Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/Understanding our past:using Wikipedia as a tool to support local history in Tāmaki Makaurau

Understanding our past: using Wikipedia as a tool to support local history in Tāmaki Makaurau
Our main objective is to address this gap in local history resources by improving the quality of Auckland suburb and region articles on Wikipedia. Our research has shown that teachers and students regularly use Wikipedia, so we want to contribute towards it being a more trusted educational resource for teaching local histories and local contexts. It also allows the Museum to engage at scale with the curriculum, making open access collections and knowledge available to a vast online audience.
start date2023-01-01T00:00:00Z2023-02-01
end date2024-02-29T00:00:00Z2024-03-31
budget (local currency)52160 NZD
budget (USD)32841 USD
amount recommended (USD)32995
grant typeMission-aligned organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
funding regionESEAP
decision fiscal year2022-23
funding program roundRound 1
applicant(s)• Jetaynz - James Taylor, Online Collections Information & Partnerships Manager, Auckland Museum Prosperosity - Marty Blayney, Wikimedian in Residence, Auckland Museum
organization (if applicable)• Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Auckland War Memorial Museum
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant information


A. Organization type

Mission-aligned organization

B. Organization name

Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Auckland War Memorial Museum

E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.

Jetaynz - James Taylor, Online Collections Information & Partnerships Manager, Auckland Museum

Prosperosity - Marty Blayney, Wikimedian in Residence, Auckland Museum

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
James Searle Say Foundation; Internet NZ; National Services Te Paerangi – Te Papa; Pro Natura Foundation Japan; Stevenson Foundation; Tennyson Trust; Auckland Museum Institute; Auckland Shell Club; Levingston Cooke; C&L Gregory Trust; PEW; Carolyn Werner; Earthquake Commission; Dr James Fawcett; Watercare; Ministry of Education; Auckland Uniservices; Douglas Goodfellow Charitable Trust; Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust; GIFT / Foundation North; Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund.
H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
Government, National NGO, International NGO, Endowment funds
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
Less than 30%

1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


1a. Fiscal organization name.


2. Are you legally registered?


3. What type of organization are you?

Non profit organisation

4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of Aotearoa New

Zealand’s oldest museums with a collection spanning most cultures and time periods. The Museum’s vision is “enriching lives, inspiring discoveries, connecting through shared stories of people, lands and seas.” It is committed to making knowledge freely accessible and its collection imagery and data openly licensed and has a long involvement and shared values with WMF platforms.

5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

Grant proposal


6. Please state the title of your proposal.

Understanding our past: using Wikipedia as a tool to support local history in Tāmaki Makaurau

9. Where will this proposal be implemented?

New Zealand

10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?


10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?

The city of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand, is the primary focus, though we do intend to work with interested participants from across the country. The reason for this focus is because of the potential for impact due to the city's large and multi-cultural population relative to the rest of New Zealand. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city, with 1.5 million people, nearly one third of the country’s total population.

Significantly, for our focus around education, Auckland also has one third of all children and young people in New Zealand, with a high school aged population of around 250,000. Focusing on Auckland localities means that a large proportion of school children can benefit from this work.

As well, Auckland Museum's core funding comes from the Auckland City Council and commercial revenue. While the Museum takes a national leadership role in the heritage sector, its day to day activities and focus lie within the Auckland provincial region.

11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?

The challenge we are addressing is to improve the quality of Auckland related local historical information available on Wikipedia to support the teaching of the new compulsory Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum, which rolls out across high schools next year. (

This new curriculum is structured around three ideas “Understand: the big ideas of Aotearoa New Zealand Histories”, “Know: national, rohe (tribal) and local contexts” and “Do: thinking critically about the past and interpreting stories about it”. The Museum has been investigating ways to engage with the “know” component of the curriculum, providing online resources at scale to the over 200,000 high school students and teachers in Auckland who will be learning about their local contexts and histories.

