New Initiative at the Auckland Museum

  • Murray McCully

Minister of Tourism Murray McCully says a new initiative at the Auckland Museum is a positive response to the demands of international tourists.

Mr McCully will today (eds: Friday--11.15am) present the Auckland Museum Trust Board with a cheque for $80,000 for the development of a five gallery multi-media display of New Zealand's natural heritage.

The five Natural History galleries will tell the story of New Zealand through Maori understanding and from a western scientific view point. They will also look at the human influences on the natural environment and the variety of land and marine environments.

Mr McCully said experiencing the New Zealand culture was high on the agenda for visitors to New Zealand.

"We are frequently reminded through discussions with inbound operators and research that international visitors are extremely interested in New Zealand culture," he said. "It may not be the reason they visit our country, but it is frequently the experience they enjoyed most while here."

"There is huge potential to continue to develop tourism products that genuinely reflect New Zealand culture."

Mr McCully applauded the Museum for the interactive, multi-media style of the displays.

"They will create a unique perspective of New Zealand and give visitors the hands-on type of experience that they are seeking."

Mr McCully said the Auckland Museum was a tourist icon for both international and domestic visitors which attracted over one million people a year with almost half of them from overseas.

He said the location of the Museum meant that visitors could easily access a taste of New Zealand culture when they arrived in the country which they could then continue to enjoy in its natural environment throughout their stay.