Otago Settlers Museum

### ODT Online Tue, 26 Jun 2012
Toitu official after mayor casts vote
By Debbie Porteous
Comments from Dunedin residents deemed as “ignorant” and “thinly veiled racism” were swept aside yesterday as Mayor Dave Cull used his casting vote to break a councillor deadlock on the addition of a Maori name to the Otago Settlers Museum’s title. Mr Cull’s vote means it will now be known as “Toitu Otago Settlers Museum”, rather than the name being referred back to the community development committee for further consideration.

Cr Richard Thomson “One or two” people had told him they would not like a Maori name for anything. “In fact, a number of views presented to me were thinly veiled racism.”

Cr Kate Wilson said it was “about time we got over ourselves and allowed ourselves to acknowledge our Maori heritage”.

Cr Chris Staynes “In this city’s history, we [the council] have allowed a few small-minded conservative individuals to influence us in our decision-making. That should not continue.”

Mayor Dave Cull described the emails he received about the new name as “at best ignorant” and at worst “just plain bigoted”.

The poll found most people preferred the museum’s name to remain “Otago Settlers Museum”.
Read more

ODT Online Polls (unscientific):

What is your preferred renaming choice for the Settlers Museum?
54% (1314 votes) said they prefer “Otago Settlers Museum”.

Is Toitu: Otago Settlers Museum the right name for the redeveloped museum?
76% (537 votes) said No.

Related Post:
31.5.12 The ‘happy’ little renaming of our leading social history museum

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Urban design

87 responses to “Otago Settlers Museum

  1. Elizabeth

    Otago Daily Times, 22 June 2012 (page 12)
    Letter to the editor

    I support the name “Otago Settlers Museum”. “Otago” identifies the first province of New Zealand to have a Maori name and it’s a name that honours the area’s earliest settlers, using, as it does, one of the oldest transcriptions of the local pronunciation. “Settlers” – an inclusive name implying that the collections will record the material culture of all of those who have settled in Otago whether they come from the other areas of New Zealand, the Pacific, Asia, Europe or anywhere else. And “Museum” – a place where the objects of material culture will be preserved for study and display for future generations.

    There is no need to add a Maori name – “Otago” already acknowledges this; there is no need to add a word for “heritage” because both “settlers” and “museum” entail that that is what this museum collects.

    Rosemary McQueen

  2. Peter

    Rosemary’s letter is but one example of reasoned argument against the name change and could not be conceived as ‘small minded and conservative’. Nowhere is there any indication of racism along the lines of slagging off against ‘the Maoris’.
    To top it off, in today’s ODT, we have a Maori kaumatua putting some balance into the argument where he indicates his view on the name change as being an overblown response by the councillors concerned.
    The more I think of it the argument for a name change, as a branding exercise,could be conceived as racist…..if you wanted to be purist. McDonald’s has its own brand and here we have the Maori language being used as a commercial branding instrument for advertising purposes.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Racism takes many forms. I dislike the practice of giving “Maori” special additional rights such as targeted consultation on matters that are of “community” concern. To me it feels as if those bestowing the extras are looking at Maori as poor souls who can’t be expected to vote, form committees, speak as individuals, and have needs very different from everyone else. To be true there are Maori at the bottom of the heap. Unseen at the bottom of the same heap because undefined by race are “pure-bred (!!) pakeha” and all manner of other-grandparents people.

    I cringe at the special consultation, choose a Maori name and so on, paternalism often seems to be the reason. Or patronising, or sometimes being manipulated by operators far shrewder than the well-intentioned imagine could be possible! By all means do the necessary things. Listen to non-white-capitalist points of view, listen to alternative ideas on social organisation and act flexibly in a genuine respectful problem-solving way. But tokenism – eeewwww.

    • Elizabeth

      Dave’s informal poll – PROVE IT:
      “Mr Cull said last night he had received “five-to-one” feedback in favour of the addition of Toitu to the museum’s name.”

      ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Jun 2012
      Aversion over ‘Toitu’ placing
      By Debbie Porteous
      A maori kaumatua has expressed his aversion to the use of the word “Toitu” either preceding or placed above the main title of the Otago Settlers Museum. Huata Holmes said he had received “many” calls from concerned elders on learning the Dunedin City Council’s decision on Monday to name the redeveloped museum Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
      Read more


      Opinion. The following was submitted by Lee Vandervis to Otago Daily Times for publication.

      A rejection by email was received on 18 June, from Phil Somerville (copy to Murray Kirkness) saying “Afraid we will be passing on this one. Thanks anyway.”

      Otago Settlers Museum

      Dear Philip/Murray,

      If the opinion below is worthy of publication, sooner rather than later would serve the debate best as Council is to decide in a week on the 25th of this month.

      TOITU has got me torn between representing the ratepayers’ views, and representing what I believe are the ratepayer’s best interests.
      A clear majority of ratepayers currently have the view that the name ‘Otago Settlers Museum’ is what they prefer, judging by on-line and ODT polls.
      A vocal majority of those who have rung/emailed/texted me don’t so much want OSM but dislike/are appalled by TOITU.
      Some are upset that the process for choosing the name has been compromised, some complain that TOITU does not mean anything, some just do not like change, some believe the name is offensive to the memory of early mostly Scottish Settlers, and some are anti anymore Maori. Arguments about the costs of changing the name pale into insignificance when the promotions budget is considered as a whole.
      The ratepayer’s view that the current name ‘is not broken so why fix it?’ tends to have many of these other objections behind it.
      If I am to represent ratepayers’ views then, I should vote for the old ‘Otago Settlers Museum’. This vote also has the purely personal advantage for me of playing safe.

