Ian Taylor joins museum debate

Ian Taylor at Hotel Devonport this morning. Photos and video: Rosalie Liddle Crawford

A Dunedin technological entrepreneur has joined the debate on discussions about Tauranga bringing a new museum to life.

At a special breakfast ceremony at Tauranga Club this morning, Animation Research CEO Ian Taylor shared his thoughts on the benefits of the development.

The occasion was arranged by Taonga Tauranga, a group of Tauranga residents with an interest in the museum development who encourage widespread public discussion about the proposed museum and its role as an economic and social game changer.

He spoke about the significance of honouring history.

'The footprints laid down by our ancestors hundreds of years ago are the paving stones of our journey here today.

'In the Maori world view, it is believed our past is always in front of us. I can absolutely recommend if you have not looked at your life like that you should do so from today.

'When I was growing up I could have never imagined I would be using this thing called a computer, the internet or Google earth to take you back to the house I grew up with, a house with no electricity.

'I was seven and it was 1957 before a man from the power board linked that house to electricity and brought power to the house.

'If we come back to this Maori world view that the past lies in front of us, I look out to this house to that time in 1957, I can still see the shirt I was wearing, and this is an unconnected line to where I stand today,” says Ian.

'I'm convinced as a seven-year-old, seeing electricity being brought to that house, seeing us going from a safe in the wall to a refrigerator, seeing a coal range go to an electric range, battery powered radio to wireless, I believe back then was the time my journey started in believing anything was possible.

'It's really important you keep those footsteps and what else is a museum than those footsteps you laid in the past.”

His software, Virtual Eye, is the sports division of Animation Research Limited and specialises in real time sports animations.

Based in Dunedin, the company provides its services to a wide range sports organisations around the world.

It's most widely known for its real time sailing graphics package and is also involved in golf, cricket, motorsport, and a variety of air sports.

'Dunedin is my home and it is where I started my company which still operates from there today,” says Ian.

'In 1992 I paved the footsteps for the way the world views America's Cup and sport in general by starting my business. I took up golf and said get me to the best games in the world for free.

'We're one of only two companies in the world that does VRS, we built the racing car simulator for the McLaren formula one team, and we built the air traffic control simulator that trains all the traffic controls here and in Saudi Arabia.

'I look at this and it all lies in front of me. Those are the footsteps that brought us to the world we live in today.

'Some people find it strange that this is coming out of Dunedin, but we don't. We are a city of firsts and have many things to be proud about.

'We have our own story, but can you say you have your own story here in Tauranga?”

He says Tauranga can benefit from following the models which have brought Dunedin to be the city it is.

'Tauranga is now the fifth largest city in the country, it has taken the place of Dunedin.

'When the discussions first started, I remember thinking gee Dunedin is in trouble. This place is not only bigger, but it's going to expand. Three years later and I have no fears that is going to happen at all.

'I've been asked to take part in the debate around whether you should have a museum here and I find it funny it is even a debate.

'Tauranga is arguing, discussing and even contemplating having a referendum about the value of a museum.

'Dunedin has nine museums and we're smaller than Tauranga. We just spent $37m on refurbishing one of those and $12m in another one.

'I love the idea that Dunedin knows who it is and how to tell their stories. We have cruise ships in Dunedin too.

'When people get back on their cruise ships here they leave knowing more about Rotorua, when they leave Dunedin to get back on the ship they leave knowing more about Dunedin.”

Former Tauranga City Council mayor, Stuart Crosby says the presentation highlighted some significant points.

'I've seen Ian present before, his presentations are very visual and I guess that's his point. If you have a vision and use visuals it's a lot easier for communities to engage.

'Another message he shared is history is so important. When I was the mayor of Tauranga I was confronted with history every day trying to move the city forward, so I completely agree with that.”

He says he resonates with Ian's talk.

'There are some very good additions to the plans for the CBD, with talk of museums and upgrades, that is a good start but I think there's a lot of frustration as well.

'What a lot of people want to see is less talk and more action”

Bay of Plenty Film CEO Anton Steel agrees Ian raised significant points.

'It was really inspiring to see the vision people have in Dunedin. It's something I'd love to see replicated in the Bay of Plenty.

'We are blessed with resources, people and talent, I'd love to see something along those lines shine.”



Posted on 15-02-2018 11:31 | By Captain Sensible

"Maori world view" ???? That's a new one! Sneaking these little phrases in hoping nobody would notice!!!

What a cheek!

