Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Full team appointed to protect Marlborough heritage

Marlborough District Council says the region’s heritage is in secure hands with a full team now on board to preserve and protect treasured history and taonga.

Council’s Project Lead Arts, Culture and Heritage, Nicola Neilson said the team at Marlborough Museum and Archives brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to their new roles.

The team comprises Museum Manager Dr Liz Ward, Curator of Archives; Wendy Harnett, Collections Manager; Sally Papps and Museum Coordinator Sophie Wool.

“While the Marlborough Museum and Archives is temporarily closed, Council has concentrated on embedding the team, modernising systems to align with current best museum practice and performing an inventory of the collection,” Mrs Neilson said.

Mayor, Nadine Taylor, who holds Council’s Arts and Heritage portfolio, said it was pleasing to see the museum and archives transition progressing so well.

“Marlborough’s rich history is important, not just locally but nationally and internationally. It’s great to now have the new structure in place and the people charged with preserving and protecting this heritage are highly skilled and experienced,” Mayor Taylor said.

At the Edwin Fox in Picton existing staff, Maritime Museum Manager Karen McLeod and Visitor Host Karen Knofflock, continue caring for the iconic historic attraction.

“The Edwin Fox has had an incredible year with more than 15,000 visitors and I am very excited at what the future holds under Council’s new management,” Mrs McLeod said.

The Marlborough Museum has some significant Māori taonga. New Museum Manager, Dr Ward has been meeting and working with Te Papa and other museums with similar collections.

“We look forward to strengthening the museum’s relationship with iwi, working together to look after the taonga placed in our care,” Dr Ward said.

“Our good relationship with the Marlborough Historical Society is also very important – we are committed to this going forward.”

She has also been chatting with Marlborough schools about the future of heritage education in the region.

“Any school is welcome to contact the museum to discuss how we can help,” Dr Ward said.

“We have recently done programmes for both Springlands School and Bohally Intermediate. We worked with the teachers to find out what the learning objectives were and then made a programme to fit the objectives of teachers and needs of students.”

If anyone would like to check their donated items, they are very welcome to call Council to be put through to the museum or they can email

“We want to assure our community that Marlborough’s precious heritage collections and taonga are safe and being properly cared for,” Mrs Neilson said.

“Staff will soon be reaching out to volunteers for both the Marlborough Museum and Archives and the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum to implement a new and engaging volunteer program. If you would like to be notified about the volunteer meeting, please email the museum and you will be added to the list,” she said.

The Marlborough Museum can be opened by appointment for groups; the Archives are open by appointment only.

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