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Museum more than just art

When it comes to sustainability and innovation Aratoi Museum is a proven leader in the field.

Masterton’s museum was the recent recipient of the Innovation Award at the Wairarapa Business Awards 2022, where it was praised for its sustainability ethos, work with the community, and innovative programming. 

Aratoi director Sarah McClintock said the team was thrilled. 

“The whole team has worked incredibly hard to create an innovative and sustainable museum over the last few years.

“We love trying out new ideas but understand that keeping in touch with our audience is crucial to our success and to ensure the museum stays accessible for all.

“We strive to be a positive role model within our community.”

Having only recently taken over the reins at Aratoi, McClintock thanked her predecessor Susanna Shadbolt and the Aratoi staff for their work over the last six years.

“Shadbolt is thrilled. She was part of what makes the museum stable, she has put in so much work to make the museum what it is.”

McClintock said the award recognised many of the reasons she joined Aratoi two months ago. 

“We’re incredibly committed to sustainability. Our solar project covered our roof entirely in solar panels.

“By saving on power, we can funnel it into doing exhibitions, and our education programme, which is activating and inspiring. 

“It’s a reflection of why I wanted to work here.”

She said the small team also punched well above its weight. 

“We’re a team of eight, mostly part-time. It’s not a small gallery, but with such a small team they are incredibly dedicated. We’re all passionate about the work we do.”

McClintock also wanted to recognise that the museum was a finalist among a “terrific bunch” of businesses. 

“It must have been a difficult decision for the judges. We are delighted to win the award because it shows us that we are on the right track and that people are keen to see the museum change and improve.”

Aratoi was a finalist in the Innovation category alongside Isme Permanent CosmeticsSouth Wairarapa Veterinary ServicesTora CollectiveTranzit Group, and Workshop Designs.

She said the museum would celebrate the win at the summer exhibition opening on December 9.



Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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