Posted on 15-02-2018 11:48 | By Maryfaith

What a cheek this stranger has, to tell us what we need and should do. Perhaps if we had a spare $100million in the kitty it might be worth looking at. It made my blood boil listening to his spiel on the video. A buddy of Paul Adams, the same Paul Adams who has profited so well out of other Tauranga's 'white elephants'. If Adams wants the museum so badly then let him spend some of his $135 million and donate it to the city. I imagine that he has already have been given the wink to build the great white elephant!!!!!!!!!!! A few of the towns rich cats are pushing for this museum - has to be something in it for them. We cannot afford a museum. Give us the referendum vote!

who is he

Posted on 15-02-2018 11:59 | By dumbkof2

never heard of this person before. how much was he paid. more dollars wasted. hope my rates didnt go towards this. by election ideal time to have binding referendom on this not wanted white elephant.


Posted on 15-02-2018 12:23 | By rastus

Yes let us have a binding referendum on this museum debate - there are far too many 'know it all' do gooders being imported to tell us what to do - I see that the present 'grey' proposition from TECT as being a possible back door way of funneling the consumers funds into white elephants such as the museum and other pet projects such as the art gallery - new administration buildings - new library etc etc - the list goes on - I bet you the person who promised to be on the ratepayers side (our present Mayor) will be given the heave ho at the next election - that's if he has the audacity to even stand again

As you can see Ian,

Posted on 15-02-2018 12:27 | By R. Bell

We also have a problem with racism and a very, very tight fisted world view. Robin Bell.

Crackpot, clear off.

Posted on 15-02-2018 12:31 | By maildrop

Dunedin and its nine museums don't seem to be pulling the punters in when you look at tourism spend. Tourism spend has gone up all over the world. It's gone up in New Zealand. When you look at the AVERAGE rise in tourism spend, Dunedin is below average and in effect going backwards. It's lagging miles behind the increases seen in areas like Otago and indeed here. Therefore there isn't a draw in Dunedin, certainly not its nine museums. It looks like they are flogging dead horses by keeping nine museums. Museums are not of interest to the vast majority of tourists. Do people not understand this? Or maybe they do but it's just empire building and they don't care about wasting money? Or they're just so arrogant, full of self importance, and a misguided sense of intellectual superiority that they actually believe a museum will be financially viable.

Do we need Dunedin (or any other city) as a model?

Posted on 15-02-2018 12:42 | By morepork

The nub of the problem here is that people see Rates increasing inexorably and there seems to be no PRIORITY on where the money goes. If Dunedin want to spend $37,000,000 on refurbishing one of their 9 museums, that is surely a matter for them. (It seems crazy to me, but I respect their right to be crazy...) The issue is not about whether we SHOULD have a museum or not (the referendum will settle that...); it is about whether we can AFFORD to support something that is not seen as essential by many who will be required to pay for it. And we really don't need people with an obvious vested interest to be stirring the pot. Ian raises some good points about the importance of history but that is a different debate; for now, ratepayers want to see recognition of their burden, and caution in increasing it..

paving stones

Posted on 15-02-2018 12:54 | By morepork

It is hardly a "Maori world view" to recognize that lessons can and should be learned from the past. Most cultures in the world recognize this. Some times it may be very advisable to step off the "paving stones" so that mistakes are not repeated. Documenting the past and providing insights into it through artifacts and literature or oral tradition is the correct and valuable function of a museum and most of us have no problem with that. The "problem" for Tauranga is paying for it out of city funds. As many people who contribute to these funds have no particular interest in a museum, it is right and proper to have a referendum. That should not cause surprise, it should be commended as democratic, and common sense. If the museum supporters "lose" the referendum, they are still free to pursue getting one, but they must do it themselves.

A Museum......

Posted on 15-02-2018 13:11 | By waiknot

A few differences between Dunedin and Tauranga, mainly the speed of growth. Dunedin had many more years to pay for growth than Tauranga has. If the cost of a museum impacts on rate payers to much you wont need a museum to see houses with out electricity. Yes I want a museum but more importantly I want to know the costs before I support it


Posted on 15-02-2018 13:18 | By socantor01

I moved here after 30 years in Wellington. Wellington has only three museums but they are all extraordinarily well patronised by people from in and out of Wellington. Tauranga seems to be populated by people who are largely uneducated, unsophisticated and out of touch with the meaning of a city, which Tauranga certainly is. Both our planners and residents need a rapid change in attitude if we are to become a city of quality amenities. Otherwise we will end up like Lithgow out of Sydney or Delaware in the USA, both of which are backwater civic failures. Heaven forbid that Tauranga should be allowed to sink to such depths. For the nay-sayers, try and think of what our city could be like in 30 to 50 years without these extremely important amenities. Dead!!

Why so negative?

Posted on 15-02-2018 13:18 | By Lizzie Bennet

It is very useful to see how others are doing things. Thank you Ian for sharing your experience with us.There are some things which are more important than money, our sense of identity and self worth and if a museum can do this for Tauranga then we should go for it.Personally I would like Tauranga to build a museum and wish they would just get on with it.

Maori world view??

Posted on 15-02-2018 14:42 | By mlow

So the "past" is viewed in front of you? THATS exactly the problem Mr Taylor!! This is 2018! NOT 1840!!