      I believe however that ratepayers’ best interests will best served by TOITU as the new name for the OSM, because it is simply the best name put forward for the Museum.
      In my opinion the name ‘TOITU’ followed by the subscript ‘Otago Settler’s Museum’, represents an opportunity to recognise both the Maori Community preference, and the on-line Community preference.
      TOITU will allow us to build an identity for the new $40 million rebuild of the Museum in a way which will allow it to attract more visitors, attract more attention, and to attract more donated funding [already running to many millions].
      Controversy is an important part of attracting all of the above as it generates a focus and media attention which paid advertising could never hope to match. There is such a thing as bad publicity though, which is why too much or any ugly controversy can backfire.
      There is a great deal ‘in a name’ as any sales team will tell you, and a new name for the new Museum is a must if its success is to be maximised.
      The call for public suggestions and then voting for a name was a weak move as I see it, guaranteed to favour the current name. I was relieved when the genuinely new name TOITU arrived as an option to the dreary variations of OSM.
      While the pubic name voting was in progress Local Runanga got together and offered the name TOITU as a gift without stating any preferences about how it might be used, or with what other name. My preference is that it should be the name of the Museum.
      maoridictionary.co defines TOITU as undisturbed, untouched, permanent, entire, which fits the Museum in terms of resonant meaning for Maori. The name’s real strength for me is that it is entirely new, short, memorable, easy to spell and say, and that it does not yet have any widely known associations. Many have criticised TOITU saying it does not suggest anything, but that is exactly what is needed if the Museum is to acquire a new identity. TOITU will come to mean the sprit, the place, and the experience of a revitalised Museum that has languished too long as unexceptional.
      The new Museum will still be wonderful with the old name ‘Otago Settlers Museum’, but it will not appear as wonderful or as new if its old name remains.
      If I am to represent the ratepayer’s best interests then, I am obliged to vote TOITU.
      I am going to go with best interests, because they are long-term with financials, and views are subject to change. We saw views change positively for the exceptionally strong name TE PAPA, and I hope views will change positively for TOITU too.
      ‘Bloody arrogant’ I hear someone say, and someone is right. I do not think the majority of on-line voters have got the background or the information necessary to make this most important of marketing decisions for the Settlers Museum. I am hesitant to vote for something unpopular, but not unable to vote for it if I believe it will be best for Dunedin.
      I will vote for ‘TOITU’ with ‘Otago Settlers Museum’ as a subscript, hoping that those promoting the Museum will be so successful that TOITU will eventually become the name, the place, and the experience.

      Lee Vandervis

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    If Toitu were to take off as a commonly used name of the Otago Settlers Museum it would be damned annoying for people living outside Dunedin, just as the frequent changes in government departments / govt- and other public-funded organisations are a damned nuisance to anyone who hasn’t needed to contact them ever before, or since the days when they had a name that clearly stated their purpose.

  5. This nicely links in with my mention of representative democracy yesterday – that in our current system we elect councillors to make decisions on our behalf, not necessarily to make the decisions that we might choose (or even to consult with us about them). I’m not sure that I often agree with Cr Vandervis, but I think that his position here is well reasoned (irrespective of whether you agree with it), and I really applaud him for making it public. I’d also suggest that Cr Vandervis was elected on a mandate of financial efficiency, and despite the potential surprise of this particular position to his supporters, his decision here does seem in line with that.

  6. Perhaps they were concerned that it came across as too sensible, and that it might diminish the debate? I wonder if Lee has a back catalogue of less controversial unpublished pieces, but we only ever get to see the ones that might sell papers…

    As readers might infer, I like the idea of representative democracy, whereby I delegate my thinking to someone else. I might not always agree with the decisions made by both the representative I voted for, and especially the elected representatives I didn’t vote for, but that I’d usually expect them to do a reasonable job based on the evidence available (which might include things to which I’m not privy). My confidence in this process is becoming a little shaken at local government level, however.

    I’m therefore a bit mixed on consultation processes, as only a very small subset of people usually speak up, and throwing a batty online poll in to the mix has only further muddied the waters. Certainly, it is rather fascinating that Toitū is most dispreferred by the pro-Stadium councillors. Given Lee’s reasoning above, this makes me think that they are perhaps most beholden to the opinions of the subset of voters that they listen to, rather than considering the evidence presented (which might explain why they would be pro-Stadium and anti-Toitū).

    • Elizabeth

      Cr Walls (rest his soul) used to loudly exclaim, as did Cr Guest (not rested), that consultation does not mean council agreement with those consulted. They were correct, dammit.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    In theory the idea of electing sensible people of integrity so one may “delegate my thinking to someone else” is fine. Where it falls down is that people are elected to too great an extent on public visibility e.g. Neil Collins, and irrelevant qualities like “he’s a lovely singer, he came and entertained our group” (Peter Chin).
    Then there’s the information voters are given. How many of the dyed in the wool stadium supporters who had been councillors when the initial round of “lines in the sand” and “if private funding…” were ignored, stood loud and proud about how they had contributed to what was rapidly becoming an astronomical debt with more add-ons needed to “make it work”? How upfront were they about how much had been whittled off the necessities to come in only a few $ million over the “not a cent more” price?

    In other words, until we can trust that the people who stand for office are not jackals in dog-trial finalists’ clothing, I’m not prepared to relax and leave them to get on with it. The rorts and follies won’t stop till the majority refuse to let election results confer unbridled power.

  8. “The rorts and follies won’t stop till the majority refuse to let election results confer unbridled power.”
    I suspect we may all die waiting then. I’m also keen to hear what you’d propose as an alternative. Direct democracy (ie lots of referenda) is both expensive and tends to work very poorly (both in Switzerland and at state level in the US) because people naturally vote for what is in their best interests, not what is in everybody’s interests. The system we have is as far as I’m aware the least worst, and the best we can hope for is that with time we might see some change and attrition in the make-up of the councillors…

  9. Amanda

    The media’s apathy in holding the stadium councillors to account has meant that sites like this one are useful, a bottom up attempt to remind anyone who cares that the media’s kowtowing to politicians is a big part of why the politicians feel safe to do whatever they like right up until they are safely elected again. My evidence? Neither the ODT or DScene dare refer to the councillors responsible for the stadium debt – no accountability for the fiscal con. Voters do not have this information about who is responsible for the city’s fiscal predicament on the run up to next year’s election. I get why the media does not do this, it would be awkward for them, nonetheless it puts citizens at a disadvantage.

  10. Anonymous

    Elizabeth, congratulations on drawing out the Head Spook today in the response to your letter. It’s the sort of response that answers nothing yet somehow belittles the writer for daring to ask. He has the arrogant management type down pat and on that front failing to improve the abysmal public image of the Dunedin City Council.

