Museum essay winners announced

Senior essay winners Lilli Scott left, and Liv Donovan-Grammer. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford

The winners of a youth essay competition were announced at an event held at Tauranga Art Gallery on Wednesday evening.

Lilli Scott, a Year 13 student from Aquinas College, won the $1000 first prize for the senior section, with Liv Donovan-Grammer, a Year 12 student from Otumoetai College coming second, winning $500.

In the junior section, Amy McAulay and Carla Roberts, both Year 10 students from Otumoetai College won first and second place respectively.

The essay competition was launched to raise youth interest in the city's proposed new museum on Cliff Road. Judged by Labour List MP and past principal of Merivale School Jan Tinetti, the competition attracted many entries from secondary schools across Tauranga.

The title of the essay was ‘Define your idea of a modern museum, and justify why Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty would benefit from it'.

Promoted by Taonga Tauranga, a voluntary group of Tauranga residents supporting the museum project, the essay competition was created to encourage youth to pen their thoughts on having a museum as the Council's referendum approaches. Taonga Tauranga believes youth are possibly the largest user group for the future museum but don't get a voice in the referendum.

The two categories were Years 9 and 10, and Years 11,12 and 13. The word limit was 800 to 1,000 words in both categories. The competition opened for entries from March 12 and closed midday on March 27.

Lilli Scott, titled her essay 'Tauranga's Modern Museum', and she summed up her thoughtful words with a quote from Michael Crichton who said ‘If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.' She felt, and to quote Lilli, that ‘although the tree of Tauranga's history is relatively young, it is of huge significance and beauty.'

Likewise, Liv Donovan-Grammer, outlined how the future of Tauranga waits for the creation of a museum. 'Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi” – without foresight or vision the people will be lost – writes Liv, quoting Potatau Te Wherowhero. Her interesting essay discusses the use of augmented reality and interactive exhibits to bring history and culture alive.

Junior essay winners Carla Roberts left, and Amy McAulay. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford

Both essays touched on the growing and evolving multicultural heritage of Tauranga Moana.

Carla Roberts, who is a member of the Tauranga City Council Youth Advisory Group, highlighted in her essay how museums generate ideas which generate motivation which generates success. She felt that siting the museum on Cliff Road would have cultural significance for local iwi, being also an old pa site.

Amy McAulay clearly and succinctly set out the economic, social, cultural and educational benefits of having a modern museum, providing examples.

The essay competition was sponsored by Classic Builders and Holland Beckett Law - HOBEC.

'The museum project will be an attractive addition to Tauranga providing a worthy showcase for the city's heritage,” says Classic Builders director, Peter Cooney.

Locally established over 20 years ago, he says that Classic Builders has a strong interest in seeing that the cultural development of the city is equally as important as other development initiatives and that the company is pleased to support the essay competition for this reason.

The other sponsor for the competition, Holland Beckett Law, has been part of Tauranga's story for over 80 years.

'The firm has an important role to play in promoting the benefits a museum will bring to Tauranga,” says HOBEC partner Simon Collett. 'We have always maintained a trustee presence on the Tauranga Moana Museum Trust for this reason.”

HOBEC sponsored the first prize of $1,000 and second prize of $500 in the Years 11, 12, 13 category.

Each winner of the Years 9 and 10 category receives a return trip to Dunedin to visit the studios of Animation Research Ltd (ARL), the company creating innovative graphics that enhance the viewers experience when watching the Americas Cup, Cricket and World Golf tournaments and visit Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, which incorporates ARL technology into its exhibits. The museum recently underwent a $37m revamp.

The four students from each secondary school whose essays were submitted for judging were invited to the Classic Builders sponsored prize giving at the Tauranga Art Gallery.



Posted on 04-04-2018 21:20 | By waiknot

I really dislike it when children are manipulated to push a particular point of view. Well done to the students with their endeavours. Thumbs down to the so called adults.

Well done !!...

Posted on 04-04-2018 21:26 | By groutby all the achievers in this essay competition...I am sure you have put much effort and time into such achievement...and we should all hope you gain the benefit from the sponsors as indicated....However, as misguided as this particular project still is, it does highlight a couple of points over and above those written about to date.The word 'cultural' which can mean anything it needs to of late, is significant, then the iwi will dig into their pockets to support such venture at Cliff Road preferably for them, IF approved by ratepayers, no problem. That site does not appear to be in favour with locals of the area (as far as I can understand), and, the word 'multicultural' comes up...and yet only one culture gets continual comment...whyso? still seems to me that history will be continued to be re-written, truth not 'actually' the way it was, sad and disingenuous.


Posted on 05-04-2018 05:15 | By Missy15

I wonder if sponsorship could be obtained to encourage the youth to write essays to consider the reasons for not having a museum. I guess the people most interested in supporting that view haven't got the funds for this... They are just trying to get through each day;worrying about how to house and feed their families.

Tauranga is a museum

Posted on 05-04-2018 07:42 | By Eddie Munster

Tauranga doesn't need a museum because Tauranga is a museum. New Zealanders can visit Tauranga to see living history. A city of people living with the forward thinking and racial attitudes of yesteryear.

Out of the mouths of babes,

Posted on 05-04-2018 08:47 | By R. Bell

Great essays and a credit to our education system. More common sense and cross cultural understanding than we get from the usual sources eh! groutby. To answer your "question" why one culture gets continual mention, real easy. As long as people like you consistently oppose the inherent rights of our indigenous population and attempt to deny the history we inherit, people like me will publicise your deliberate misinformation. To claim the museum at Cliff road is specifically for IWI is about as stupid as you can get. Robin Bell.

join today's world

Posted on 05-04-2018 09:47 | By PeterMcK

Anyone who thinks that the youth who took part in the essay competition were being manipulated by adults has totally lost touch with today's youth. They are not just intelligent and articulate. They are also very independent thinkers who make up their own minds. It's really sad to see comments coming from people who obviously think that only adults have ideas that should be respected. One of the bits of feedback we've had from the competition is it's time for adults to listen to the city's younger people! Peter McKinlay

@ Peter McK

Posted on 05-04-2018 13:36 | By Captain Sensible

The essay writers do not pay council ratesn or rents so everything that is "free" seems a great idea. Once they are in the workforce having their pockets picket by an incompetent council, they most likely will have other ideas.


Posted on 05-04-2018 13:40 | By rastus

Your correspondent Peter McKinlay is obviously involved with this disingenuous project - and don't ever rave on about listening to kids because it is all BS - I know because once upon a time I was a kid and even back then smarmy types would push for kids to be heard when in fact they were simply trying to reinforce their own beliefs. I 100% encourage all children to widen their view of life and literature but this was simply a devious attempt to gain support for what is obviously a lost cause and despite R Bells protestations, 'groutby' has in my opinion, got it pretty right!


Posted on 05-04-2018 19:01 | By waiknot

I am in the real world. You just dont like that I see right through you. To quote The title of the essay was Define your idea of a modern museum, and justify why Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty would benefit from it'. Where was the opportunity to offer a counter a no museum view. As I said manipulation

Back Door

Posted on 06-04-2018 08:21 | By Told you

No disrespect to the students who wrote these essays but you have been manipulated by a devious Council hell bent on getting this museum built, Shame on the councillors for letting this happen.

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