Listen up TBOP!

Posted on 15-02-2018 14:48 | By Bobby2

I do hope TBOP and the likes of Sg1nz listened to his comment "those people who come here on their cruise ships leave knowing about Rotorua" regarding the recent Sunlive article and comments on the 'Call for better tourism planning'. Council wants what council wants, be it a museum or a disfunctional tourism organisation..... and the people of Tauranga will pay.

Tauranga Club

Posted on 15-02-2018 15:00 | By backofthequeue

I do hope that the presentation made by Mr Taylor at the Tauranga Club was to a room full of private investors, fund raisers and philanthropists and not just a room full of councillors and bureaucrats who seem limited in their ability to visualise anything other than residents and ratepayers as an open cheque book.

In case you didn;t know, maildrop,

Posted on 15-02-2018 15:25 | By R. Bell

Dunedin is part of Otago. Wouldn't expect you to know that of course being a new chum.Anyway thanks for personal resume, it's always amusing. As for Ian Taylor, a bit of respect for a super successful Kiwi would be nice. When will you people ever learn, shooting the messenger never wins debates, never. Robin Bell.

@ Maildrop

Posted on 15-02-2018 16:15 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You say "Dunedin is below average" with tourist spends and they boost of having 9 museums, perhaps there is a link between low performance NZ/World wide re Tourist spends and lots of Muesums. That would be an obvious connection! That actually places a serious additional negative on thinking about it.

Maori world view.... really

Posted on 15-02-2018 16:55 | By NZer

We all have the same world view not just Maori. Unbelievable... yes we do have a problem here Ian. One race think they are more entitled than all other races...


Posted on 15-02-2018 16:59 | By NZer

Some people think keeping a roof over there head and feeding there family comes first.... others think museums are more important. Binding referendum will sort the problem out fairly and show exactly what the people want....

@ backofthequeue

Posted on 15-02-2018 17:13 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That is the truth, the aim of councillors seems to be about creating ways to spend meaninglessly more and more. Private investors would be a lot more savvy and avoid it all like the plague that it is.

Out of hiding Robin

Posted on 15-02-2018 17:33 | By maildrop

I'm (I am) not really interested where Dunedin is as it didn't impress me when I went as a tourist. I was referring to places like Wanaka and Queenstown. And I can't be wrong on that as their (not there) tourism incomes have gone through the roof compared to Dunedin. I actually went to that chocolate museum. About 3 people in all day. Anyhow, you can't win an argument if you don't know the difference between your and you're. Thanks for reminding me.

This takes the cake!

Posted on 15-02-2018 18:01 | By Jayleen Wood

What ever is next? Maybe notices to Tauranga school children asking them if they would like to visit a museum and get a free chocolate bar? Someone should take Mr Taylor from Dunedin down to our Historic Village attraction for an in depth insight into just how things are done in Tauranga. Believe it or not, many of us are fully capable of making our own decisions based on past experience and order of need, whilst still taking into account current economic realities and future affordability. Bring on the museum referendum and make sure it is independently audited.


Posted on 15-02-2018 19:51 | By earlybird

Seems to me that a museum in Tauranga would haemorrhage money from day 1. Lets face it, if there was money to be made by building and running a museum, investors would be falling over themselves to get involved - and guess what - they're not.


Posted on 16-02-2018 01:58 | By MISS ADVENTURE

maybe Tauranga is like Dunedin, just a point of entry to way more interesting places. In Dunedin it is Queenstown, Wanaka, Fiords and so on. Tauranga it is Rotorua and Hobbiton for example. The pattern is obviously there now isnt it. The message from Dunedin is clear, even 9 museums does not help tourisum, cerainly does not add the culture and lifestyles there (watch the crowd behaviour levels at a rugby game - students) obviously no help in assisting them to be artzy in any way. Good luck with all this stuff Ian/Peter/Robin... hahaha


Posted on 16-02-2018 12:02 | By morepork

I'se wunna them unedjerkated, unsofistikated taurangans, but I no wot a City means. We don't need toffee nosed nobs like u to tell us... I'd rite more but I jus broke my crayon...

Most important thing overlooked deliberately

Posted on 04-03-2018 17:17 | By MISS ADVENTURE

All the Museum supporters claim that a city needs a Museum, that it isnt a city unless it has one, maybe many. A simple and single comment will undermine that completely. Something like this:- A Museum does not make a city. If it were otherwise then planners would simply need to build a museum in the middle of a desert a 1000km from anything and behold a city would spring up out of nothing else and be a wonderous place to behold. Reality is of course something else.


Posted on 16-03-2018 21:12 | By groutby

....is definately NOT a "field of Dreams"..ie:'build it and he (they) will come'...that is just for the movies..it ain't goin' to happen here folks!

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