Imelda Bargas


I completed a Master of Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 2005. After completing my degree I worked at the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga) registering historic places and areas in the Central Region. I also worked within the policy team at the National Library of New Zealand on the New Zealand Digital Content Strategy.

I joined the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as a historian in 2008. Initially working predominantly on one of MCH’s external websites NZHistory, my role later expanded to include print and digital projects, mentoring and managing team members and leading specific work streams, including the Ministry’s public history talk programme and day to day supervision, planning and development of content for NZHistory and Te Ara. During this period I also co-authored a book on New Zealand’s First World War Heritage with colleague Tim Shoebridge (published by Exisle Publishing in April 2015).

In 2017 I moved to manage a team at MCH that looks after a range of legislation (the Protected Objects Act 1975 and the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act) and funding schemes (the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund, Heritage EQUIP and the Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund).

In early 2021 I took up a secondment to the Public Service Commission to develop their research function, focused on the OECD’s country study “Drivers of trust in New Zealand’s public institutions”. I then joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Historical Information and Research Manager.



  • Exhibition preparation
  • Photographic research
  • Policy advice
  • Public speaking
  • Publicity
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Defence/military
  • Exploration
  • Government administration
  • Health and medical
  • Heritage
  • Museums