    With a multi-million dollar budget now in hand I do wonder what nasty little ideology the Spook department will develop in its endeavour to dampen down public disapproval of its pay master.

    I also wonder where new chief executive officer Paul Orders stands on this. Did he read that response before it went to print? I hope not.

    • Elizabeth

      Yeah, Dave Cannan rang me yesterday to forewarn it was pending from that quarter, with little direct information available. He did say DCC are now very careful about who speaks – after Robert Clark’s recent splash for City Property.

      All I read is propaganda. Clearly, the Head Spook has no idea what a cost benefit analysis in report form looks like, since I doubt one was produced when a name change and rebrand was being decided in the run up. Wonder how long the new name has really been around and by what date the graphic design was completed BEFORE the public announcement of the name prior to the Council vote. You have to ask, premeditation and all.

      I may exercise right of reply and do a LGOIMA request to the Chief Executive, to get past Spook blither. For example, was the branding and marketing budget hastily thought up as part of the extra $2+ million ask on Council’s draft annual plan by Ms Rosebud, general manager.

      I think we should use LGOIMA requests each time the Spook coughs. We will see then how popular he becomes amongst the bureaucratic peers.

      Otago Daily Times, 27 June 2012 (page 14)
      Letter to the editor
      Museum renaming costs questioned
      Setting aside comments made by the Otago Settlers Museum board’s chairwoman (ODT, 13.6.12), important questions should be addressed to Mayor Dave Cull and council chief executive Paul Orders:
      1. What is the estimated cost of a corporate rebrand brought about by a change of museum name?
      2. Has this cost been budgeted into council annual plan(s)? If not why not?
      3. Can the council expect a contribution, through their reserves or fundraising, to the cost of a rebrand from the museum board together with the Otago Settlers Association and its “advisory group”?
      4. Can the mayor and chief executive point to the projected cost benefits of a rename and rebrand?
      Let’s get some measure of the sums involved. Some public accountability please.
      Elizabeth Kerr

      [Graham McKerracher, manager, DCC communications and marketing replies: “The estimated financial difference between adding to the name of the Otago Settlers Museum, or not, has no impact on the cost. The rebrand is part of the budgeted cost of the museum rebuild and has been accounted for in the Dunedin City Council’s annual plan. Most of the costs associated with the museum redevelopment and renaming will be paid for through DCC funding, but a small percentage will come from the museum board’s fundraising activities.
      “The successful branding of any public space involves engaging a wide range of people on many different levels. The rebranding will help reintroduce the expanded museum to the local community and beyond.
      “The DCC hopes that both Dunedin’s residents and visitors to the city will vote with their feet and have an exceptional encounter with what we are sure will be an acclaimed and popular museum. That will be of benefit to the city.”]

      Psst, I should point out to the Spook that not all rebrands involve a change of name. He might also have pointed to (joke) the page number and line in the (draft) annual plan. And I thought ghosts and spooks were transparent, gauzy at least!

  11. Peter

    It is a shame Lee’s opinion piece was not published as he is at least prepared to engage by outlining his position rather than being so dismissive of those who dared to hold a contrary view.
    He seems to place a lot of faith in brand marketing. I’m not so sure. Yes, Te Papa has entered the lingo quite successfully, as he says. Yet I think it is more than just a name change that has made that museum popular. That museum is not one of yore with just ‘a lot of old stuff in glass cases’. It is a more interactive and visually exciting museum. The building is also splendid….in my view. Even if it was still called the National Museum of Wellington, but had the Te Papa experience, I’m sure it would still be a success.
    Not sure where Lee really stands about the old museum. He describes it as ‘unexceptional’ and then in the next sentence the ‘new’ one will still be ‘wonderful’… but not as wonderful with the old name. Is what is inside that counts for success… or is it just a name change that is the clincher for the ‘new’ OSM’s success? Did I miss something here?
    I’m not sure what will be new and what/how much of the old will continue. We’ll soon see, I guess.

    • Elizabeth

      I noted in Peter Entwisle’s Art Beat column (ODT, 25.6.12) that he used Te Papa’s full name in reverse. It should have read “Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa”. tepapa.govt.nz

      We’ll soon see toitu.otagosettlers.museum ? [guessing, emphasis on ‘gift’]

      Like Dunedin Public Art Gallery dunedin.art.museum

      At The Wash, Dave Cannan cited someone who referred to the anagram TOSM. Hmmm.

  12. Phil

    This whole “gift” thing is a bit of a con job to try and justify a decision which had long since been made. I understand that the word has some significance to local Maori, but it’s also a normal word in the Maori language. Since when did a group of people own the rights to an everyday word so as to “gift” it. You can’t gift something you don’t own. That’s a crock. Remember when Telecom tried to own the rights to the word “yellow” ? Toitu appears to have been used a lot around the country for various schools, organisations etc. It’s also the name of a Japanese company who manufactures heart monitors. The Japanese language is probably as old as the Maori language, so maybe we should have been asking the Japanese for permission instead. It’s an Estonian word for food and is used often in Finnish (you’d think that they would have consulted with Gerry Brownlie over that). The whole notion of a so called “gift” is just a desperate attempt to justify the un-necessary.

  13. Anonymous

    Funny you should mention that. The ODT poll went up May 26th. On May 31st, the Dunedin City Council registered otagosettlersmuseum.co.nz (.com is still available) and settlersmuseum.co.nz (.com taken). On June 7th, it then registered toituotagosettlersmuseum.co.nz and toituotagosettlersmuseum.com.

    Poof goes another hundred plus Public Dollars on this project.

    Wonder what else they’ve registered?

  14. Phil

    Ok, TOSM. That would be almost like “The Otago Settlers Museum” ? Money well spent.

  15. Dave M

    I thought they made a show of the names having equal emphasis, but Lee V. sees ‘Otago Settlers Museum’ as ‘subscript’.

  16. Anonymous

    The Otago Settlers House = TOSH

  17. Just a thought on the need for re-branding or not, especially in light of Lee’s comments above. My childhood memory is of a very dull place with a lot of portrait photos on the walls, and having to spend a lot of time waiting for various ancestors to be found. While I’m aware that there is no longer an entry fee, that it’s probably a better experience, and that the collection is now far wider etc., I’ve only spent 5 minutes in the last decade. Perhaps a re-branding might help drive out reservations driven by old memories. As to whether tourists need to be able to know what it’s about from the name, all that really matters is how it is described in their guidebook. One of my favourite museums would be Mother of Water in English, and I rather like the poetic name.

