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Auckland wins at museum awards

Published: 25 May 2017
  • A display from the Stardome Observatory exhibtion History of Spacecraft.
  • Judge Matt Lee, Retail Merchandise and Visitor Services Manager, Australian National Maritime Museum and Lisa Varga, Retail Manager at Auckland Museum with Museum Shops Association of Australia & New Zealand award.

The ServiceIQ 2017 New Zealand Museum Awards were held on 23 May, and Auckland came away with some big wins.

Stardome Observatory

Stardome Observatory won the prize for Exhibition Excellence – Science and Technology. The judges said that Lego History of Space is innovative and massively popular, bringing space travel to a younger audience.

The exhibition uses Lego to create opportunities for audiences to engage through hands-on displays and interactive hydraulic levers. With the world’s most popular toy at the core, this exhibition is at the interface between toys, science and technology.  

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa, Auckland Museum’s exhibition of New Zealand music, received the inaugural Museum Shops Association of Australia & New Zealand award for ‘Best New Range’ for its range of Volume merchandise created specifically for the Volume Pop-up Shop.

The judges commended the range for its use of local suppliers, environmental consciousness, clear and cohesive design, and its variety of price points and product types catering to a broad range of customers. The Volume compilation albums, co-produced with Sony Music, were commended by judges as, “A great innovation in the industry and the clear process to establish credits to the musicians is commended.”

The museum’s bilingual natural sciences education programme Mana Aotūroa won the ‘Most Innovative use of Te Reo Māori’ award, and judges called it, “An incredibly rich and well-thought-through programme . . . to teach the wonders of natural sciences in te reo Māori.”

The programme was made possible through the support of The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Unlocking Curious Minds Fund.

Mana Aotūroa programme leader Johnny Hui says, “It’s wonderful for the pilot programme to be recognised nationally by the judges. The programme combines the knowledge from our Natural Sciences curators with our bilingual outreach educators working in schools around Auckland, and effectively uses technology to bring our collections to life and inspire curiosity in the tamariki of this city.”