New funding programme for regional museums and galleries

  • Helen Clark
Arts, Culture and Heritage

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark, today unveiled a programme to help regional museums house collections of national significance adequately.

Helen Clark said the regional museums programme is an exciting development which recognises the contribution regional museums make to the enrichment of New Zealand's cultural framework through collections of national significance.

The Government will set aside a fixed amount each year to support regional museum development, starting with a funding injection of $2.55 million in 2001-02.

Today's budget outlines further funding of $5 million in 2002-03 and $7.5 million the following year. Funding will continue at that third year level in baselines.

The Government is currently finalising the guidelines for allocating funds to regional museums' capital projects.

"It is proposed that funding decisions take into account factors such as the significance of the collection, its heritage value, the extent to which a project has a 'national' dimension, and the viability of the institution," Helen Clark said.

"As a general rule, only major metropolitan and other significant regional museums and galleries will be eligible for consideration under this policy. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage will administer the policy and assess proposals. We are recognising that primary responsibility for regional museums rests with the communities in which those museums are located, but the government may be able to be a funder for collections of national significance when other sources have been exhausted.

"I have visited many museums in regional New Zealand and am aware of the national significance of a number of the collections.

"Exciting cultural initiatives in the regions can have a positive impact on regional economies through increasing regional tourism and foreign exchange earnings," Helen Clark said.