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The $2.5million redevelopment of Discovery World and its tropical forest would feature 50 interactive displays. The Maori word "tuhura" meant to discover or explore, and maintained the whakapapa, or connection, to the original Discovery World, established in 1991.
About 35 of the 50 new interactives had been made in Germany and had arrived, a week early, by sea from Hamburg this week.
Museum director Dr Ian Griffin said that, after many years of planning, "it’s great to see them finally being unloaded, in preparation for installation".
About 15 other interactives were being made in New Zealand, including in Dunedin.A highlight is a 6m-high spiral slide inspired by the DNA double helix.
This was funded by a $100,000 grant from The Lion Foundation, and is being made in Palmerston North.
The centre was supported by a $500,000 grant from the Otago Community Trust, and will also be home to a refreshed tropical forest butterfly house.
The forest opened in 2007. The centre also includes the interactive science gallery and planetarium, which were completed in December 2015, during stage one of the centre redevelopment project.