Ati Teepa

Even before I started working at Te Papa, I loved the work that Ati was doing - who else can pull of events as distinct as a drone race festival and a rooftop party at the museum? This doesn't even cover the huge amount of mahi that he's undertaken over the last few years with his collective Kava Club either. Aside from all of that, he's a link home.

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Michaela O'Donovan

Like the last two Tuakana profiles, this week's is bitter-sweet being both a welcome and a farewell. Michaela has been at the helm of the Documentary Heritage team (also known as Information, Library and Enquiry Services, but that's a mouth-full) at Auckland Museum for the last 5 years and my boss for the last 11 months. All good things must come to an end however and Michaela has heeded the irresistible call of home and whanau so will be saying adieu to her Auckland Museum team next Friday...

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Wayne Ngata

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.  

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Whina Te Whiu

Today's Tuakana is both a warm welcome and a sad farewell. I (Nina) have been lucky enough to work with Whina for the last 9 months at Auckland Museum. In a few weeks we say goodbye to her as she journeys back North to take up the role of Curator and Manager at Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia. Her knowledge and passion for the sector is immense and infectious. What I will miss most about Whina though is that she always, always places people at the center of her work and with this always seeks the emotional core of it...

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Paora Tibble

One of the best parts of working with Paora is that you get to work with someone with a hugely empathetic approach to things and when shit hits the fan, he's always got a one-liner to diffuse the situation. Another thing about Paora, he's always got recommendations up his sleeve, if you need a new book / movie / tv show / kai / beer to try out, go see him. Nō reira, e te tuakana, i runga i ou mahi manaaki, ngā mihi nunui ki a koe.

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Chris Cormack

Today's Tuakana is someone I (Matariki) had the pleasure of meeting in digital fora, both online and offline. My impression of Chris was formed through the interactions we had through twitter where I admired his fierce advocacy for kaupapa Māori viewpoints peppered with the technological aspects of his role. Ki a koe e hoa, ka titiro au ki ngā ara whakamua i mua i a mātou o NDF me ngā mahi kei te haere. Pai ki au te noho ki tō taha, ki te mahi tahi māua mō te whānau o NDF, ngāi taua hoki.

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Roy Clare

We've wanted to nab this Tuakana for quite some time so this week we're super-duper stoked to welcome Roy Clare to our Tusk whanau. When I (Nina) started working at Auckland Museum in October last year, Roy had just announced his departure. It felt like a loss for our sector but the legacy he left continues to this day. I feel like I stepped into a healthy workplace. One that is complicated yes, but one that feels like it's heading in the right direction...

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Simon Moody

Today I (Nina) am really happy to share the musing of Simon Moody, my former manager from my happy days at the Air Force Museum. Before I went to work as an Archives Assistant at the AFM, I wasn't really sure if archival work would be a long-term thing. I always imagined I might seek out ways to return to fashion and textile work in museums - my first love. But something changed in me while I was down there, and it wasn't just realising that I didn't actually hate living in Christchurch

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Jamie Bell

I am incredibly fortunate to have met Jamie right at the start of my career in the sector (I told him I’d clean toilets and wash windows at the Cricket Museum if he’d take me on as a volunteer – thankfully my janitorial skills remain untested!). Jamie has provided me with guidance and insight on the vast range of challenges that the Director of a small museum has to deal with on a daily basis, from collection management to facilities management, and everything in between!

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Migoto Eria

Migoto is someone I've actually known for over ten years now as she was my te reo Māori lecturer way back in 2005 (showing our ages!). In more recent times we have become colleagues, working as curators together at Te Papa where Migoto and I have worked closely together and she's provided a whole bunch of moral and curatorial (and emotional haha!) support.

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Bev Moon

I (Nina) first met Bev years ago when she was at the Dowse and I was at MTG Hawke's Bay. I spent a couple of days in her storeroom wrapping (literally) thousands of ceramic pieces to go into an upcoming Bronwyn Cornish show. Over those few days I remember thinking I'd love to work with her one day. Creepily, I also remember that she had a great outfit on (which is always a good start)...

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Fiona Fieldsend

I've never worked with Fiona but I know she is part of the wider, welcoming and enveloping National Digital Forum whānau who have been so supportive of us here at Tusk. In all of our interactions, Fiona has been gracious with her time and infectious with her energy, and having someone like her believe in the mahi that we do at Tusk, and in our day-to-day jobs, is really emboldening. So, thank you Fiona, we look forward to continuing to work with you!

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Chanel Clarke

Chanel is someone who has always had a presence in my (Matariki) time in the sector, but due to time and space, I've only ever met her a handful of times. With her whakaaro below, Chanel touches on some concerns I have also had about the value of the sector for people who have pressing issues. But, as is the way with so many of our tuakana, Chanel remains optimistic. So we take that lesson, and thank you for it. Ngā mihi nunui Chanel!

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Martin Lewis

For our first Tuakana of the year, I'd like to introduce one of the backbones of our mahi here at Te Papa: Martin Lewis. With every little query we have, Martin has suggestions pouring at us before we've even begun. Aside from being an absolute whizzbang gem of a librarian, he's a genuinely kind and warm person. I've held numerous positions and internships at Te Papa over the past 8 years and Martin's friendly face and supportive ear has been a constant, so thank you Martin. 

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Claire Regnault

Claire's comment below (spoiler alert) about working in a multi-generational way is one of the things I like best about working at Te Papa. Having folk like Claire around to work with means I get the chance to work in a (to steal from the tuakana header) reciprocal way every day. In my short time at Te Papa, Claire has worked inclusively and enthusiastically. 

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Sean Mallon

Sean has been an unassuming and ever-supportive presence during my time in museums. I first came across his work as a plucky museums studies student where I was introduced to his take on contemporary collecting and promptly had my mind blown. His gentle reproach of museums' continued focus on portraying Pacific people through 'traditional' taonga was part of what spurred me into the research direction I've since undertaken.

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Siren Deluxe

I (Elspeth) have been lucky enough to have Siren as my manager since February 2016, and what a manager she’s been. Passionate, enthusiastic and with high expectations of her team, she has been an incredibly inspirational leader and a tireless supporter of best collection management practice (even when faced with rather less enthusiastic colleagues!) Siren has the remarkable ability to make whoever she is talking with feel like the most important and interesting person in the room, and her dedication to exceptional collection management rubs off on all around her...

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Katrina Smit

Katrina was the only Māori working at The Dowse when I started an internship there. Unfortunately this is not uncommon in the cultural sector, but fortunately whanaungatanga is a powerful beast, constantly reminding us to look after one and other. Katrina epitomised Dowse hospitality and backed me, as all tuakana do, by being a boss. She dresses like a boss and demands respect like a boss and is an all round boss of a human.

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Mishelle Muagututi'a

I first met Mish on the bus home from a Vic Uni Museum Studies 'soiree'. Later that year I ended up working at Ngā Taonga with her and she was my go to person - for laughs, singing and excellent advice. Mish has a depth of aroha which she tirelessly pours into her communities like Pacific Underground, Kava Club, and year after year she rallies the troops and showcases Pasifika film and filmmakers at the ever growing Siapo Cinema. She makes me and my friends feel valued, supported and inspired. What a tuakana!

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