Director resigns after year of woes for city's museum

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 05:00 15/08/2014

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The head of Napier's troubled new museum and gallery has resigned.

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins informed his colleagues at MTG Hawke's Bay yesterday that he would be resigning as director in December to pursue other interests. Errors and oversights with the museum were identified in a scathing council-commissioned consultant's report published in June.

The $18 million MTG - for museum, theatre, gallery - opened late last year, replacing the old regional museum. The consultants said the new building had failed miserably at meeting its market, was very unwelcoming, too expensive, and focused on artefacts instead of people.

It was found to be too small and was attracting fewer visitors than the old museum.

Lloyd Jenkins said he had "definitely not been pushed", and "the time is right for me to move on to other challenges and for Napier City Council to seek a new director to take the institution into the future".

"After more than eight years in the job, I am extremely proud of my achievements as director of MTG Hawke's Bay and its predecessor Hawke's Bay Museum & Art Gallery.

"If I'd been pushed, I certainly wouldn't be staying on until December . . . I'm at one of those crucial points in life [50] and I want to do something else now.

"It's just simply that I've got a big book that I want to write. I've only ever been a museum and gallery director here. I was an academic, television presenter, and writer before this . . . and those jobs are fun," he said.

The council is considering erecting a building at the council depot to contain parts of the collection that cannot fit in the museum.

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- The Dominion Post

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