Wayne Ngata

E tuhi ana au i raro i te pōuritanga, nā runga i te mea koinei te wiki whakamutunga o te tūranga a Tākuta Wayne ki Te Papa. Hei te wiki e tū mai, ka timata ia ki tonā tūranga hou ki te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga. Māku e tuku atu he mihi maioha ki a ia, ā, ka noho pāpōuri tonu mātou o te tīma.

I'm sure this will really shame Wayne out because, he tangata tino hūmārie ia. In all of his mahi, he acknowledges that he is a learner, he is not an expert, and that he has much to learn from all who he works with. To have a manager who works in that way is to work in a refreshing and empowering environment, and it is an approach that speaks to the core of what a tuakana / teina relationship looks like. Aside from that, he has been a staunch advocate for the furthering, expanding, and exploding of what mātauranga Māori is, and can be, in a museum sense and wider. His approach has always been one of attempting to understand all people involved in a kaupapa, a true sign of empathy.  

Our team has grown in strength in the last year, something I see as a testament to his leadership. But a bigger kaupapa calls and I wish him all the best. His tuakana answers are below and as you may see, he is a man who gets straight to the point. I think this intro might have a higher word count. With that in mind ->


In five words, describe your role in the sector. 

Managing Curatorial Experts

What is it about the. sector that you love?

The diverse nature of the business and the opportunities for developing creative solutions for accessing taonga Māori.

What have been some challenges in your career?

Understanding how bureaucracy works and how best to de-silo activities in bureaucratic institutions.

What challenges can you see moving forward?

Same as above – with the added provision that we need to keep reminding ourselves of who the public service serves, and who public institutions should be serving.

What do you think people in the early stages of their careers can offer the sector?

A reminder that we were all there at one stage in our careers, and what can we do for them that was positive in our time, or what we can do for them that will better advance them in today’s and tomorrow’s contexts.  In other words – listening and observing on our part might help.

In a museum of Wayne, what is an object / taonga / specimen / artwork that you'd want in the collection?

Paikea tekoteko – currently at American Museum of Natural History, New York.