The second stage of Auckland War Memorial Museums visitor transformation was unveiled on Wednesday 24 March when Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland opened to the public.
Designed to share the diverse stories of the people and place that is Tāmaki Makaurau, this is the first time that Auckland will have a permanent suite of galleries that explores the past, present and future of its people and the cultures that have made the city what it is today.
Tāmaki Herenga Waka means ‘the gathering place of many waka’ and is an exhibition of Auckland places and people staged across four galleries.
“Tāmaki Makaurau is not only New Zealand’s largest city, it is our country’s most culturally diverse. People have come to Auckland from everywhere to form communities, and we are home to over 120 different ethnicities,” says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum.
“Our research shows that visitors want to see their own lived experience of Auckland and of being Aucklanders. This gallery will be a place for audiences to reflect on the past, present and future of Auckland and their place within this.”
“The launch of the Tāmaki Herenga Waka gallery is a landmark achievement for our city” says Dr Gaimster. “It provides an anchor, a place of cultural orientation to explore what makes this city what it is “
The Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland galleries have been funded largely through the generosity of many individuals, and organisations including Lottery Significant Projects; Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate; Stout Trust and MW & MA Durling Family.
The stories of Auckland are shared though the Museum’s collections, with over 500 objects on display. They are enhanced with rich digital experiences. A key feature of the gallery is Kei konei koe You are Here, an audio-visual experience that offers up an immersive introduction to Tāmaki. Visitors are invited on a journey through time and space, encountering Auckland from different and surprising perspectives.
“By applying innovative digital technology to showcase our collections, we are able to cement Auckland Museum’s role as a place that inspires curiosity” says Dr Gaimster.
The exhibition has involved collaboration with many of the city’s communities, with over 60 objects generously loaned to the exhibition to enable the sharing of Auckland’s stories.
“More importantly, this gallery reflects the heart of our city and its dynamic culture through the unique communities that have grown up within it” Gaimster concludes.
Admission is free for Aucklanders.