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About the Committee

The Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga Committee are:

Tara Fagan, Chair Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa   

Bex Cox Mercury Bay Museum

Laura Jones Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Pare Bennett National Army Museum

The Association aims to connect education professionals in museums, galleries, environmental and other groups in the community learning space and provide support, advice, professional learning, and dialogue across the sector.  It works to:

advance the profile and work of educators in the community

lift professional capability in the sector through ongoing professional development, 

         networking events and conversations

develop and maintain a set of professional standards to encourage quality

         professional practice

ensure a high level of professional practice across our member organisation

Tu Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga aims to be free and not charge membership fees to ensure equitable access for all in the culture and heritage sector.

Our Name:


gifted by Les Hoerara

with input from Haley Stewart, Sam Hēnare and Martin Langdon


Pū - is the source of something or where something began

Tiaki - is to cherish and look after as in and with the use of ‘kaiTIAKItanga’

Mana Taonga - collectively covers all of our taonga, including all of the people who work there.

Pū Tiaki - where does the source of looking after something come from? It comes from people who care.

Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga - the group who is invested in looking after and cherishing ALL taonga under the education in the community brand.

Our Logo:

Designed by Martin Langdon and Les Hoerara

"The big feather are all of Te Pū Tiaki Mana taonga people and group, and the audiences and people we serve as the other floating feather."

Previous history of MEANZ as shared by John Christie, Founding President 1982

At that time museum education, which had originated in N.Z. in 1937 from a grant provided by the Carnegie Corporation of U.S.A. to the Department of Education which appointed trained teachers to many museums. The service was based upon practical learning experiences to support and enrich what was going on in classrooms from pre-school to tertiary. In the main cities the service came under the umbrella of Teachers'  Colleges with regular postings of students to museums for them to experience and appreciate learning beyond the classroom.

About 1982 the Education Officers decided it was time to form an association to gain recognition by the New Zealand Education Institute,  and to foster association with similar organisations world wide. As a result, we did gain recognition as a special group, and two or three of us were invited to conferences in Australia. In 1984, at my own expense, I did a world trip visiting several specialist education museums including Frank (what an interesting story) Oppenheimer's Exploratorium in San Francisco and making personal contact with potential Keynote speakers. Returning to New Zealand a group of us put the wheels in motion to host the 1985 world conference held at the Central Institute of Technology in Upper Hutt which was well attended and papers presented recorded by Judy Hoyle, Education Officer at Taranaki Museum, who was co organiser. Art Gallery and Zoo educators were included in the conference.

Later, with the introduction of Tomorrow’s Schools, Museum Education positions became “contestable funding” positions and only two or three survived out of I think 23 positions leaving museums to find and fund their own education staff.

Incidentally, my staff at the National Museum consisted of one assistant officer and an art technician who had responsibility for preparing the loan material that we provided to provincial museums and remote country schools from the top of the South Island to Taranaki across to Gisborne. After the demise of our service I came across some of these wonderful loan cases and miscellaneous handling material in a second hand shop in Nelson ! The end of a service that was highly valued by “country” schools. We had an operating budget of $80! Anything else, I had to make a case for to the then Wellington Education Board. There is so much more to say…..

What a great job it was. No wonder I stayed for 20 years instead of the two I had been recommended to stay to help sort out the problems with Teachers' College and the change over to three year teacher training before taking up the principal’s position of a larger school.