Maintaining MOTAT as New Zealand’s leading transport and technology museum is a huge undertaking - a task that would be impossible without a loyal team of over 300 volunteers.
As part of New Zealand Volunteer Awareness Week (17-23 June), MOTAT is opening its gates to the public free of charge throughout the whole month of June in celebration of its hard-working volunteers, who help to ensure the collection is beautifully restored and maintained for everyone to enjoy.
MOTAT’s Museum Director, Jeremy Hubbard, says that without MOTAT’s myriad of hardworking volunteers, the museum wouldn’t be the same for its many visitors: “We are so thankful to the amazing volunteers at MOTAT. They put in so much time and effort to look after MOTAT’s collection and their enthusiasm definitely rubs off on our visitors to make MOTAT the special place that it is.
“Different volunteer teams are responsible for each collection at MOTAT. The teams are specialised according to the objects they look after, so that each collection piece is beautifully restored and maintained with authentic techniques,” he said. Before you visit, Hubbard recommends you find out which days the different volunteer teams are in action, available on the MOTAT website.
“Let our rail team take you on a behind the scenes tour of MOTAT’s impressive rail collection on weekdays and learn about the history of New Zealand’s roads from our road transport volunteers on Thursdays. Witness live aviation restoration work on Wednesdays and check out MOTAT’s Walsh Memorial Library on weekdays,” he adds.
Volunteers from MOTAT’s telecommunications, military, steam and bookbinding teams will offer workshops, rides and expertise on the 17th of June - the Third Sunday of the Month.
“You can also experience a real Blacksmith and Printing Press workshop in action on Sundays and chat about the wonders of Auckland’s historical Pumphouse and tram system any day of the week,” he says.
Spread across 40 acres, MOTAT takes visitors on an interactive journey to explore and discover the achievements and stories that have helped shape New Zealand from the 1800s to today. Explore the enormous range of collection objects, stories and interactive activities that MOTAT has to offer including the 1950s themed exhibition “I am the Last Tram” or iconic Kiwi culture exhibition “Signposts to Godzone.”
Marvel at New Zealand’s aviation history in MOTAT’s remarkable Aviation Display Hall. The 3,000m2 custom designed Display Hall recently won a New Zealand Architecture award for sustainability and currently houses an impressive collection of MOTAT aircraft, including a RNZAF Skyhawk, Lancaster Bomber, Cessna and Tiger Moth.
MOTAT’s offer excludes school bookings, birthday parties, pre-booked tours or functions.