    • Elizabeth

      James, wash your mouth out. The main portrait gallery is the Smith Gallery (keep buying ODT as penance). It has been refurbished nicely.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    James – I know just what you mean, all those ancestors! Such an achingly tedious array, I thought too. Can’t remember why I eventually went back years later – visitors from out of town I expect – and found it had turned fascinating, a place to spend far longer in than one had intended.
    But then my first impression of the Otago Museum was equally off-putting: acres of glass cases containing variations on the bone fish-hook. Probably there were other things but by the time we got to them I was numb with boredom and unable to notice anything other than the unnatural slowness with which time was progressing.
    It’s not the name that makes a difference, it’s house-guests. Politely showing someone around the things they want to go to, and with amazement discovering that in the time since that first dreadful visit the place has changed immeasurably for the better.

  19. Elizabeth – I haven’t been back to the portrait gallery since I was ~8. I don’t doubt that it has been refurbished nicely. But if those sorts of memories are enough to put off someone generally inclined to museum visiting…

    • Elizabeth

      Across many years now, the Otago Settlers Museum has delivered an amazing array of special exhibitions and accompanying activities, simply superb. Not only this, it has regularly hosted historic walks in Dunedin for residents and visitors, guided by a number of people with special interest learning and knowledge of city buildings, social history, early settlement, engineering, architects, industry, city identities, you name it. Children’s activities, holiday programmes, and work with schools has been outstanding! Genealogists and researchers have steadily flocked in to use the archives – people from all over the world, seeking connections and family history. Every quarter (for years) the museum has published a well designed and illustrated events calendar for distribution throughout the central city (cafes, stores, libraries, i site, galleries and museums, etc) and tertiary campus. Related colour flyers and posters have been delivered to the same venues each week! Young families and nostalgic adults have also turned up in great numbers to see the pixies at Christmas. There’s so much more.

      James, ask to be put on the mailing list once the museum is open again. You can also stay up to date through the museum website, newspaper advertising and feature stories, Channel 9, DCC Events Calendar (council website), or simply grab the museum’s events calendar and associated colour flyers at your favorite central city cafe. You’ve missed out on a lot of pleasure and entertainment. Times move :) Did I mention the great staff and volunteers?!

      One of the things Dunedin City Council must be thanked for, continuously, is the constant output – for the public – from very small active staff teams at Otago Settlers Museum and Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The visitor and exhibition programmes, and curatorial efforts at both establishments, on relatively small budgets, are exemplary.

      If the Head Spook at DCC Comms would only realise, during his tenure, there are MANY council staff doing fine outreach and interfacing work across the Dunedin community that can be seen to be constructive, educative, supportive… Their efforts are for ‘public good’, of which they can be justifiably proud. But if the Head Spook retells the news in management speak, or through gooey propaganda, we will turn our backs.

      Balanced, direct, simple (non glib) messaging – good communication – is required, more so now as the council flounders in financial free-fall as the result of ten or more years of bad governance and mismanagement, receiving very little backing ‘out there’ to keep entrepreneurial people investing in the city, long-term. Look especially hard at everything resource-wise south of the Waitaki River, and on that basis Dunedin will learn to flourish regionally, nationally and internationally. [Otago Southland]

        • Elizabeth

          You’re all grown up when you’re allowed to shop alone at Countdown. Jesus weeps.


        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz June 27, 2012 – 5:51pm
          Your word on the Museum name change
          An announcement this week by the Dunedin City Council to add a Maori name to the Otago Settler’s Museum has upset some people. The name “Toitu” translates as: to be preserved forever; untouched; or kept pure, and was gifted to the city by the museum’s Maori advisory group. This week’s 9 Local News Word on the Street team hit George Street to ask if you agree with the name change.

          Still Open
          Channel 9 is running an informal opinion poll (online) – “Do you agree with the proposal to change the name of the Otago Settlers Museum to the Toitu: Otago Settlers Museum?” Yes (25%) No (75%) Total votes: 102

        • Elizabeth

          Settlers hours may change (ODT 30.6.12, page 29)

          (paraphrasing) When Otago Settlers Museum reopens late this year it is likely public access hours will change. The museum may open for Christmas Day and one late evening per week; and have slightly shorter winter hours, as recommended by the museum board.

          The museum director’s report referred to in the news item isn’t available at the DCC website.

        • Elizabeth

          One of Jim’s better scripts.

          The historical walks provided by the Otago Settlers Museum may be even more fascinating in the hands of Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, as Jim Sullivan suggests.

          ### ODT Online Wed, 4 Jul 2012
          Behold a city’s surfeit of sacred sites
          By Jim Sullivan
          Tena koe. Welcome to this guided walking tour of historical Dunedin. My name is Fiona and I will be your guide. I’m afraid my family have been here only since 1858 but I’ll do my best for you. Have you paid your $20? Thank you. We’ve just spent a few million on a new front door and every bit helps. We’re standing now on Toitu/Rattray St on the very spot of the scared Toitu Stream. It’s not exactly the Thames but it does eventually roll on to the sea. No, I’m sorry you can’t actually see it. I suppose no-one brought a pneumatic drill?
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Otago Settlers Museum

          ### ch9.co.nz August 6, 2012 – 5:56pm
          Early peek inside the renovated Museum
          An early peek inside the renovated Otago Settlers Museum has also provided a peek into the life of the earliest European settlers. A reproduction of a pioneer cottage taking shape inside the museum shows the very earth beneath their feet was all that was required to provide shelter.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 7 Aug 2012
          Settler’s cottage recreated
          By John Gibb
          A reminder of what life in Dunedin was like in the 19th century is taking shape with the construction of a replica wattle and daub cottage at the Otago Settlers Museum. The cottage will replace one at the museum which displayed, behind glass, three rooms with more elaborate furnishings from a later period of the more-established European settlement. The latest replica focuses on initial organised European settlement in 1848, when house construction was basic and furnishings spartan.
          Read more

