Finally, we should mention two great props inside the branch. There is a 4,500 piece Lego helicopter, which weighs in at 400kg. It took three days to build, has a functional rotor and sits three kids in its cockpit. One imagines the people it will pull off Queen Street will be pint-sized, with full-sized versions in hot pursuit. Westpac has been sponsoring the rescue helicopter since the early 1980s. It’s a familiar sight at a number of Auckland beaches, and this makes the overall theme selection seem quite relevant.
There’s also a barista driven coffee point, in caravan form, appropriately placed next to the “knowledge bank”, where customers can tap into the free WiFi and read the news, et cetera, on their own or on one of the bank’s proliferation of mobile devices, and formal and informal meeting and seminar spaces at the back.
Gai McGrath, Westpac’s head of retail banking, says this type of branch is a market leader: “Queen Street is at the forefront of what is happening internationally in retail banking”. It’s a new style of branch that is less about operational activity and more about creating spaces that customers want to be in, she says.