"history and landscape - that's what i seek out... history is important because it's why we are where we are now."
- DOC Heritage Icon visitor, 2017
Between March and July 2017 Story Inc completed a consultancy project for the Department of Conservation examining the quality of the end-to-end visitor experience at eight DOC Heritage Icon sites around New Zealand:
- Rangihoua Heritage Park, Kerikeri
- Kororipo Pā, Kerikeri
- Maungauika/North Head Historic Reserve, Auckland
- Karangahake Gorge, Coromandel
- Ohakune Old Coach Road
- Historic Brunner Mine, Greymouth
- Chinese Gold Miners’ Settlement, Arrowtown
We specifically looked at what does and does not work at each of the sites, but also examined the internal systems DOC employs when developing or upgrading their heritage sites. Our research methods included:
- Social media monitoring
- Visitor surveys and observation
- Site audits
- DOC staff interviews
- GPS site mapping
As well as the final report we also produced a series of simple whiteboard animation videos around the concepts of 'Dream, Go, Experience and Connect' for DOC staff to use in internal presentations relating to our research.
Exploring our own backyard and seeing the outstanding work DOC do to preserve our heritage and make it accessible for all New Zealanders and international visitors was an absolute joy!