  20. Elizabeth

    “I think that the deadline being … [tomorrow] indicates that they want to make an in-house decision without any wider input. Ratepayers are paying $40 million for the place, so I think that we need to have some say in how the thing looks.” –Cr Lee Vandervis

    ### ODT Online Thu, 9 Aug 2012
    Toitu logo undecided, despite looming deadline
    By Vaughan Elder
    The design of a logo for the redeveloped Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is yet to be settled, despite a final decision having to be made by tomorrow. Museum director Linda Wigley told a board meeting yesterday a decision on the logo needed to be made quickly if the museum wanted to keep advertising space set aside for it in magazines. […] A previous proposal had given prominence to the word “Toitu”, but the museum had since gone off that design, because of fears it could offend people opposed to the addition of the name given to the city by the museum’s Maori advisory group.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 10 Aug 2012
      Plain text for brochure
      By Debbie Porteous
      An interim “plain text” logo for the redeveloped Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is likely to appear in a cruise ship brochure later this year in lieu of a decision on a final design.
      Read more

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    Jamming Toitu in front of the name was a damned liberty in the first place. Putting it in equal font, equal prominence, when in fact it shows nothing other than a PC “but some are more equal than others” attitude.

  22. Elizabeth

    ### ch9.co.nz September 3, 2012 – 5:38pm
    Plenty of new ways to look at history
    With two new buildings, revamped exhibits, and a $39 million price tag, the redeveloped Otago Settlers Museum is fast closing in on its big reveal. Media have been given a preview of what the public will soon see, and the facility’s management say there will be plenty of new ways to look at history. But those with fond memories of the museum can rest assured their old favourites have not been forgotten.

  23. Calvin Oaten

    Seems apt. Dunedin is rapidly becoming a museum in its totality, so it may as well have the “most modern and innovative” receptacle within which to collect and retain the remnants. As a suggestion, why not commission terra cotta images of all the recent mayors, councillors, administrators and CST members, which could be entombed within the premises. A bit like the terra cotta army in China from past dynasties. Better still, how about a bomb proof display case featuring the first decade of the second millennium council cash books plus a video record of the stadium construction? The theme could be something along the lines of the invasion of the barbarians presaging a long dark era. Should be a drawcard for the future. Yep! that place has real potential A very large banner at the entrance saying;
    “Toitu I.O.U.”

    • Elizabeth

      The latest news from Dunedin points to a very tired, boring and lacklustre town, soon to be joined in sickness (not in health) by brother city Gerryville to the north. An audacious form of Tapanui flu by vector of low class bureaucracy.

  24. Hype O'Thermia

    …or “Tutae Happens”: evidence within.

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    See how niftily the name of the Otago Early Settlers Museum has been “colonised”!
    Result from http://search.scoop.co.nz/search?w=Regional&sort_by=date&b=Dunedin%20City%20Council&q=Otago

    Lease let for Toitū café
    the lease to run the café in Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.
    AK1210/S00295 – Dunedin City Council – Wednesday, 10 October 2012, 6:43 PM Related Stories

  26. Anonymous

    Otago Settlers Museum has put up posters in the city’s buses. The one I saw today was actually quite clever – you funny board – but not inspiring in the sense it makes me want to hit the stop button and bounce over to the museum. That aside, how much is all this costing the ratepayers? I assume it’s somewhere between $25-$75 plus GST per week per bus? Those annoying and often stupid messages on the back of a bus cost over $350 plus GST per week. That’s on top of their development and deployment costs.

    Toitu also dominates the long standing name of Otago Settlers Museum, the words stacked to the same height as the ‘u’. So after mulling that little insult over, any potential inspiration to visit the museum was subsequently dropped in favour of just surviving another bus ride around Dunedin.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    I wondered what the big pointy glassy bit was. Now I know, it is an ‘engine shed’. It is a form of upstaging of the glorified tomato house they built for the JA. I guess “Josephine” threw a ‘sheila’s’ tantrum so they gave in to her and now she is in residence and preening herself. The selfish bitch.

  28. Phil

    There was something weird about the ownership of JA, from memory. Somehow I think it ended up in City Property’s portfolio and, as such, it fell outside of the rebuild contract. It was required (by the then project team) to be relocated as part of the museum rebuild.

  29. Hype O'Thermia

    Whenever I see an article in which Toitu is used – esp when it is alone and not followed by the real name – I am too annoyed to read further. It’s so suck-up, what’s more it was “sold” to us as an addition to the name, not to replace the time-honoured one for the institution that so many people over the years had made into what has now been a grovelly-meets-opportunistic takeover of what was predominantly their history. The Otago Museum shows and tells the pre-European history of NZ but does not concentrate on the post-Maori settlers, why did Cull and the director feel the need to leap on this bandwagon and disrespect the original purpose along with the name?.

    • Elizabeth

      After having the look through in early November I would say once the building is finished then it’s time to replace the directorate and reclaim some stories/history of the institution, er strongly, and ditch the rock choppered in from Central that persons gifted as the sinker(?) to adorn our multicultural necks next time we go swimming.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 30 Nov 2012
      Josephine star of redeveloped museum’s foyer
      By John Gibb
      As the opening of the redeveloped Toitu Otago Settlers Museum draws near, project managers yesterday handed over control of the final stage of the museum’s $38.5 million redevelopment. Adrian Thein, senior project manager at Octa Associates Ltd – the firm which has undertaken redevelopment project management for the museum – met museum director Linda Wigley to mark the transfer of the fourth and final stage to museum officials. After being closed to the public during much of the latter stages of the redevelopment, the museum will reopen on December 8. Museum director Linda Wigley was ” very excited” the redevelopment was nearing completion but also mindful more work had to be done before the opening. Construction work on the first stage of the redevelopment, a nearby climate-controlled storage building, began in 2008. Mr Thein was pleased the project was nearing completion but also had “mixed feelings”, knowing years of regular contact and discussions with museum staff and contractors would soon be ending.
      Read more

      Dunedin City Council – Media Release
      Let’s go Shopping! (30 Nov 2012)
      When its doors open […] Otago Settlers Museum will boast an entirely new range of custom designed products in its gift shop.

