Auckland icons set to reopen

12 May 2020


Regional Facilities Auckland is looking forward to reopening the doors of its iconic Auckland spaces over the coming weeks, adhering to strict COVID-19 Alert Level 2 guidelines.

First to reopen at Alert Level 2 are our stadiums, Mt Smart, North Harbour and Western Springs, to allow approved sports training to take place. The stadiums will also be open for smaller events, corporate bookings and activities that align with the government’s public health thresholds.

Auckland’s Aotea Centre, with the BOX Café & Bar, Aotea Square and the stunning Lisa Reihana ihi digital artwork in the foyer, will open to the public on 18 May.

New Zealand Maritime Museum and Auckland Zoo will follow suit in late May. In the meantime, Auckland Zoo continues to bring engaging animal encounters into people’s homes through live animal cams, keeper videos and providing educational resources. The Maritime Museum has enriching online activities for the young and young at heart, plus the ability to explore their Tākiri: An Unfurling exhibition, with podcasts and videos.

For arts and entertainment at Auckland Live, the focus is on developing creative, innovative experiences that inspire curiosity and engagement in and around out venues. Artists and audiences alike will be able to explore venues in ways not previously offered, merging the digital and live experience. The team is supporting artists in developing new projects, which audiences will be able to see live on stage as we move through the alert levels.

We are also planning for a full range of concerts, shows and other activity to resume when possible.

Meeting spaces in our Auckland Conventions, Venues & Events’ venues will be open for small gatherings and events under Alert Level 2. These will take place under stringent public safety measures, including limiting attendee numbers for each space for physical distancing, registration and contact tracing; and managing food and beverage options carefully to minimise handling.

Following its recent return, at Alert Level 3, to the task of installing artworks, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is preparing for a reopening late next month, when it will be unveiling an exciting – and timely – new international exhibition for visitors to explore at close range, Civilisation Photography Now. Alongside this new exhibition, the Gallery will also invite visitors to experience exhibitions that had closed prematurely due to COVID-19.

In the meantime, the Gallery has a trove of unique experiences to explore online and will soon be introducing a new way of virtually touring its exhibitions, starting with the exquisite, soon-to-be-launched Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan.

RFA chief executive, Chris Brooks, says the organisation takes its mandate to bring Aucklanders together safely very seriously.

“We know how much Aucklanders have missed their interactions with our amazing zoo animals and staff. They have missed exploring our unique maritime heritage, being enthralled by a stirring live performance and cheering their favourite sports teams from the sidelines in our stadiums. They miss standing in awe in front of an evocative artwork or gathering with colleagues to be inspired by a world-class speaker.

“We cannot bring all these wonderful experiences back just yet, but we are very excited to take the first steps with the opening of our beloved zoo, Maritime Museum, Aotea Centre and our stadiums this month.

“We want Aucklanders to know that we are putting very clear, strictly enforced measures in place to make sure we can keep them safe in our spaces for the experiences we are able to offer under Alert Level 2.

“Above all, our role is to inspire, so we will continue to create rich and engaging experiences online for all our audiences.”

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