Auckland Museum: rubbish with kids

The Auckland Museum is rubbish these days, despite an expensive extension and refit.

The first problem is their refusal to allow baby bottles into the museum. This is apparently on health and safety grounds, in case someone spills water and someone else slips over on it. That rather unlikely chain of events doesn’t trouble much larger and more popular museums and art galleries in Europe, so it’s hard to see what is so special about Auckland. Everyone from Auckland seems to know about this and just brings stuff for their kids in a bag. (One woman, though, while we were arguing the point over a bottle for our baby, was compelled to leave her nappy bag behind! No idea what the health and safety risks of nappies are.)

More pernicious though is the way that they try to charge people for entry when the museum is legally free of charge. Aucklanders with certain types of proof of address are permitted to get in without an obnoxious donation request, but when one couple near me showed proof of address that apparently wasn’t the correct type, the cashier said that the Museum “charges a donation”, without pointing out that it was entirely voluntary. The couple duly paid up.

That strikes me as completely dishonest. Given that the collection isn’t much to write home about, lifts are few and far between, and there are no highchairs in the cafe (!) we won’t be going back.