Since its inception 11 years ago more than 200 volunteer guides (docents) have been trained and gone on to provide free tours to Rotorua Museum’s visitors.
A band of 85 dedicated volunteers currently offers eight tours a day to the Museum’s national and international visitors. Each docent has undergone a 15 week training programme before hosting visitors, and will continue to take part in ongoing education programmes.
Recruitment is currently in swing for the next training course which starts on Tuesday 14 February.
Docent coordinator Ann Somerville says you don’t need to be an expert in art or history to become a docent.
"We’re looking for enthusiasm and an ability to communicate. People will need to be able to commit to doing one weekly guided tour for a year after their training finishes."
Museum director Greg McManus says the service is important to the ‘face’ the Museum presents to visitors.
“Our volunteers perform a key service. I don’t know of too many other museums in New Zealand that offer eight free guided tours a day. Our docent programme really is an industry leader in this country."
More than 100,000 people visit Rotorua Museum every year, with many experiencing true manaakitanga from the committed group of docents.