Pataka earning praise as the model museum
Pataka Art + Museum is being held up around the Wellington region as the model of a successful museum.
Hutt City councillors recently criticised the management of the Dowse Art Museum and pointed out that Pataka, with fewer staff and on a smaller budget, attracted more visitors.
Councillor Tui Lewis said Pataka attracted visitors by making art visible from the neighbouring library, meeting rooms, and shop and cafe.
Pataka’s director, Helen Kedgley, did not want to comment on recent criticism of Dowse and preferred to celebrate how well Porirua’s ‘‘cultural hub’’ was faring.
‘‘On the whole they are doing their best at the Dowse and we work with them as part of a collaborative strategy for the region,’’ she said.
Kedgley said securing exciting exhibitions at Pataka and being able to hold community meetings and events such as tai chi in the spine all added to the experience.
Visitor numbers in the last 12 months were a tick over 285,000, with 50 per cent of those from outside Porirua.
Those figures represent a steady rise upwards.
A recent nationwide survey gave Pataka a 91 per cent satisfaction rate and an 81 per cent repeat visitor rate, she said.
‘‘We’re small compared to other galleries and museums, and we have a small budget, but our team create a vibrant atmosphere.
‘‘We’re very happy with how things are going.’’
The Bottle Creek Gallery was set aside for Porirua artists to exhibit.
It was important to balance local artists with national and international exhibitions, Kedgley said.
She also said it was important to celebrate history alongside art, and the city’s 50th birthday and World War I commemorations next year would be two examples of that.
Helen Kedgley: Pleased with attendance numbers.