Last year the Museum applied for a WMF research grant to test our ideas about the feasibility of using Wikipedia as a resource for this new curriculum in local high school classes by surveying teachers about their needs. ( The research was completed in April this year and the key findings were:

(1) Most participants saw Wikipedia as a reliable resource for *national* New Zealand history content; (2) The question of reliability was a concern when it came to accessing *local* histories on Wikipedia; (3) Teachers overwhelmingly trusted the information on local history in the Auckland Museum as reliable and accurate; (4) Teachers saw Wikipedia as having the potential to contribute to how students learn to think critically about sources.

The research established that New Zealand teachers held a positive perception of Wikipedia and also regularly used it either in preparation for classes, or encouraged their students to use it. However, the research also surfaced the problem that we are seeking to address, which is around the quality/reliability of local historical information on Wikipedia (finding 2). Teachers are confident in the “Understand” and “Know” parts for big national topics which are well covered in various online resources, but it is local history and the teaching of local contexts, places, suburbs, regions and cities that teachers are not so confident in teaching, nor are they able to easily find suitable online resources.

12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

Our main objective is to address this gap in local history resources by improving the quality of Auckland suburb and region articles on Wikipedia. Our research has shown that teachers and students regularly use Wikipedia, so we want to contribute towards it being a more trusted educational resource for teaching local histories and local contexts. It also allows the Museum to engage at scale with the curriculum, making open access collections and knowledge available to a vast online audience.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

We intend to address this problem with a year-long project that focuses on editing, content enhancement and training new editors while also reaching out to local and national GLAM institutions and the Aotearoa New Zealand Wikipedia community.

The primary project workstream will fund ten hours of work a week by the Museum’s Wikimedian in Residence (WiR), allowing him to focus on (1) local history editing and (2) engaging with the GLAM sector and Wikimedia community. Over the course of the year he will also (3) develop training materials around creating and editing local history articles, and at the conclusion of the project, in Dec 2023-Jan 2024 the Museum will (4) host a cohort of 10 week tertiary student Wikipedians in Residence to enhance, edit and create Wikipedia pages relating to local Auckland history, empowering this group to become a new generation of Wikipedia editors. Two of these students will be paid from this Alliance funding, and a minimum of a further two will be funded by the Museum.

Auckland locality pages will be enhanced with rich histories, covering Māori settlement and occupation, the colonial period and later developments in the 20th century, illustrating the articles with ours and other Auckland GLAMs open content and references to print and digitised sources. Contemporary historical scholarship will be combined with other secondary sources to ensure a range of perspectives are included, re-balancing the predominantly European/Pākehā history that makes up much of the currently available content to ensure it reflects one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. To obtain maximum impact the project will initially focus on those suburbs that have the city’s largest schools, ensuring that the work undertaken by the project reaches a wide school audience. The final stage of the project will be to improve the “Auckland and “History of Auckland” pages, based on research gained over the course of the year.

While content editing and enhancement is the main focus of activity, there will also be an engagement and in-person workstream (COVID situation dependent). We want to encourage other GLAM organisations in the region to take part so will host two training workshops, one on-line and the other on-site.

The Museum has a strong relationship with the Wikimedia User Group of Aotearoa New Zealand, and will run training sessions with them and explore other opportunities to collaborate. As this project has an education focus, we have discussed it with Wikimedia Education and will receive regular advice from their staff as the project progresses.

We will also build on the relationships with teachers that we have developed during the earlier research project to validate the work that is being done. We will create an advisory group of local teachers, checking in regularly to ensure the content that is being created is meeting their needs.

14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?

n/a - COVID restrictions have been dropped in NZ

15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Content Gender gap, Geography, Socioeconomic Status, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context), Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Education, Culture, heritage or GLAM

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Socioeconomic status, Age

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

Our direct target participants are the cohort of 4 tertiary students who will each take part in ten week Wikipedian in Residence studentships. Our intention is to pay them NZ$6500 each (the same as our annual summer studentships and University of Auckland summer studentships).

