Conference 2015

Access is a Human Right

Access is a Human Right

Beyond the new museology?
Taking stock of inclusion, access and decolonisation.

22- 24 September 2015

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Wellington, New Zealand 

"It was great to participate in the conference; I had not anticipated I would get so much out of it as I did. In particular it was a great pleasure meeting and talking with Taiwanese and South American delegates and hearing from perspectives so different from our safe first world democratic ones. [...] All round a fantastic conference." (Conference delegate feedback)


About the conference

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā maunga, e ngā awaawa
E ngā pātaka o ngā taonga tuku iho, tēnā koutou

FIHRM was delighted to work with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in association with Victoria University’s Museum and Heritage Studies programme, for its annual conference. The conference provided opportunities to explore and debate museums’ responsibilities regarding all aspects of access – intellectual, physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual.

The timing of the conference coincided with the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and so it was fitting that the conference also explored aspects of partnership, indigenous rights and self-determination within the museum context. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has long been acknowledged for its bicultural stance; a model it believes should be adopted in more museums around the world.

Read some of the papers

A series of presentations from the conference are available to download:

Access is a Human Right - Summary address
David Fleming, FIHRM President, Director, National Museums Liverpool, UK

Museum Education Behind Bars (pdf)
LIN Huei-Hsien, National Palace Museum, Taiwan

Museums and Minorities (pdf)
Ian Day, Howick Historical Village, New Zealand

The impact of staff perspectives (pdf)
Alexandre Christopher & Radhika Iyer, freelance researchers/writers, Australia

Te Papa as a bicultural 'contact zone'?
Tanja Schubert McArthur, New Zealand

A partnership approach to repatriation
June Jones, University of Birmingham, UK & Te Herekieie Herewini, Te Papa , New Zealand

Ka hao te rangatahi: How is contemporary Maori society collected at Te Papa?
Matariki Williams, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, New Zealand

A Canadian experience to balance the rights of First Nationals with Museums' fiduciary obligation
Michele Rivet, Human Rights Lawyer, Canada


The conference was supported by:

Te Papa: Our Place logo Human Rights Commission, New Zealand logo



© Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM)