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National Aquarium of New Zealand $45 million Expansion Plans

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Chlidonias, 24 Aug 2017.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    There are photos on the link and also a video, so I would encourage looking at that. Most of the video is a flyover of the proposed exterior, only at the end does it go inside the building to reveal something which doesn't look at an aquarium at all.


    National Aquarium to get Weta Workshop touch in proposed $45m upgrade

    A bold $45 million proposed upgrade of the National Aquarium in Napier will see it expand to three times its present size, and will involve a major creative touch by Weta Workshop.

    Napier City Council today announced plans to expand the aquarium, on the city's Marine Parade.

    Construction of the expanded facility is expected to begin in 2019, with an opening date likely in 2021. The indicative cost of $45m would include $7m from the council, with the balance coming from public and private investment.

    The exact shape and "feel" of the new aquarium is unknown at this stage, as Weta Workshop has been given creative licence to come up with a design that will achieve the council's goals.

    Council manager of visitor experiences Sally Jackson said the project would boost job and visitor numbers and was "a game-changer" for the region.

    "It puts us on the map as a conservation centre of excellence and an eco-tourism destination of major significance.

    "It's an exciting project for our city and region, and we're looking forward to the process of securing funding to make it a reality."

    A close look at successful aquariums internationally had shown that they were best designed "from the inside out", she said.

    "It will have a strong emphasis on conservation and sustainability, but it terms of what it will actually look like, we will leave that to Weta Workshop.


    "Having seen what they did with the Gallipoli experience at Te Papa, it's clear that they know how to create an unforgettable experience."

    The current building has a total floor space of 3413 square metres. The expanded building will have 11,100sqm.

    The council is to consider an indicative business case at the end of this month. If supported, it will go to the Government for funding, and the business case developed further.

    Weta Workshop founder and creative director Sir Richard Taylor said it was looking forward to developing ideas for the project.

    "We are excited by the prospect of finding new and unique creative experiences that connect visitors emotionally with the conservation challenges faced by our oceans and natural environments."

    The University of Waikato will take a lead role, with staff potentially working at the new aquarium to establish new research projects and environmental initiatives.

    Other partners involved in the project included Air New Zealand, local iwi, and Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

    The council began working on the expansion project in the middle of last year, with the backing of funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for an indicative business case.

    Council chief executive Wayne Jack said "the financial case is strong, and the conservation message will be massive".

    "We couldn't be more thrilled that Weta Workshop has come on board as our design partner, to create the wow factor and help us tell our stories in an innovative, original way.

    "Weta's commitment, as well as the support of our other major partners, means that this project has the potential to really fly."

    Jackson said the aquarium "will play a major role in ocean and waterways conservation – crucial natural resources that we must protect. Contemporary aquariums are all about education and awareness, advancing knowledge through research, encouraging a conservation mind-set and promoting environmental sustainability".

    Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said the council was "on a mission to create an absolutely extraordinary experience so that people coming to New Zealand will not be able to leave the country without spending time at our aquarium".

    "We are looking forward to sharing the excitement of [the project] in more detail, and hearing our community's views, as we work hard towards enhancing our National Aquarium of New Zealand."

     
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  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Kifaru Bwana likes this.