This will mean that we can attract students from a diverse range of backgrounds, who can take part without financial burdens prohibiting them from applying. We will work with tertiary partners in Auckland who we have strong relationships with (University of Auckland, AUT) to advertise the studentships as well as our usual recruitment channels. We can also tap into wider networks via our Pacific Advisory Group and Taumata-ā-Iwi and aspire to have a cohort that includes a range of participants with Māori, Pasifika, Asian and Pākehā/European backgrounds and students from subjects such as History, Māori Studies, Pacific Studies, Art History and Sociology. By focusing on the intersection of the museum's project goals with the students' personal interests or backgrounds we hope to empower a new generation of passionate life-long Wikipedia editors.

Retaining the participants after they have completed their studentships may prove difficult, and we will consider this as one of the crucial learnings of the project. We will encourage them to attend the monthly meetups the Museum hosts, keep in contact with them about other WMF related opportunities and ultimately hope that by providing a positive, meaningful experience they will see the benefit of continuing to edit Wikipedia.

Local teachers and students will be indirect participants of this project, as this is the group that we intend to provide resources for. As mentioned above we will create an advisory group to gauge the relevance of the content that is being edited and created, validating the work that we do. We also have contact details of the teachers that took part in our earlier research project and could also undertake an evaluation of work bi-annually using a combination of online surveys or one on one meetings.

19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

Museum staff have strong relationships, offline and online, with members of the

local and national Wikimedia communities following a number of years of work on various WMF platforms. We host regular meetups for the local Auckland community at the Museum Library, and staff members have been regular attendees at the Aotearoa Online Meetup. (

We developed this project through discussions with Victoria Leachman, President of the Wikimedia User Group of Aotearoa New Zealand ( and Melissa Guadalupe Huertas, Senior Program Officer, Education, who has agreed to provide advice to the project.

Once it has been submitted we will place notices on relevant noticeboards:

19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.


20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).


21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.

Auckland Museum was founded in 1852. The Museum uses both titles; Auckland War Memorial Museum is used for all formal communications such as annual reports.

In 1996, the Auckland War Memorial Museum Act, transferred the assets and Governance of the Auckland Institute and Museum to the Auckland Museum Trust Board. The Act sets out the obligations of the Board and provides for sustained funding of the Museum by a levy on Auckland ratepayers. It also requires the Museum to actively supplement public funding with commercial activities. One of the Board's duties is to establish broad lines of policy for the guidance of the Director.

The Act provides for a ten-Member Board to be appointed by Auckland Council (five Members), the Auckland Museum Institute (four Members) and by the Māori advisory committee Taumata-ā-Iwi (one Member). The Taumata-ā-Iwi is responsible for the provision of advice and assistance to the Trust Board in a series of matters set out in the Act. They act in a trustee role in representing the interests of Iwi and advising the Trust Board on matters of custodial policy and guardianship of Māori taonga of whatever kind and tribal sources.

Operationally, the Museum is split into five directorates, Collections and Research; Finance and Enterprise; Public Experience; People and Organisation and Māori and Pacific Development, each headed by a Director who sits on the Executive Team lead by the Chief Executive.

22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

The project will be based out of Auckland Museum’s Collection Information and Access (CIA) department, part of the Museum’s Collection and Research directorate, whose staff are specialists in the areas of online and on-site access, digital partnerships, research, data, open access and copyright. The team manages the Museum’s Research Library, and two major research platforms Collections Online and Online Cenotaph, and is also responsible for collection digitisation and the Museum’s research strategy. The core group of project staff listed below have worked closely on the Museum’s open access and Wikipedia related work over a number of years. We will also be able to draw on support from colleagues in other areas, including collection managers and curators in the wider Collections and Research directorate and specialists from the Learning and Public Programmes department and Visitor and Market Research department.

Adam Moriarty - Head of Collection Information & Access, Auckland Museum (Project Sponsor)

James Taylor - Online Collections & Information Partnership Manager, Auckland Museum (Project Manager)

Marty Blayney - Wikimedian in Residence, Auckland Museum

Dr Mark Sheehan, Researcher, Auckland Museum & Victoria University of Wellington (Project Support)

Dr Sarah Knowles - Research Manager (Project Support)

23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation


24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?

