Rotorua Museum Director announced

Friday, 3 July 2020

Lizzie Marvelly is returning to her hometown as the Director for Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa

Already a household name in the world of music, and an award-winning media commentator, Lizzie’s appointment followed a comprehensive recruitment process.

Lizzie’s career is as diverse as it is rich. Her varied background spans sectors from entertainment and the arts to media and events.

Lizzie’s roots are founded deeply in Rotorua whenua, with whakapapa links to Te Arawa and Ngāti Whakaue. She is a passionate ambassador and advocate for Rotorua, and her extensive career includes communications, general management, business development and governance. Her directorships comprise a number of national organisations including Variety – The Children’s Charity and the New Zealand Drug Foundation. She is also a member of the Film and Literature Review Board of New Zealand.

“I feel immensely privileged to have the opportunity to come home and lead Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa. It will be an honour to oversee the reopening of our treasured whare, work with and grow the esteemed museum team, facilitate the telling of our stories in new and innovative ways, and to take on new challenges in a new sector. While I’ve lived in Tāmaki Makaurau, my heart never left Rotorua and I can’t wait to come back to my tūrangawaewae and give back to my people.”

Rotorua Museum was closed in November 2016 following a seismic assessment that determined the building was well below new building standards. Rotorua Lakes Council Group Manager Operations, Jocelyn Mikaere, says the Museum Director appointment is another big step forward in the Museum’s redevelopment.
With more than $53million in funding raised and construction about to start, Ms Marvelly’s initial focus will be to rebuild the museum team for reopening in 2022. She will use her extensive relationships, locally, nationally and internationally, to develop a curated programme of world-class and locally relevant exhibitions and experiences to add to Rotorua’s already vibrant and thriving arts and culture scene.

“Lizzie provided an inspirational vision for the Museum during her interviews that we felt will appeal to both our local community and be attractive to domestic and international visitors to our city,” said Ms Mikaere. “She brings a wealth of experience and her passion for Rotorua and the Museum really shone through. Her leadership skills will perfectly complement the extensive museum collections, exhibitions and operations experience within the current team,” she said.

Ms Marvelly will be a key member of the Council’s Arts and Culture group, who are responsible for ensuring Rotorua has a rich, vibrant and sustainable arts and culture community, and is loved as the heart of Māori cultural expression. In addition to the Museum, facilities and services managed within the group include Rotorua Library, the Energy Events Centre, the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, education programmes, events and markets, and the public arts portfolio.



Share your comment

For more blogs visit

Website by Hodgeman Web Design