Shimrath Paul resigns

### ODT Online Thu, 6 Sep 2012
Museum head Shimrath Paul resigns
Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul has resigned to take up a position as head of an Indonesian centre of excellence for cancer treatment.
Read more

Full story in tomorrow’s ODT | Go to Comment

Related Post:
8.2.12 Otago Museum strife
18.1.12 D Scene exposes museum director’s salary

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Media, Name, People

46 responses to “Shimrath Paul resigns

  1. ormk

    I haven’t seen Shimrath Paul’s CV but I’m intrigued as to how someone could be qualified to manage Otago Museum AND a centre for cancer treatment. Management is not a skill in itself – a strong background in the field should always be a prerequisite.

  2. Peter

    Was it ever finally established where his first degree was from? I seem to remember it was a BSc in Botany(?) at some Indian university, but which one? I understand it is common practice to name the university on your CV where you got your degree. After all, we know where he got his MBA.

  3. Anonymous

    Good news: Ex-Director Paul
    Bad news: Director Wilson

    • Elizabeth

      When I read the brief news item last night I wondered about his brother being in the picture, and sure enough.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 7 Sep 2012
      New role for museum leader
      By John Gibb
      Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul has resigned to take up a senior medical centre management post in Indonesia. Mr Paul (59) was leaving “on a high” after 22 years at the museum and was looking forward to the challenge of becoming chief executive of a private sector centre of excellence for cancer treatment and research in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. This is also the hub for a network of hospitals for cancer treatment in Southeast Asia. He begins his new job on September 17.

      Mr Paul’s brother, Gershu Paul, is group president director of Siloam Hospitals, overall operator of the centre for excellence.

      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep

        07:49 Controversial museum head resigns
        The chief executive of the Otago Museum – who controversely earned more than the head of Te Papa – has resigned. (2′59″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        Chuck Chunder Cull gets his 2cents worth.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 7 Sep 2012
          People all deserve the dignity, worth derived from work
          Two things dignify the work we do. One is recognition by those whom we serve. In their being thankful for our work, it becomes, in some sense, worthy. This dignifies work because such worthiness is transferred to us. We become “worthy” members of the community because we have sacrificed to serve others. The second thing that dignifies work is our approach to it. We dignify our own work by the value we put on completing it well. A careless or reluctant approach to work will very quickly affect the reputation of the worker and may even devalue what they do and who they do it for.

          Current economic “wisdom” tends to undermine both of these important sources of personal dignity by placing so much emphasis on money. I understand the need for some system of valuing work by attaching an hourly rate to it. To a certain extent, it is necessary and perhaps even helpful, but this way of valuing work breaks down badly on at least three counts.

          Read more

          • Richard Dawson is the minister of St Stephen’s Church, Leith Valley.

  4. Anonymous

    I bumped into several people today who said they would go back to supporting Otago Museum… if Clare leaves too.

    In each case they were relieved for the welfare of the staff and its exhibits but significant emphasis was placed on IF the other half of that power team left too. I hope so and without the support of Shimrath, much of her perceived power has been removed and she may find herself without the support of certain Stakeholders if the public pressure is heated up at this critical time.

    The board would be foolish to maintain any further connection with Shimrath and continue to keep Clare on in any form. I suspect there will be many people who now see this as a positive opportunity to heal the damage done by these two and restore the integrity of its staff management.

    (The Otago Daily Times failed again today. It chose to present him as some sort of revered martyr while continuing to ignore the injustice to past and present staff who have suffered under his flawed management ideology.)

  5. Manu

    I am concerned about the leave pay Shim has apparently accumulated. I am an ex-staff member and I know how little time he spent in his office. It was a running joke among staff.

    I also know of a ex-staff member who was told not to expect Shim in on either Fridays or Mondays.

    I know it can be argued that he was doing work out of office but I think that is unlikely. I often spotted him on my day off at some very non work related locations. Such as bottle stores and at the Carey’s Bay Hotel.

    This seems like one last scam to rob the community of a few hundred thousand dollars.

