While the museum is closed it may look sleepy from the outside, but the team is actually exceptionally busy.
To protect the regional Hawke's Bay Museums Trust collection and objects such as the artworks on loan from individuals and institutions in the exhibition Billy Apple® A Brand Looking for a Product, a lot of work is going into preparing gallery spaces before contractors start work within the galleries.
Preparations range from covering cases and supervising contractors, to building crates around some larger items, such as the waka that will remain in-situ, to emptying galleries so contractors have a clear space to safely and comfortably operate in.
The decision on how each space is handled depends on the nature of the objects, the opinions of lenders and the amount of risk and disruption the work would cause in each area. Naturally, sod's law, most spaces need to be completely emptied.
On top of all this additional work, staff are continuing with plans for exhibitions and displays that have been disrupted by the unforeseen glitch.
A lot of people have been asking if the A Bloody Business: The History of Five Hawke's Bay Freezing Works exhibition will be back on display when we reopen and I can say yes and, hopefully, with an extended timeframe if the various lenders agree.
As this is an exhibition I've wanted to see created for over five years I'm particularly pleased that A Bloody Business has resonated so well with the community.
With the library and the museum closed, staff are very aware of the impact this has on the community and that people are wanting to know when they can see exhibitions, shop, pick up and drop off books, attend events in the theatre, etc.
I can assure you that contractors and staff are working very hard to try and get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.
The first part of the building to reopen will be the Century Theatre, which will be completed by the end of the month.
From February 1, we will have a pop-up museum shop and a library reserve-and-collect space in the Century Theatre foyer – the returns slot for the library will also reopen at this time.
We hope you will come back to keep in touch with us and maintain your connection with the library and museum. Meanwhile external and offsite museum tours and collection visits continue as normal and the Taradale library provides an alternative space for library users.
Laura Vodanovich is MTG Director
• Napier Hill Cemetery Tour. Old Napier Cemetery, Sunday January 24, 2pm. Discover tales of tragedy and bravery as the tour winds through this historic cemetery guided by MTG's curator of social history, Gail Pope. Tickets available through Eventfinda.
• Behind the Scenes Tour – Hidden Art Deco Treasures. Ahuriri, February 19-21. Tickets available online at iticket or from the Art Deco Trust.