Whanganui Regional Museum welcomed its new director, Frank Stark, yesterday.

Mr Stark was welcomed at a formal powhiri at the museum, attended by museum staff, iwi, staff from the Sarjeant Gallery and the Whanganui Library, Whanganui District councillors and members of the local art community.

Whanganui kaumatua John Maihi led the powhiri.

Mr Stark was supported at the powhiri by family members, former colleagues from the New Zealand Film Archive, where he worked for 20 years, and members of Wellington iwi. Mr Stark has moved from Wellington to Whanganui to take up his new role.

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As well as being chief executive of the film archive, Mr Stark is a former arts editor and feature writer for The Listener, and worked at the Arts Council and the Craft Council.

Councillor Martin Visser spoke at the powhiri on behalf of the Whanganui District Council.

"We welcome you to our much-loved institution, which I am sure will flourish under your guidance," Mr Visser said.

The powhiri was followed by an informal afternoon tea.

Mr Stark begins working at the museum today.

He replaces Eric Dorfman, who left the museum in July 2015. Senior curator Libby Sharpe has been acting director for the past seven months.