  6. Peter

    I wonder if the new CEO will be given a new, leased Audi to drive around in. Couldn’t possibly be seen bicycling to work. Far too naff and lower class for a person in that position.
    Anonymous. (Your comment in brackets) Are we surprised? A favoured son of theirs. An Untouchable.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Story heard today: Another salary increase was requested. Why not, up till now there had never been any question about how richly deserved these rises were. So understanding, the Board. So …in harmony… with the aims and aspirations of this mighty personage.
    This time there had been, perhaps, minor changes in personnel. Forceful messages from the DCC about what was and, more to the point, wasn’t affordable.
    That’s where indispensability comes in, that’s where a reminder of what progress has been made, what excellence achieved. Time for the threat to leave [you in the lurch].
    What’s this? NO again?
    Well goodness gracious me, that wasn’t meant to happen.

    “Hi bro, got any jobs going?”

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Secondhand director, seldom used on Mondays or Fridays………

  9. Elizabeth

    Register to read D Scene online at

    ### D Scene 12.9.12 (page 2)
    Nationwide search for replacement
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Otago Museum Trust Board’s process for appointing a new director for the historic institution will be rigorous, chairman Graham Crombie says. The museum’s controversially highly-paid chief executive Shimrath Paul is leaving in less than a fortnight, after resigning last week. Paul gave two weeks’ notice, the required amount under his contract.

    The new applicant is unlikely to be paid that much. Crombie said conditions for replacement would be renegotiated.

    Paul was appointed director of the institution, one of four statutory museums in the country, in 1995. He first spent five years as the museum’s business manager. His tenure has at times been tumultuous. A D Scene investigation in recent years revealed high turnover in museum personnel, allegations of fractious relationships with staff, and the embarrassment of the discovery that for 12 years in its annual report the museum had claimed Paul had a qualification he did not actually have. An appeal to the Ombudsman saw the museum reluctantly reveal Paul’s salary was $310,793.
    {continues} #bookmark

  10. Pretty Disgusted

    That is SO hilarious and wrong that Shimrath Paul was contractually required to only give TWO WEEKS notice of his departure. Did you know the rest of Otago Museum staff are required to give TWO MONTHS notice?! (that’s two MONTHS folks, not weeks). Two whole months of waiting to leave an average job. Two looong months of pressure to complete all your tasks and feel the title of ‘deadwood’ gradually being attributed to you by everyone who has sold their souls to the stupid place.
    So long Shim. Don’t come back now, ya hear?

  11. Peter

    An amazing discrepancy highlighted by Pretty Disgusted. In a funny way the implication could be read that it is indeed the staff that have brought credit to the museum, where credit is due, not the CEO. Apparently his worth is ‘replaceable’ and they don’t need to hang on to him for longer than two weeks to ease the transition to a new CEO.
    The article in D Scene, by Wilma McCorkindale, comes across as more balanced and doesn’t go in for all the idolatory of that other publication.
    It is to the credit of those museum staff who have been so professional and worked hard under what appear to have been very trying workplace conditions. A good CEO can bring the best out in people in positive, supportive ways, rather than what the managerial practice of Shimrath Paul appears to have shown over the years of controversy that have dogged the museum. I hope that his resignation, in Spring, brings a new, healthy workplace life for our museum staff.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Emma Best:
    you do realise that he wouldn’t let go his grip of control UNLESS he’s in some sort of trouble he can’t worm his way out of….
    Monday at 1:24pm ·

    • Elizabeth

      ### DScene 23 Jan 2013
      Museum board confirms deficit (page 3)
      By Wilma McCorkindale
      Otago Museum Trust Board chairman Graham Crombie has confirmed the board is in deficit but rejects suggestions recent large remuneration payments are behind the problem. Crombie conceded the board is preparing to dip into its reserves to fund operations but blamed a nil increase in council operational levies over the past two years.
      {continues} #bookmark

      • Elizabeth

        Try to keep your breakfast down. Ah yes, relationships.

        ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Jan 2013
        Museum names wing for ex-CEO
        By John Gibb
        Long-serving former Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul has been granted a rare honour- having a wing at the museum named after him. After a nearly three-hour-long farewell function at the museum last night, Mr Paul was surprised to be invited outside to the museum staff car park, shortly before 9pm.
        [Mayor] Cull said Mr Paul had ”lived and breathed” the museum, and thanked him for his major achievements and the way his ”personal touch” had helped build many beneficial relationships, including in Shanghai, Dunedin’s Chinese Sister City.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          If he could step off this island and never come back, that would be good. Creep.

