Young blood cru­cial to keep Mo­tat on track

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Anna Colquhoun

Not many peo­ple would con­sider pre­serv­ing New Zealand’s trans­port her­itage in their spare time, but that’s ex­actly how two lo­cal broth­ers spend their week­ends.

Gra­ham An­der­son, 28, and brother Philip, 26, be­came Mo­tat vol­un­teers when they were 14 and have been vol­un­teer­ing ever since.

Gra­ham be­came a vol­un­teer af­ter con­tact­ing the mu­seum for help with a school project and dis­cov­er­ing his pas­sion for trains.

“There was a range of things like tech­nol­ogy and his­tory and also great peo­ple to work with.”

He has re­cently taken up a paid po­si­tion as the rail col­lec­tion man­ager but still puts in some vol­un­teer hours.

Philip, who helps out on the tram ser­vice, be­came in­ter­ested in Mo­tat through his brother.

“I en­joy what we do here and it’s good to see a lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple and the en­joy­ment they get from it too,” says Philip.

Al­though the ma­jor­ity of Mo­tat vol­un­teers are older, Gra­ham says the num­ber of younger peo­ple ap­ply­ing is grow­ing.

“They are im­por­tant in keep­ing Mo­tat’s knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence go­ing be­cause younger peo­ple will be here for a long time.”

Mo­tat mar­ket­ing man­ager An­gela Willis says the or­gan­i­sa­tion re­lies heav­ily on vol­un­teers and has about 300 on its books, along with 60 staff.

In the last year vis­i­tor num­bers have ex­ceeded their tar­gets by nearly 70,000 peo­ple, so more vol­un­teers are needed.

For in­for­ma­tion on be­com­ing a vol­un­teer visit­ or email hr@mo­ – Anna Colquhoun is an AUT jour­nal­ism stu­dent

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