We will build on our previous research grant examining the use of Wikipedia as a classroom resource. Below are our questions with the sources we will use to measure them:

Can we improve the quality of information on Wikipedia so that teachers use it regularly as a resource? (feedback from teacher advisory group; gather group of teachers surveyed in research project to review new content and provide feedback)

Can we improve the quality of information on Wikipedia by recruiting tertiary students as editors? (feedback from teacher advisory group; gather group of teachers surveyed in research project to review new content and provide feedback; investigate article assessment as objective way to evaluate articles)

What level of training is required for a tertiary student to be able to competently edit Wikipedia starting from scratch? (feedback from tertiary students; gather information from other Wikipedian experiences)

What is a realistic editing output for a “newbie” editor at the completion of a ten week studentship?(core metrics on editor contributions; blog post written by student Wikipedians)

Can we expand the reach of GLAM open collections with targeted editing projects? (Auckland Museum commons views via GLAMorgan/BaGLAMa)

Can working with Wikipedia assist GLAMs to engage with education curriculums at scale? (reflect on success of project at completion)

Is Wikipedia a viable education platform? (feedback from teacher advisory group; survey wider group of teachers)

Core Metrics


25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants Paid participants (4x 10 week studentships, 1x Wikipedian in Residence) 5
Number of editors Same as above 5
Number of organizers Wikipedian in Residence and Project Manager. They will be supported by other Museum staff as required. 2
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikipedia For the Wikipedians in Residence: 30 articles created, 100 articles edited, 250 references added.

For the 4 students: 40 articles created, 40 articles edited and improved, 300 references added.

Wikimedia Commons For the Wikipedians in Residence: 150 images added.

For the 4 students: 100 images added.


25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)

We also intend to hold at least 2x workshops for GLAM professionals from New Zealand (one in-person focusing on Auckland Region GLAM institutions and one online for nation-wide GLAM institutions) and 2x events for the local Wikipedia editing community.

As a measure of the success of targeted editing projects, we will aim to grow the Auckland Museum Wikipedia audience by 10% over the year of the project (approximately 3 million views), measured via GLAMorgan or BaGLAMa.

26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)

As a requirement of completion of the studentship we will ask the student Wikimedians to write a blog about their experience, as well as a short report detailing the editing work they have undertaken.

We will also collect data from the teachers that we work with to ascertain effectiveness of resources. This will likely take a mixed form of online surveys and one on one or group discussions.

27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

The two main tools for this project will be:

GLAMorgan - this captures the views of our open images available on Wikimedia Commons. We use data from this as an input to our monthly Wikipedia statistics which are publicly available on the Museum website.

Program and Events Dashboards - which captures information about editors' work on Wiki platforms and aggregates them in an easy to use and view dashboard. We use this to measure our annual and project specific Wiki editing activity.

28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Create a video of our experience, Make a short presentation of the experience, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, Participate in one on one peer sharing session with other grantees, Develop learning material for other users, Share it on Meta-Wiki, Other
Presentations at national conferences, such as the National Digital Forum and Wikipedia related conferences such as Wikimania.

Blog articles on "Diff" Regular updates in "This month in GLAM"

Financial Proposal


29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

52160 NZD

30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

32841 USD

31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.

Link to budget document:

33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

We have a team of Development Executives that guide Museum staff through all phases of externally funded projects, from funding application, reporting, financial management, and final completion. The project has a Development Executive assigned to assist with this project.

The Museum staff that are involved with this project have experience delivering successful projects, and in the last 18 months have completed two Wikimedia Foundation funded projects.

The Project Manager will regularly check in with Regional WMF staff to update them on the status of the project, and will complete all reporting requirements on time and as required.

34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

The Museum has held a number of on-site Wikipedia events and these have been guided by the rules around UCOC and Friendly Space policy. Museum staff are also expected to abide by core values of Manaakitanga (hospitality). There are also provisions in staff contracts around conduct and professional behavior.

35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s): This project is based on the learnings from our earlier WMF funded research project, which can be read here:

Final message


By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

36. We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.