New Museum Director

Maree Brannigan was welcomed aboard as the Museum’s new Director with a powhiri at the National Army Marae, Rongomaraeroa ō ngā hau e wha. Maree comes to the Museum from Massey University and has worked in the museum industry in the past.

We asked Maree what she hopes to achieve during her time as Director at the Museum (NAM). Maree replied, “I hope to extend and enrich the roles that NAM has beyond its collection-rich, audience focused activity and really push our potential role to serve as an agent of change. I come with the words of Mike Murawski, Portland Art front of my mind:

“Now is the time to transform the roles that museums serve within our communities, envisioning them as living institutions and active spaces for connection and coming together, for dialogue and difficult conversations, and for listening and sharing”

We asked Maree where she thinks are the opportunities for the museum’s future. Maree replied, “Change is a current constant for our society. Growing social inequity, addressing impacts of colonisation, major environmental issues and the digital revolution are all affecting the role of museums as part of the cultural fabric of our society.

Technological change for example transforms the way people access, enjoy and even create culture. If we don’t clasp its potential there is a real risk that we become obsolete for those we seek to engage.

More than this, museums cannot sit outside of our communities’ changing values, concerns, interests and needs – real opportunities exist for us as a genuine connector, moving beyond a voice of authority that connects our audience with different objects and stories across time and space, to enabling complex conversations utilising the agency of collections to empower, engage, explore and uncover layers of meaning and to shape and reshape how we see ourselves now, through our past.