Yet in all honesty you probably don’t. You might also be a bit unsure of what NSTP is. In fact if you’re not one of my 5 friends and 8 family members that I have specifically sent this blog link to, you may not even be reading this anymore. Good, now that I’ve separated the wheat from the chaff (Sunday singing at Te Puke Baptist Church reference right there) we can get down to business.
Now my business turning up (for free) to Te Papa every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in semi-formal, mostly-casual-yet-still-tidy-attire is not to get stuck in the stairwell. Sadly my swipe card doesn’t open all doors, and I was stuck inside the stairwell – with chocolate biscuits mind you, so it wasn’t all that bad.
My business is with NSTP: National Services Te Paerangi. Two major things I’ve learnt about NSTP so far: they do cool as work and they love acronyms. Their cool as work includes teaching people how to look after their things. Like holding workshops on marae about the best ways to care for your great auntie’s piupiu (not rolled up in a stocking under Nan’s bed apparently). Sometimes they’ll teach you how to look after those old photographs in the wharenui and sometimes, if you write a good application, they might grant you some money so you can get better at looking after your precious things. Cool as.
So as part of a PGDip in Museum and Heritage Studies I have the opportunity to intern with NSTP. For my internship, I get to reinvigorate the network of Māori working in museums and galleries resulting in a stronger kaitiaki Māori network: Kāhui Kaitiaki. Before I started, a friend of mine was also doing her internship with NSTP and had done a whole lot of the ground work. This included those awkward jobs of emailing and calling people out of the blue and being like ‘Hey you want to join my club?’ Of course she did it in a nice polite way and had heaps of people in the network before I came on board. We had a week of ‘hand-over’ together where she taught me the ropes like where the Milo is kept and which drawers if you’re lucky still have forks in them. She also warned me about the stairwell thing, I probably wasn’t listening.
Another part of this internship is helping to organise Tītiro Whakamua, a Kāhui Kaitiaki hui that will take place on October 11th to 13th of this year. This has actually turned out to be quite a bit bigger than I anticipated with numerous emails, phone calls and meeting with fancy people in the museum world. These are the kind of people that have taken on the responsibility of working with our taonga and our people and our language. The kinds of people who you know are really smart, very good at what they do and extremely busy. Then there’s me, a little nervously asking them if they want to talk about those awesome things at our club meeting. Most of them said yes and all of them were real nice. Life can be choice sometimes. So maybe you want to come and hear these nice people speak about their awesome work? You can check out more hui details here.