Moana Tuatahi

As a maritime nation Aotearoa needs a world class aquarium to focus on Conservation, Education and Research. The New Zealand Oceans Foundation is delighted to support Project Shapeshifter – a project that is set to deliver such centre of study.

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We need a place that tells the story of the sea. A place that connects New Zealanders, young and old with the realities of their vast maritime estate. Developing a national awareness of our role as guardians and stewards of our maritime environment is essential in the evolution of our sense of national identity and our very destiny as a nation. The National Aquarium must do nothing less than to change the way that we see ourselves and our country.  

We are the inheritors of deep seafaring traditions from our founding peoples. The wisdom of all New Zealanders will need to be drawn on as we work as a country to create a place to learn about our marine environment, the riches that it supports, the fragile nature of its existence and the central role that the sea has to life on this planet. Maori as well as Pakeha, young and old, the well-established and the newly arrived all have a part to play in creating this taonga that will showcase our marine sciences and technology for the benefit of all New Zealanders and our neighbours in the region. 

Project Shapeshifter is a challenge too large for any one organisation to embrace. Instead it will require a nationwide commitment to bring it to life.

Ngā mihi nui,