Volunteers play a very special role at Puke Ariki and almost equal the number of employed staff, providing added value and support to the work being done in both the museum and the library.
The philosophy at Puke Ariki is to help volunteers contribute their own special ingredient to the creativity, knowledge and energy already found here.
Volunteers bring their passion, skill and creativity and Puke Ariki provides a way in which these talents can be used to their full potential. Volunteers work all over the organisation; hosting in the museum, supporting archive work, organising book loans to members of the community who cannot visit the library themselves such as the housebound or prisoners and much, much more.
One notable achievement by a group of Puke Ariki volunteers was the development of a Settler’s Walk around New Plymouth. This idea was developed from volunteers seeing the historical details they discovered in the library and museum reflected in the buildings and places all around them. Almost a year of planning produced this two hour walk, taking in historical places and revealing the stories behind them, and producing a publication – Historical Walk - European settlement of New Plymouth.
An expectation in terms of contribution from each volunteer varies with each situation but a reasonable term of service is required. Some roles require a police check and no volunteer performs the same tasks as a paid-workers job description. Reliability and a willingness to adhere to a Code of Conduct and Health and Safety Regulations is a must, and volunteers are treated in the same manner as employees – so they are very much part of the Puke Ariki family.
Volunteer host Mike Nightingale said: “Being a volunteer at Puke Ariki is great fun. We are accepted as part of the staff and our work valued. There is plenty of intellectual and social stimulation. As citizens of this fabulous place, we are proud to represent Puke Ariki as a showcase for our visitors and family.”
And volunteers are not just welcome at Puke Ariki – the community libraries at Bell Block, Waitara, Inglewood and Oakura would all welcome more volunteers.
To become a volunteer you need to:
1. complete this application form.
2. complete page 2 of Section 1 and pages 3 and 4 of Section 2 of the police request and consent form. You will need to do this with the assistance of a Justice of the Peace or lawyer. There is a Justice of the Peace Service desk at Puke Ariki available on Wednesdays 5.30pm-7.00pm, and Tuesdays and Saturdays 10.00am – 12.30pm.
3. attach a cover letter outlining your skills, experience and why you would like to volunteer at Puke Ariki
4. provide details of two referees.
Return both forms to the Visitor Experiences Coordinator, Puke Ariki, Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4340.