New faces at Tairawhiti Museum

Madeleine Jones appointed collections manager and Iona Maxwell museum educator.

Madeleine Jones appointed collections manager and Iona Maxwell museum educator.

COLLECTIONS MANAGER, EDUCATOR: Madeleine Jones, left, and Iona Maxwell stand in front of the artwork Tane-nui-a-Rangi by Tiopira Rauna, which is part of the Ko Rongawhakaata exhibition at Tairawhiti Museum. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

TWO new staff members have joined Tairawhiti Museum, with Madeleine Jones appointed collections manager and Iona Maxwell museum educator.

It is Miss Jones’s job to source, loan and record artefacts. Her next big undertaking is to pack up the Ko Rongowhakaata exhibition and ensure its safe delivery to the iwi exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington.

With more than 100 items dating back as far as pre-Captain James Cook’s time right through to modern digital pieces, this would be no easy task, she said.

Completing a Diploma of Museum Studies at Victoria University, she then worked at Canterbury Museum as a collections technician. She moved to Gisborne last November and is passionate about te reo.

“I’ve been learning Maori for several years and have just started doing a night class at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. There was a huge turn-out at our introductory night last week.”

Miss Jones has been busy preparing for a new exhibition called Recovery, which commemorates the centenary of World War 1 through narratives of women from Tairawhiti who served overseas.

“I do all the work behind the scenes, organising loans from Te Papa and private collections in Auckland the Hawke’s Bay.”

Kaiti-born Iona Maxwell is loving her role as museum educator. She talks to groups of students and engages them in specially-designed activities.

“We had Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Maraenui School from Opotiki come through earlier today. They had walked Maungapohatu as part of the Te Kooti trail and came in to see taonga of Te Kooti, including two flags, his prayer book and a wahaika and kotiate paraoa.”

She said the students loved seeing the taonga as it brought the history alive for them.

There are two educators on the museum team and as part of the Rongowhakaata education programme, they get the primary schools to do an art activity. The children have fun making manu, Maori for both bird and kite, out of paper.

“We try to encourage all of the schools in the area to come through the exhibitions because they relate to our local history,” she said.

Mrs Maxwell has a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Waikato and worked at the Maori Land Court for 11 years. After that she got a scholarship to study to become a teacher. Her new job calls on the skills she gained from both working at the Maori Land Court and her later teaching experience.

“I’m from a family of teachers. Oh, and my husband is a teacher too.”

TWO new staff members have joined Tairawhiti Museum, with Madeleine Jones appointed collections manager and Iona Maxwell museum educator.

It is Miss Jones’s job to source, loan and record artefacts. Her next big undertaking is to pack up the Ko Rongowhakaata exhibition and ensure its safe delivery to the iwi exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington.

With more than 100 items dating back as far as pre-Captain James Cook’s time right through to modern digital pieces, this would be no easy task, she said.

Completing a Diploma of Museum Studies at Victoria University, she then worked at Canterbury Museum as a collections technician. She moved to Gisborne last November and is passionate about te reo.

“I’ve been learning Maori for several years and have just started doing a night class at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. There was a huge turn-out at our introductory night last week.”

Miss Jones has been busy preparing for a new exhibition called Recovery, which commemorates the centenary of World War 1 through narratives of women from Tairawhiti who served overseas.

“I do all the work behind the scenes, organising loans from Te Papa and private collections in Auckland the Hawke’s Bay.”

Kaiti-born Iona Maxwell is loving her role as museum educator. She talks to groups of students and engages them in specially-designed activities.

“We had Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Maraenui School from Opotiki come through earlier today. They had walked Maungapohatu as part of the Te Kooti trail and came in to see taonga of Te Kooti, including two flags, his prayer book and a wahaika and kotiate paraoa.”

She said the students loved seeing the taonga as it brought the history alive for them.

There are two educators on the museum team and as part of the Rongowhakaata education programme, they get the primary schools to do an art activity. The children have fun making manu, Maori for both bird and kite, out of paper.

“We try to encourage all of the schools in the area to come through the exhibitions because they relate to our local history,” she said.

Mrs Maxwell has a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Waikato and worked at the Maori Land Court for 11 years. After that she got a scholarship to study to become a teacher. Her new job calls on the skills she gained from both working at the Maori Land Court and her later teaching experience.

“I’m from a family of teachers. Oh, and my husband is a teacher too.”

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