          ### January 25, 2013 – 6:26pm
          Former chief executive of the Otago Museum opens up
          The former chief executive of the Otago Museum has opened up about his time running the Dunedin facility. Shimrath Paul’s 22 year stint was recognised this week with the naming of a wing in his honour. He makes no bones about the full commitment to the job he expected from his staff. But he says criticism of his leadership was a vendetta by some in the Dunedin media.

      • Is Chris Farry one of Malc’s protégées ?

        ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Apr 2013
        Otago Museum uneasy over financial pressure
        By John Gibb
        Anxieties surfaced again at the Otago Museum Trust Board yesterday over growing financial pressures and potential problems caused by deferring capital spending, including for gallery refurbishment.
        Museum treasurer Mike Horne said good performance by the museum’s business units and the temporary deferral of some projects, including gallery refurbishments, had delayed the time at which the falling reserves would reach a ”minimum operating level” previously specified by the board.
        One graph tabled at yesterday’s meeting showed available funds falling from about $7 million in February this year to about $5 million in early 2015, about $2 million above the ”minimum” level.
        Board member Associate Prof David Hutchinson asked if deferring such work would adversely affect the museum in future.
        In a later interview, the museum director finance and commercial, Chris Farry, said the museum was in a generally sound financial position, but was engaged in a ”massive balancing act”.
        Read more

  13. Calvin Oaten

    Jimmy ought to ease up. If not he runs the risk of destroying the “trough brigade’s” watering hole. It is a very astute move to organise such a ‘money tree’ under the guise of running a museum. That the DCC is conned by it says no more than what we already know, that they are ‘fools’. It won’t change, these things never do. The proponents just get New Year and Queens Birthday ‘gongs’.

    • Elizabeth

      I’d like to see JimmyJones’ comment framed in a letter copied to the chairman and each member of the museum trust board, the mayor, all city councillors, and the council’s chief executive. With Cc to editors and directors of all major New Zealand news outlets. Especially so, following the national interest generated by D Scene’s revelations on the salary package of former museum director Shimrath Paul.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    DCC’s concept is, put money in different-coloured piggy-bank and it’s different money.
    “Where did the money from the blue piggy go?” “We don’t know. Is it gone? Are you sure? [shake shake] Hey the money from the blue piggy has gone!”
    “Where did the money in the yellow piggy come from?” “Don’t know that either….”
    Shake-shake procedure as before followed by shaking of heads and resumption of discussion of John Wilson Memorial Walk-Drive-Walk Drive. It’s their happy place.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    If anyone is interested; look up Wikipedia ‘Jefferson County Bankruptcy’ Specifically see 2.2 Sewer construction and bond swap controversy. Sound familiar? The more I look into ‘derivatives’, IRSs (interest rate swaps) the more s..t scared I get. I certainly hope Mr Stephens and his mates know what they are doing.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Expensive recruiting processes by “specialist” recruiting companies ain’t got a great success record. I think as well as adopting a DIY approach (end result won’t be worse) two additions need to be made to the procedure.
    1. Send a relationship counsellor to the towns where the probably-best applicants currently work. These people are good at listening, good at encouraging people to discuss matters beyond the superficial. Find out how staff and those who regularly use the museum feel about the applicant, because the references from employers may glow with a burning desire to move them along… anywhere.
    2. Put a tendering question in place. What’s your price? Include extras such as travel, free use of car, research, entertainment, bonuses (and whether these are conditional on performance significantly above “good”, or if they are an automatic reward for breathing) and any other ways rewards can be “hidden” from ratepayers’ and the thicker councillors’ eyes.

    • Elizabeth

      And Hype, some clause about importing cars. And something like ‘checking the skirt’ of your inferiors. Yeah, “no propensity”.

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    When accounts are in deficit it’s surely payments, out, exceeding income, in. Careful examination may find that the sole cause was wastage and employee theft of felt pens, but how large remuneration payments are so confidently ruled out puzzles me.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Lived and breathed and exploited and bullied and lost highly skilled staff……… and got exceptionally highly rewarded. Respect!
    (signed) Nucky Blingster.

