Bones form pi­lot project for museum

The Leader (Tasman) - - FRONT PAGE - CHERIE SIVIGNON

A pi­lot whale skele­ton, des­tined for a pur­pose-built space at the front of Golden Bay Museum, is ex­pected to be in­stalled at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber, says museum so­ci­ety board chair­man Ge­off Rennison.

In a re­port for the Tas­man Dis­trict Coun­cil com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, Rennison says Alan McLean, who is pre­par­ing the bones for dis­play, told the board’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in June that the skele­ton would be ready for in­stal­la­tion by the 2017-18 vis­i­tor sea­son.

‘‘It will be a re­lief to have this com­plex project com­pleted and dis­plays in­stalled.’’

Rennison told coun­cil­lors the pur­pose-built ‘‘whalery’’ at the front of the museum at Takaka was ‘‘our shop win­dow on the main street’’.

‘‘We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing this whale in the prime po­si­tion in the whalery, grin­ning at the cus­tomers on the street, say­ing: ‘Come in, have a look at more’,’’ he said.

Last Septem­ber, for­mer museum so­ci­ety board chair­woman Penny Grif­fith, who re­tired at the AGM, said the whalery was unique.

‘‘Only a hand­ful of mu­se­ums have com­plete whale skele­tons,’’ Grif­fith said.

‘‘Ours will be the only museum in New Zealand to have a skele­ton on dis­play close to the coun­try’s ma­jor strand­ing site, Farewell Spit.’’

Hun­dreds of pi­lot whales stranded in Fe­bru­ary this year, the lat­est in a long line of sim­i­lar events at the spit.

Rennison also told coun­cil­lors that door do­na­tions of $2629 for the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year were a third lower than the pre­vi­ous year, ‘‘prob­a­bly re­flect­ing the whalery con­struc­tion’’.

In his re­port, he adds: ‘‘... but there has been a gen­eral down­wards trend over sev­eral years as the cen­tre of re­tail ac­tiv­ity in Takaka has shifted south’’.

Rennison thanked the coun­cil for ad­di­tional grants of $15,000 in both 2016-17 and 2017-18, which would make a ‘‘huge dif­fer­ence’’.

Motueka Dis­trict Museum cu­ra­tor Jen Calder also ex­pressed her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for match­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing for Motueka.

She said the Motueka museum board was in­ter­ested in find­ing ways of fund­ing an ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer.

Motueka Dis­trict Museum is closed un­til De­cem­ber while the build­ing un­der­goes seis­mic strength­en­ing work.


Cu­ra­tor Jen Calder pre­par­ing Motueka Dis­trict Museum for earth­quake strength­en­ing work, which is now un­der way.

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