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Wellington Zoo to host Interpretation Network New Zealand

Wellington Zoo to host Interpretation Network New Zealand (INNZ) 2015 Conference

Interpreters from all over the country are flocking to Wellington Zoo for the annual Interpretation Network New Zealand (INNZ) conference this Thursday 8 October and Friday 9 October.

INNZ is a professional organization that allows members from all over the country to communicate with each other, sharing knowledge, ideas, resources and skills. Alison Mulford, Wellington Zoo Visitor Experience Coordinator, is Secretary of the executive committee, and a big advocate for positive visitor experience messaging.

“While people typically think that interpretation is about translating from one language to another, interpretation in this context is about how to deliver messages in ways that will really engage the audience,” says Mulford. “In my role at Wellington Zoo I help develop and implement visitor experiences such as events, talks, close encounters, sleepovers, and contact animals. These are all forms of visitor interpretation that help engage and connect people with animals in a meaningful way.”

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Partnerships in Action’, and will shed insight on successful partnerships involving interpretation.

Two Wellington Zoo leaders are included in the line-up of guest speakers.

Chief Executive Karen Fifield, an experienced leader in the Australasian zoo network and in developing zoo based visitor interpretation, a twice-winner of the HER Business Network National Award in Business Leadership, and recent finalist for the 2015 Women of Influence awards, will introduce Nature Connections and emphasise the importance of making connections and working with colleagues to create a ‘Nature Capital City’.

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“Wellington Zoo is renowned for leading the way in visitor experience and interpretation,” says Fifield.

“By working together to build capability through training in interpretative methodologies, Wellington’s eco-assets are building a cohesive and innovative environmental visitor experience to enhance the reputation of Wellington as a place to live and visit. The result will be a coordinated story: compelling, complementary and connected experiences that make the most of our natural capital.”

Wellington Zoo Visitor Experience Manager Oli du Bern will take attendees on a guided tour of Wellington Zoo’s new precinct, Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha, which will open to visitors on Labour Weekend.

“In Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha, we have given voice to the animals, Zoo staff, our Wellington community, iwi, and children to build a multi-layered interpretive approach for a rich visitor experience,” says du Bern. “Weaving these voices together provides a unique tapestry of storytelling, as well as providing a place to share the stories of our partner organisations.”

A panel discussion will follow with representatives from Wellington Zoo, Pukaha Mt Bruce, Staglands, Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington Botanic Gardens, Nga Manu Nature Reserve and Zealandia.

ENDS

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