Regional museums policy helps to preserve collections of national significance

  • Helen Clark
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark and Associate Minister Judith Tizard today released details of the government's regional museums policy for capital construction projects.

"The policy, announced in the Budget, acknowledges that collections of national significance are housed in museums throughout New Zealand, and enables the government to give limited assistance as a funder of last resort to projects focused on properly housing such collections.

"In the eighteen months since this government was elected, I have been fortunate to visit many of New Zealand's regional museums and galleries," Helen Clark said.

"A number of these institutions are contemplating major capital works to improve the exhibition of and the public's enjoyment of their collections.

"To date, central government funding support for museum and gallery projects has been focused on the large metropolitan museums and galleries.

"The new regional museums policy makes funding available for non-metropolitan museums and galleries, subject to certain criteria.

"The criteria relate to issues such as ownership and governance; museum viability; funding sources; regional impact and the national significance of a museum's collections," said Helen Clark.

"Where there are collections of national significance, the government does accept a limited role on behalf of all New Zealanders, and on behalf of those objects that play such an important part in the way we develop and maintain our sense of national identity. We have therefore based the Regional Museums Policy on the idea of central government being a funder of last resort."

Applications for the current year must be received by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage by 31 July 2001.

Submissions will be evaluated by the Ministry and put forward for consideration by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. The Minister will make the final determination of how the final museums allocation will be granted each year.