Kia ora. Auckland Museum, Tāmaki Paenga Hira stands at the top of a hill known as Pukekawa in the Auckland Domain, overlooking Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, and the beautiful Waitematā Harbour. Built in 1929, it houses taonga (treasures) from Auckland’s past and present and is also a war memorial. We’re really excited to be involved in the first Museum Store Sunday on 26 November. Working with the Museum Shops Association of Australia and New Zealand to be part of this integrated worldwide campaign, we see a great opportunity to bring together local institutions across New Zealand and to shine a light on the unique product lines that each has to offer. This initiative gives us a chance to engage in a new and meaningful way with our Auckland audience and to introduce them to our thoughtfully curated range of products.
Auckland Museum houses the largest Pacific collection in Australasia and the Museum Store sits adjacent to the Māori Court, where the Māori collections are on display. Pounamu (New Zealand jade), bone and wood carvers visit our collections to be inspired by works from their tūpuna (ancestors). We stock a large range of authentic New Zealand made Māori artisan products that reflect the artforms in our collections and we are proud to support the artists who in turn hand down their skills to the next generation so that they are not lost. We also stock a beautiful range of weaving, bags and mats from the Pacific Islands, and from which the profits go back to the local island communities. We want to ensure our customers can purchase items that are the real deal and know that the money they spend is actually making a difference.
Here at Auckland Museum we are planning to showcase Museum Store Sunday through our curated product ranges as well as taking the opportunity to introduce our artists to our customers and Museum visitors. We are fortunate to have a beautiful foyer area outside our store where we will set up performers and artists for the day. We will have book readings for the young ones, singer’s performing, weavers making traditional māori Kete and putiputi (baskets and flowers) and artists who will be demonstrating painting techniques, and interacting with our visitors at the same time. All their products will be available for sale in the Museum Store. The idea is to inspire everyone to shop locally, support local artists and businesses as well as the Museum, while giving everyone a great experience and a fun day out – a win win.
As an incentive, we will give every paying customer a voucher with a 20% discount, valid for the month of December, in store or online. We want to encourage repeat visits and an opportunity to purchase gifts for the holiday season. Some of the unique items made exclusively for Auckland Museum include – a Philip Stokes vase inspired by the landscape, coffee mugs handmade with images from the collections, paintings of the incredible view from our Museum, great memories for local and international visitors.
Every museum will have something special to offer that relates uniquely to them, which is what makes Museum Store Sunday so special. In a world full of mass-produced items and shops full of rows and rows of the same product, these stores represent an authentic choice with meaning.
Quite aside from the great product offering, your museum store quite often has a café attached to it and an actual museum, which makes for a wonderful day out for the whole family. Feed the mind, the body and the soul! Our museums are a destination; let’s make our museum stores a destination as well.
Auckland Museum is thrilled to be among the first institutions in the world to open the doors on Museum Store Sunday due to our time zone, so get out and about and visit your local museum store knowing that every dollar spent goes to helping protect the cultural heritage of your city or region. Here’s to a successful day for everyone!
Ngā mihi nui.
Lisa Varga & Laura Huang