Panorama partners Saxton Bampfylde in the UK and Hobson Leavy in New Zealand were engaged to identify the successor to Roy Clare as Director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Roy was seen as a great success and bequeathed a successor a revitalised institution with a clear strategic plan. The Museum is has broad collections (both social and natural history) and a number of features which make it distinctive – not least its holdings of some of the most extensive collections relating to the Maori culture and that of the wider Pacific Islands. It is a city museum – funded by Auckland – and so stakeholder management with both the various communities of the city and the main funders were key. Alongside this the site is also the national war memorial for New Zealand – and so a real understanding of this role for the institution and its site was equally important.
The search was undertaken in partnership. Hobson Leavy covered the domestic market in NZ whilst Saxton Bampfylde covered the rest of the world from London. We spoke to museum professionals globally, especially those with experience of relevant collections, and the board saw candidates from a number of countries before appointing David Gaimster of the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow to the post.