Newly appointed Rotorua Museum director Lizzie Marvelly says she may not be the "traditional choice" but will bring a "holistic" range of skills to the role.
The musician and media commentator had big plans for the new museum - Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa that will showcase of the city's "rich, local history".
Marvelly, who grew up in Rotorua, said she had been "yearning to come home" for a long time and when the job popped up late last year, she was quick to apply.
"I feel like I never really left [Rotorua]. My heart was always here and I felt like it was time."
The 30-year-old, who turns 31 on Sunday, said the robust hiring process for the job had her "biting her fingernails" but she knew she needed to stick it out as it was something she wanted badly.
"The museum is such an important part of our community and it has felt some major blows over the years."
Rotorua Museum was closed in November 2016 after a seismic assessment found the building was below new building standards. It has not reopened since.
The skillset Marvelly would bring to the role would be "broad" and "holistic", she said.
"I'm coming from a different angle than a vertically experienced museum professional, whom I do have the greatest respect for.
"I can acknowledge that I am not the traditional choice but I will bring a broad range of skills that will fulfil the requirements needed. I have a huge amount of passion and I am ready to learn."
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Her experience in leadership, governance and the creative sector would set her up in good stead to take on the position, she said.
She said she was a "collaborative leader" who wanted to spend her first few months "just listening" to make sure everyone involved had their voices heard.
With whakapapa links to Te Arawa and Ngāti Whakaue, she said she would work closely with local iwi to ensure their stories were told in the right way.
"This place is the jewel of Te Arawa and I want our museum to reflect that."
Her vision centred heavily around children as she wanted them to benefit from learning about the city's "rich, local history".
"I want it to be interactive and to change the perception of a boring museum."
She said the city's taonga was already on its front doorstep and the museum needed to complement this.
The next two years would be spent making sure the vision for the exhibitions were absolutely right, as well as building vital relationships, she said.
She did not want to know how many other people had applied for the job, in case it gave her a sense of "imposter syndrome", she said.
"I won't be bringing any ego to this role."
Her fiancee and she had bought a "do-up" property in the city and had just picked up the keys when the Rotorua Daily Post got in touch.
"My puppy is currently sniffing around the new home as we speak," she said.
Rotorua Lakes Council group manager operations Jocelyn Mikaere, said the museum director appointment was another big step forward in the museum's redevelopment.
With more than $53 million raised and construction about to start, Marvelly's initial focus would be to rebuild the museum team for reopening in 2022.
"Lizzie provided an inspirational vision for the museum during her interviews that we felt will appeal to our local community and be attractive to domestic and international visitors to our city," Mikaere said.