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    I wonder if Cull is working hard on securing the Maori vote. It would explain all the manifestations of “but some are more equal than others”.

  31. Anonymous

    Current story is a large number of school age performances are being pushed through during the opening. Which translates to a large number of family and friends being their to support the children. Which means instant marketable returns on attendance numbers – a safe bet in case its just the usual self-invested backslappers turning up for free drinks and cake. Pretty cunning actually. But using children to promote a facility which has had millions of public funds wasted on it is nothing new in this town.

  32. Stu

    Was on site today. A lot of people are going to have to do a LOT of work to meet opening day deadline. It’s going to be a big event, looking forward to it.

    • Elizabeth

      A month ago it appeared to me they’d be pushing it for 7 December’s official opening. I thought a month without sleep might not even do it – hopefully they’ve had more crew there to expedite exhibitions and displays, building finishing….

      In recent years OSM has always had a strong children’s programme, for school groups and casual holiday activities – there’s nothing cynical about children’s involvement in the celebrations, it’s their museum too.

  33. Elizabeth

    Otago Settlers Museum reopened today
    Video http://www.ch9.co.nz/content/toitu-otago-settlers-museum-was-officially-opened-today

    Dunedin City Council
    Media Release

    Civic Opening of […] Otago Settlers Museum

    This item was published on 07 Dec 2012.

    A day of celebration marks the civic opening of the country’s newest museum – […] Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin.

    After four years in the making and two years since the Museum closed its doors to complete its building phase, excitement is running high at today’s civic ceremony. The day’s events include a mihimihi and whakawatea, an official opening and opportunities for official guests to view the exhibitions.

    The public is invited to take part in a weekend of opening celebrations for the Museum tomorrow and on Sunday. Starting at 10am on Saturday 8 December, the Museum will fling open its doors to welcome the community into its refurbished fold.

    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, who officially re-opened the Museum today, says it will be a touchstone for the community.

    “Most of us, of anything like my age, can recall the old style of museum where displays and exhibits had been put into glass cabinets at some indeterminate time in the past and had stayed exactly that way for the next several decades. The only new things that entered were the visitors. The only thing swept out was the dust.

    “[…] Otago Settlers Museum, on the other hand, has become more like an evolving database of snapshots, of historic vistas, of personal, family and cultural stories.”

    Historical museums are a living archive – growing and recording as cities change.

    Museum Director Linda Wigley is thrilled with the result of everyone’s hard work, passion and creativity.

    “The project has considerably increased the size and scope of the Museum and we now have a world-class museum and a visitor attraction we can all be tremendously proud of.”

    One of the first things people will notice when they enter the vast new reception area will be a pounamu touchstone and a state-of-the-art audiovisual display in the Museum’s new Kāi Tahu exhibit.

    The four-stage $37.5 million redevelopment project began in 2008 with the construction of a new building to house the museum’s collections for items that are not on display. This was completed in November 2009, providing a 3000sqm state-of-the-art facility which meets international standards for collections care. The second stage was the development of the New Zealand Rail Road Transport Bus Garage, the third stage the refurbishment of the existing brick heritage building and the fourth stage was creating the new entrance foyer featuring Josephine, the Museum’s unique steam locomotive, the museum shop, Ironic @ […] Cafe and new function spaces.

    The Museum first opened its doors in 1908, for the 60th anniversary of the founding of Dunedin and the Otago province, so it has been part of the community for more than 100 years.

    Live music and dance from a wide range of cultural groups will feature at the Museum throughout the opening weekend and residents and visitors are encouraged to come along and take part in the festivities.

    Contact Director […] Otago Settlers Museum on 477 4000.

    DCC Link

    Related document:
    […]Otago Settlers Museum FAQs (PDF, 98.7 KB)
    Some frequently asked questions about […] Otago Settlers Museum

  34. Anonymous

    Note that DCC might have its own reservations about […] with the misspelling in its FAQs website address. Toit that!

    • Elizabeth

      ### 3news.co.nz Fri, 07 Dec 2012 6:15p.m.
      New improved Settlers Museum reopens in Dunedin
      By Dave Goosselink
      One of Dunedin’s oldest museums is about to reopen, after a $40 million redevelopment. The Settlers Museum has always looked back at the city’s early arrivals, but now it’s gone digital as it aims to target a new, younger audience. The expansion project has taken four years and features 18 new exhibits. “A lot of the exhibits in the case won’t have labels, they’ll have digi-screens,” says Linda Wigley. “We’ve made a lot more use of film, soundscapes, that kind of thing – so it’s a very lively place.” Dunedin was a former hub of broadcasting, and the “On Air” section unearths items from iconic shows like Play School, including Little Ted and his missing head. There’s also a celebration of “the Dunedin sound”, highlighting the importance of the city’s music scene. “There are certainly people who come to Dunedin because of the music, you know, German tourists, Americans and so on. So it’s become a real part of the fabric of the city,” says The Chills singer-songwriter Martin Phillipps. There’s even a new gallery dedicated to the history of computers and technology. Visitors can walk through a 19th century settler’s cottage – a previous replica was off-limits behind glass – as well as jump onboard what was the first electric tram in the Southern Hemisphere. But there’s still a big focus on the early settlers, with Dunedin being New Zealand’s largest city until around 1900. “Really the infrastructure was built on gold, on the proceeds of the gold found out in Central Otago. So we’re not telling the story of the goldfields, we’re telling the story of the impact of gold on the city,” says Ms Wigley. The modernised Settlers Museum opens to the public this weekend.
      Article + Video

      • Elizabeth


        Video: ‘Way, way better’ – museum big hit with public
        Thousands of people have flowed in to the social history museum this morning, the first day it has been open to the public after a two-and-a-half year closure for a $37.5 million redevelopment.

        ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Dec 2012
        The […] Otago Settlers Museum
        Another of Dunedin’s controversial multimillion-dollar projects is about to get its day in the sun, with the public opening of the rebranded and redeveloped […] Otago Settlers Museum today.
        The $37.5 million redevelopment is predominantly ratepayer-funded, with financial contributions from the Government and community trusts. Fundraising is ongoing and commercial sponsorship is also being sought.
        The social history museum tells the story of the people who shaped Dunedin and Otago and has been more than four years in the planning and redeveloping.[…]The museum blends and contrasts the historic and the modern – both in its buildings and its collections – with redevelopment of the historic 1800s Burnside building and 1930s Art Deco NZR building and a new modern arrowhead-shaped entrance foyer[…]The museum now houses a state-of-the-art storage facility, research centre, touring exhibition gallery, extended exhibition space, new learning and rest zones and function spaces. There are 14 themed galleries, housing the museum’s collections – from costumes and textiles, to military, transport and computer collections – which feature digital and interactive displays. There is also a cafe and a gift shop.
        Like several of the city’s ratepayer-funded big-ticket items in recent years, the path to progress has not been a smooth one, with controversies over the necessity of the redevelopment, its initial and ongoing operating costs, design elements, and even its new name and branding.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Dec 2012
        Faces of a ‘new’ museum
        By John Gibb on Sat, 8 Dec 2012
        A long and at times painful journey for the […] Otago Settlers Museum ended in celebration at a civic opening yesterday to mark the completion of the museum’s $37.5 million redevelopment. Adrian Thein, senior project manager at Octa Associates Ltd, which managed the project for the museum, told invited guests that completing the redevelopment had ended a “very, very exciting journey”. The museum officially reopens to the public at 10am today after a two-year closure during the redevelopment. Further celebrations will be held at the museum throughout the weekend.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Dec 2012
        Reopening of […] like celebrating generations
        By Nigel Benson
        The success of the new museum is that there does not appear to be a part of Dunedin history or culture which has been overlooked. This is a place the young will enjoy exploring as much as the old.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 10 Dec 2012
          Redeveloped museum pleases crowds, director
          By Rebecca Fox
          Thousands of people have been transported back in time as they flowed through the revamped Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. “Fantastic”, “amazing”, “awesome” were adjectives used by some of the many visitors to the museum yesterday as people wandered through the social history museum, freshly opened after a two-and-a-half-year $37.5 million redevelopment. The building has been extended, with a new building and the refurbishment of an old railways depot doubling its gallery space, and innovative displays and interactive technology bringing it into the modern day.
          The grand opening weekend followed Maori and civic opening ceremonies on Friday, and featured local music and community performances from salsa to Indian classical dance and capoeria displays, Japanese drumming, traditional Polish dances and wartime songs from a 60s-plus entertainment group.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Pre-programmed to agitate? The museum director gets done over. Quelle surprise.

          ### DScene 16 Jan 2013
          Koha snub shocks runanga (page 3)
          Toitu management criticised for cultural insensitivity
          By Wilma McCorkindale
          Toitu Otago Settlers Museum has dished up an unappetising cultural snub to local Maori, which has reverberated to the top echelons of South Island Maori. Ngai Tahu chairman Sir Mark Solomon has confirmed Maori are unhappy about the lost mana caused by the rejection of a koha (gift) to the museum for its official opening last month. Various groups had given a range of kai moana (seafood) between them. Some of it had been put away and was not served, apparently at the refusal of museum management. ‘‘To have raised it with me, there are some concerns,’’ Sir Mark told D Scene. ‘‘I doubt if that organisation will ever get another koha if this is how they’re going to act.’’ Sir Mark understood a koha of kina (sea eggs) had been held back and not served on the instructions of ‘‘one person’’.
          {continues” #bookmark

  35. Anonymous

    Aww, how cute – since the public is paying they’ve got wee tv’s instead of those antiquated display boards. Oh how our youth suffer the indignity of reading today. Soon visitors will be given iPaids on entrance to the museum so they can sip coffee while browsing the exhibits on its website. Too many locking history in glass boxes today.

  36. Anonymous

    The event was well organised and the performances very much enjoyed. Clearly the reporter was very excited. But I’m still struggling to get past that near on forty million dollar price tag, so… yeah.

  37. Anonymous

    Millions spent on upgrading the museum and a prominent name change to boot but it all comes unstuck at the kina? That’s gratitude. We gave grocery vouchers to relatives who had our children over during the holiday… we should have gifted them kina instead. Yum-my.

    • Elizabeth

      WOW – new foyer for chargeable kina feasts…

      ### ch9.co.nz January 16, 2013 – 5:40pm
      Otago Settlers Museum expanding its role
      The Otago Settlers Museum is expanding its role to include functions and events, as the newly upgraded facility far exceeds its attendance records. The museum has attracted its usual visitor numbers for a year in just five weeks. And its director is confident a new appointment will add to those figures.

  38. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s a nifty tactic, presenting gifts which cannot be “Thanks but no thanks’d” and must be accepted with fulsome gratitude and obligations to reciprocate at some time.
    A precedent is the literal white elephant gift: “Because the animals were considered sacred and laws protected them from labor, receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was simultaneously both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch’s favour, and a curse because the animal had to be retained and could not be put to much practical use, but cost a significant amount to maintain.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_elephant
    The gift of kina exemplifies the difference in culture. Within non-Maori culture there is an expectation that gifts be chosen in the hope that to the recipient they will be “Just what I wanted!” The gift of a foodstuff that is neither familiar nor regarded as desirable to recipients largely non-Maori looks to me like a calculated move to put the Settlers Museum on the back foot, necessitating further grovelling on top of having been sensitive to the gifting tradition – if not to the descendants of those who established the Museum – by foisting the relevant-only-with-a-hefty-push name in huge letters virtually displacing the original, and accurately descriptive, name.

  39. Calvin Oaten

    OSM to include functions and events!! Because the visitors have exceeded the expectations. A year’s attendance in just ‘five weeks’. Surprising? Not to me it isn’t. It’s new, it’s holidays. It’s free. With all the promotions, the constant reminders of the expanding costs, who wouldn’t want to go, if not just to see where the $40 million odd went. Once we have all seen it once, the returnees will shrink in number just like the Chinese Garden attendees. Just what we don’t need is another ‘functions and events’ centre. As it is, the Town Hall Conference Centre will compete with the Stadium and vice versa. The Lion Centre will be in there batting for its share, the OSM will be just another which collectively will ensure the viability of none. But hey! the manager has to make his/her mark, and what better way? At least there is a point of difference. The ‘Nineteenth Century steam engine Josephine’. Might be clue in there about redundancies.

