Auckland War Memorial Museum is free for Aucklanders

Auckland War Memorial MuseumAuckland Museum Trust Board is delighted to announce the permanent cessation of the donation request for residents of greater Auckland.

“The time has come to do away with the admission contribution for Aucklanders,” said Museum Trust Board Chair Dr William Randall. “The Museum belongs to Aucklanders, and we want to make this cherished institution as accessible as possible for all local residents.”

The Museum conducted a six-month trial period to test the economic impact of the admission modification, and Aucklanders responded with positive feedback and an increase in visitation. In-depth evaluation of the trial demonstrated the Museum could continue with the cessation of suggested donations for Aucklanders permanently without any adverse impact on its revenues.

Although the Museum, as a War Memorial, has never charged a fixed admission fee, the suggested donation scheme was introduced in 1999 to help generate additional revenue for exhibitions and programmes. This has always been a point of contention for Auckland region residents who already fund their Museum through their rates.

“The Museum has wanted to change the admission policy for years, and we are pleased the modification is now viable,” said Dr Randall. “And with the advent of a unified city, the timing seems perfect to highlight the importance of this region’s cultural institutions.”

Consultations with stakeholders were held throughout this process, and strong support has been expressed for this development.

“I am pleased that Auckland War Memorial Museum is now at the stage where it can remove the donation request for Aucklanders,” said Auckland Mayor John Banks. “The Museum is an iconic institution for this City – a place where commemoration, learning and imagination come together and inspire. I hope Aucklanders of all ages will visit the Museum and support this great initiative.”

“As both a museum and War Memorial, Auckland Museum is unique in New Zealand,” said Dr Stephen Clarke, Chief Executive of Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association. “The RSA welcomes this decision that will enable the public to more freely discover the Museum, and remember our servicemen and women in the future.”

To help celebrate this permanent move, Auckland Museum will open its latest special exhibition, Kai to Pie: Auckland on a Plate on Saturday, 12 June as a free exhibition. Kai to Pie celebrates Auckland’s extraordinary wealth of people and cultures and its fertile abundance of land, sun and sea, all through the lens of food, and will be accompanied by a diverse events programme.

“Kai to Pie recognises the critical role that food plays in Auckland’s culture and we are proud to offer it free to all visitors – local, national and international,” said Dr Randall. “It is a fine way to start the dawning of a new era of close relations with the people of Auckland.”

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