the political level. Very interesting and shrewd move.

beetlebum said...

Does Porirua's Pataka operate on the same model as what Hamilton had?

tinks said...

Loosely - Pataka's gallery library merger and New Plymouth's museum/library are generally regarded as successful operational unions. Waikato's gallery/museum/library and Te Papa's museum/gallery not so much, particularly from an art perspective.

beetlebum said...

Yeah, i still hold out hope for a national gallery on the waterfront (ideally on the carpark between Waitangi Park and Te Papa) Plus a national portrait gallery would be fantastic too!!

tinks said...

In theory we already have a national portrait gallery, along with a national centre for photography gallery, in Shed 11: http://www.portraitgallery.nzl.org/index.html, but a proper national gallery would be nice.