  40. Mike

    Hype: I think it’s very much in keeping to showing up to your hoity-toity mother-in-law’s dinner party with your prized ambrosia-salad in hand and having her putting it out the back where no one can see it because she’s embarrassed by it, of course you’re pissed off …. to me this an insult that can easily be understood in both cultures

  41. Hype O'Thermia

    I think you’d take something that might reasonably be expected to please mother-in-law and fellow guests. Not, for instance, tripe and onions unless you knew for sure that M-in-l and her friends were keen on tripe. If you don’t know that, or know that while tripe is popular in your family it is definitely not in most households, and then you take the tripe anyway I reckon you’re looking for an excuse to take offence and guilt-trip her.

    • Elizabeth

      And then you try to poison everyone because you didn’t check how old the dish du jour was or if it was collected near an outlet pipe, and it smelt less than fresh. Winner every time. The PR opportunities for the aftermath of serving it blow the mind as well as the ED bed numbers. Love it.

  42. Phil

    Remember this from April 2009 ? “The Chinese Garden has been a great attraction for tourists, with 75,000 visitors since it opened in July last year. Visitor numbers have already surpassed the target attendance of 50,000 per year set by the Dunedin City Council.”

    Fast Forward to August 2012: “The number of visitors has plummeted since the garden opened four years ago, from 83,000 in the first year to just 28,000 in the 2011-12 year”.

  43. Anonymous

    A number of items in the ODT recently read like press releases pumped out by a marketing machine kept busy creating spin from the same set of word magnets on a fridge door. For example, “More paperless parking meters” – Debbie must have been ten cents short of the hour when she put that together.

  44. Once we have all seen it once, the returnees will shrink in number just like the Chinese Garden attendees.
    Early signs are that visitor numbers will outlast the Chinese Gardens. I know a lot of people that have been two or three times already (mostly those with kids). The cafe seems to be a winner as well. None of this is revenue gathering, however, and it helps that it is free.

  45. Anonymous

    Noting that it doesn’t matter what the visitor numbers are for the Settlers Museum as there is no entry fee. Well, no, it does matter because increased visitor numbers are used as leverage to request increased funding for expansion, new exhibits etc.

  46. Anonymous

    How many millions did the city contribute financially? On the sign thanking sponsors who contributed financially to the museum are a list of entities and individuals – all and sundry except the Dunedin City Ratepayer. That may appear a little petty given you and me were the largest contributors to the refurbishment – around $30 million dollars – but I feel it is representative of the entitlement expected of the ratepayers throughout.

    The board should be updated to reflect the contribution made by the ratepayers of Dunedin City.

    As it appears:

    would like to thank the following for their generosity in financially supporting this major redevelopment project:

    Ministry for Culture and Heritage – Manatū Taonga
    Lottery Grants Board – Te Puna Tahua
    Otago Community Trust
    Otago Settlers Association
    Alexander McMillan Trust
    Perpetual Trust

    AAW Jones Charitable Trust
    Margaret Jane Begg Bequest
    Callis Charitable Trust
    Dunedin East Rotary Club
    Ms Dawn Ibbotson
    Otago Motor Club
    Freda Stucky Bequest
    Norman Davidson Bequest

    Barry Clarke and
    Markhams Clarke Craw Limited

    Lady Elsie M Barnes
    AK and KF Jeffrey
    Eleanor and Jim Leckie
    I E O McKellar Charitable Trust
    Oliham Trust

    As it is reported on the site:

  47. Anonymous

    They need to chill out in there a little. They’ve got themselves a brand spanking new refurbishment which cost them sweet f’all but their staff come across like militant control freaks, and really there are way too many signs stating don’t-do-this-and-don’t-do-that. But to get you in the mood, they’ve gone all out on the welcome with a big wall of screens recommending participation in the draft annual plan – all with that pretty picture of a shoreline with no hotels in frame.

    • To be honest the floor staff make me cringe and have done since before it opened, the overseas twangs and lack of knowledge about Dunedin and Otago make my hair stand on end.

  48. Toitu board chairwoman Dr Dorothy Page welcomed the decision to advertise the director’s post and said it was appropriate for the museum to have its own director.

    ### Otago Daily Times Tue, 8 Apr 2014
    Toitu soon to seek new director
    By John Gibb
    The Dunedin City Council will soon advertise for a new director of the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and closer links with the Otago Museum also seem likely after recent talks. The decision to advertise the post comes about six months after previous Toitu director Linda Wigley left and after talks between the institutions about closer collaboration.
    Read more

  49. Peter

    Not being aware of the magnitude of the OSM director’s job, would it be possible to put the two museums under the same management structure? They are talking about close collaboration.
    I note they have not had a director for six months and have obviously managed without one. Is this telling us something about OSM needs versus wants?

    • DCC investigated the city museum system fairly extensively with input from all involved. As a result they think a new OSM director and more collaboration is the way to go. The six-month gap was filled by acting director Jennifer Evans, meaning there was no loss of directorial input. The thing that has changed is the openness of Otago Museum to collaborate, now that it’s not the evil Shimrath Paul dictatorship. In time, on review, maybe management can be facilitated between the two museums although they have very different briefs and, governance-wise, Otago Museum is bound by an Act of Parliament. Watch this space.

      • Elizabeth. The University is involved with the Otago Museum and its governance. Don’t expect an easy transition to a rational outcome between the two. Just sayin’.

  50. The Otago Museum, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum have broadly comparable holdings and in their different configurations, cover the same briefs. Their funding bases differ wildly. –Peter Entwisle

    ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Apr 2014
    Separate directors avoids subordination
    By Peter Entwisle – Art Beat
    OPINION Old ideas have a habit of hanging about, some of them good and some of them bad. Recently, one bad one concerning our museums has been heading into retreat while a good one is showing a little promise. It was reported (ODT, 8.4.14) that Toitu Otago Settlers Museum will soon advertise for a new director to replace Linda Wigley […] and also that the settlers museum and the Otago Museum were pursuing closer links in the form of more co-operation. It was mentioned too, that while the idea of maintaining two separate institutions with a single senior director based at the Otago Museum had been discussed by staff at the two museums, it had been decided this was not to be pursued.
    Read more

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