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Plan of Innovation And Ingenuity Inspiring Young Kiwis


Embargoed until 00:01, 19 March 2014

Big Change for Motat: Plan of Innovation And Ingenuity Inspiring Young Kiwis

Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) has launched, in its 50th anniversary year, a new five year strategic plan which focuses on using the museum’s existing heritage objects and Kiwi ingenuity and technology in a ‘hands on way’ to inspire its visitors.

“The introduction of Kiwi ingenuity and innovation is not going to happen overnight, but imagine walking into an exhibition where you are able to learn how the technology and scientific principles of the New Zealand designed YikeBike can be traced back to the Penny Farthing and you can see both being used at the museum” says CEO Michael Frawley.

MOTAT’s goal is to use these stories and the associated science to inspire the next generation of innovators. “We want our visitors to think if Sir Richard Taylor can go from sculpting margarine to the world leading Weta Workshop, I can do that too.”

Mr Frawley was recruited by the museum in response to the points raised in the Dame Cheryll Sotheran’s report towards the end of 2012.

Mr Frawley and MOTAT’s new Board consulted with the museum’s staff, volunteers, visitors and worked closely with Dame Sotheran on the development of the strategy which is designed to move MOTAT from being a ‘collection of things’ to a ‘light bulb institution’.

“We have a responsibility to the Auckland ratepayer to improve the overall MOTAT experience and cater more to the needs of the Auckland community” says MOTAT Board Chair Dr Lesley McTurk. “MOTAT is a complex organisation and change cannot be made overnight, but change must be made, even if it may cause unease as people have to shift to the new direction.”

“MOTAT has some amazing objects in its collection and enormous potential,” says Mr Frawley. “The key to unlocking that potential is the focus on New Zealand and bringing those objects and the associated people, stories, technology and science alive in a way that makes the museum a “must experience” for the Auckland community and beyond.

In line with the new strategic direction, MOTAT is looking to work with community groups, businesses and top Kiwi innovators. MOTAT is for example looking to build on its relationship with Ngati Whatua and other Iwi so as to ensure that the story of Maori technology, ingenuity and adaptability is told and demonstrated. It is also setting up a ‘Think Tank’ of influential New Zealanders to explore future exhibition and learning concepts and Sir Ray Avery and Ian Taylor of Animation Research have agreed to be part of the group.

The Museum is also looking at corporate sponsorship opportunities to support the development of new technology focussed exhibitions or the restoration of historically significant artefacts. Air New Zealand has already caught something of the flavour of the new strategy and has made a contribution towards the restoration of a TEAL Short Solent flying boat, the last of its kind in the world. Mr Frawley says “the story of the Solent is one of Kiwi ingenuity; using the flying boat to connect New Zealand with Tahiti and the other Islands on the famous Coral Route”.

With a new CEO and board leading the new strategy, there will now be a clearly defined future direction to guide staff and volunteers and thereby ensuring that future generations of visitors will experience the very best of what MOTAT has to offer.



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