A special exhibition has opened at the Museum of Brisbane to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Expo 88’s New Zealand pavilion.
According to exhibit curator, Miranda Pope, Expo’s New Zealand pavilion marked an important turning point in Brisbane’s relationship with the world. “What everyone still remembers about Expo is the queue to the New Zealand pavilion. That enormous queue, and the progress that you made along it, became a symbol of Brisbane’s changing attitude towards New Zealand.”
Impossible as it seems now, Brisbane people once didn’t appreciate New Zealanders at all.
“Back before Expo, Brisbane was not very cosmopolitan,” said Ms Pope. “People would boo Richard Hadlee at the cricket and we used to believe that musicians like Split Enz and Jenny Morris were Australian. Since Expo, everyone realises that New Zealand is cool. The popularity of things like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Flight of the Conchords and Daniel Vittori would have been impossible without Expo 88.”
The Museum of Brisbane’s exhibition, 25 years, Bro, runs until January. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the New Zealand pavilion, a thousand Brisbane residents will queue up at the New Zealand Natural Ice Cream shop at South Bank this weekend.