  19. Robert Hamlin

    From Today’s McPravda:

    Queenstown community newspaper Mountain Scene and its website have been bought by Allied Press Ltd, publisher of the Otago Daily Times…. Mountain Scene, which was founded by Barry Thomas as a tourist publication in 1972, has established a national profile for what it terms its ”hard-news edge”. That approach will continue under Allied Press, Sir Julian said yesterday.

    We’ll see won’t we – Or perhaps we won’t if Mountain Has Been’s more cutty bits now become subject to existing Allied Press ‘editorial confidentiality’ policy.

    {Link: -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      Allied Press will slide off Queenstown’s mad-dog cafe society and no-one will even notice – other independent online ventures will replace it. It’s a savvy district. Only so many patsy abridgements and deletions will be tolerated.

      I mean, look how cutting edge Channel 9 isn’t because it’s not properly resourced – it’s a crying shame, local TV should be ‘don’t miss’…. not regurgitation of DCC Spooks’ massage-PR.

      Edgy, and cutty (as Rob puts it), is what we crave, and want to pay for. Discomfort and debate, of news.

  20. Anonymous

    Robert, nothing will change… except everything will change. M Scene is/was renowned for giving some of the same scumbags who rip off Dunedin a hard time of it in Queenstown and Wanaka. With Allied Press at the helm and the ODT subs applying their trade, it will become something quite different. Something soft and pliable, sucking on the national and local government advertising. Something of the sort of trite fill we saw today – front page attention for National Yes Clones, weak mayors and horror of all horrors, awards for managers who have already taken so much from the community. All glazed over with a helping of Syd Brown. Nothing in that two dollars that made you feel any reporter had an initiative of their own. Today, the ODT had lost the plot.

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    Cry me a river, Shim.

  22. Peter

    I thought he looked very unconvincing with his claim that the ‘negative’ media attention on him was merely an ‘irritant’. He stumbled while delivering this particular rave…. and it went on too long. The unwelcome media attention to the long running question of ‘where did he get his first degree from?’ and his personal extravanganzas, as CEO of the Museum, will be long remembered… and he knows it. He also knows he has made plenty of enemies in this community.
    I was struck, in this video, by how unkind his eyes appeared to be. Cold and calculating.

    • Elizabeth

      I will always find it amusing how crass the sucker was in a meeting I attended at the museum, held with himself and his beloved, and members of a local museum committee, with their own consulting architect and myself, a hired hand of the architect. I was sitting next to Shimmy. Halfway through, he whispered to me, completely out of thin air, that I didn’t have the qualifications (to support my role in the architect’s business under discussion). Grateful for the information, I ignored the chewing gum stuck to the sole of my shoe. He then went on to mete out considerable trouble and duplicity for the assembled company to swallow, according to his berserk agenda. A couple of years later the media exposed his ‘degree issue’, being the misrepresentation of his qualifications in the annual reports of the museum. The last laugh and all that. Along this great divide of time since that memorably acid meeting many of my colleagues (inside and outside the museum) having anything to do with the now Wing Commander and his strapping sidekick have experienced much much worse. There’s an awful lot to reveal at our leisure if we have any cause to enter thin air.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    For the sake of future employers and staff, providing searchable information about Shimrath Paul at Otago Museum, Dunedin, NZ and in the community would be a Good Deed.

  24. Anonymous

    After everything else – three quarters of a million dollars.

    Shimrath Paul
    Departing museum head paid $700,000

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    “Considerable sabbatical leave, of more than a year, had been accumulated, under a contractual provision agreed by an earlier trust board.” New contractual provisions should clearly state “use it or lose it” – you can save it up to a certain level, or transfer it to sick-leave, but when you leave the job it’s gone.

    • The “old board” was a complete crock, that much was clear for years and years. He appeared to get them over a barrel so easily and fortuitously. That they signed off the evolving conditions of contract and neglected staff welfare at the same time is a serious indictment.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Wasn’t his friend Clare on the board? She wasn’t one for staff welfare – not lower ranks, she was highly motivated towards ever-improving conditions for those at the top.

        • Darling Clare! Where on earth has she hived off to, then? Not a squeak heard since her thinkings to take a legal proceeding against the museum board for her ‘redundancy’.

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