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Christmas Magic Comes To MOTAT

15 December 2006

Glittering Light Display Brings Christmas Magic To MOTAT

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Tee Atiau, Exhibition Preparation Team Leader at MOTAT uses a cherry picker to decorate the Pump house with over 4,000 Christmas lights.

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MOTAT's Pump house will become a glittering spectacle from today, when 4720 Christmas lights adorning the building are switched on for the festive season.

The top of the historic building will twinkle with icicle lights while strip lighting will be used to highlight the arches of the building. True to Auckland's taste the lights, which have been supplied courtesy of the Trillian Trust, are a mixture of white and blue LEDs and will be alight from 7.30pm onwards each night.

MOTAT's Operations Manager, Derek Grieve, says the Pump house was selected because it is the oldest building at the Transport and Technology museum.

"MOTAT was initially established for the purpose of conserving Auckland's original Pump house - so it's a very special building for us. In its day, the Pump house was considered one of the most advanced public water supply systems in the world."

Due to the historic value of the building, MOTAT applied for consent with the Historic Places Trust and the Historic Division of the Auckland City Council before beginning the project.

All of the lights have been strung from special purpose-built brackets that will rest on top of the parapet of the building.

"The brackets are not attached to the building and do not impact its construction in anyway. They are designed to cradle the lights, while fitting to the natural shape of the building," says Grieve.

"The light display on the Pump house along with a 20m Christmas tree in the Victorian Village will ensure MOTAT looks pretty spectacular this Christmas!"

While beautiful, the Christmas decorations are only one part of a bigger Christmas programme, in association with the Trillian Trust, which is committed to giving back to the local community.

The programme focuses around the Victorian tradition of giving and during December entry into MOTAT is free in exchange for a child's toy. All toys collected will be given to the Child Cancer Foundation to use at drop in centres around the country.

"We hope that people will embrace the spirit of Christmas and bring along a gift for the Child Cancer Foundation. Christmas is a family time and it's great to be able to give something to families living with childhood cancer."

A comprehensive programme of Victorian Christmas activities is also running during weekends throughout December. Activities that visitors can take part in for no additional charge include:

* Make and Take - spinning tops and Christmas candles
* Puppet Show - Punch and Judy explain the Victorian tradition of giving at Christmas
* Victorian Games on the Green - a range toys and games set up on the village green
* Christmas Trail - a self guided trail of MOTAT's Christmas artifacts

ENDS


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