Government grants $15.75 million for Canterbury Museum revitalisation

  • Judith Tizard
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Speaking at a function at Canterbury Museum, Judith Tizard said the investment recognised the important collections held at the museum and the essential resource it provides for the Canterbury region.

Under the Regional Museums Policy, the government will provide $3.25 million in 2002-03 and the balance over the following five years towards the revitalisation project. Canterbury Museum is funding the remainder of the $55.84 million total project cost.

Judith Tizard said the revitalisation will enable Canterbury Museum to proceed with its building programme, which will include: a new and more spacious entrance; improved circulation; redevelopment of public galleries; environmental controls; significant fire, safety and security upgrades; and collection storage of international standard to protect the Museum’s 2.1 million collection items.

“For a community the size of Canterbury, Museum visitor numbers of 550,000 a year are very impressive. The Museum’s collections are of international importance making it a must-see for local, national and international visitors, and an unparalleled resource for researchers and students of all ages.

“Canterbury Museum is a complex of seven separate buildings constructed over 130 years. The project will enable the Museum to deliver a wide range of positive solutions to its pressing problems. The revitalisation will deliver exceptional value for money and transform what is undoubtedly a provincial treasure into an international jewel.

“It is appropriate that the government make this contribution to the Museum’s revitalisation on behalf of the whole country. As the last of the major New Zealand museums to upgrade, Canterbury will benefit from the experience of its counterparts and have available the latest technology.”

Earlier this month, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark announced that that the government is contributing $26.5 million over five years towards the development of ‘world class’ facilities at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The Puke Ariki Museum and Library Project in New Plymouth will also receive a further $1 million in regional museums funding in 2002-03. The government has signalled its intention to make a further contribution of $1 million to Puke Ariki in 2003-04, making a total commitment of $4.2 million to the project ($2.2 million was granted in 2001-02).

The government had previously announced that the funding available for regional museums was to increase from $5 million per year in 2002-03 to $7.5 million per year in 2003-04. Funding available under the Regional Museums Policy will now increase by another $2.8 million to $10.3 million per year from 2003-04 to 2007-08 to enable the government to contribute one half of the cost of the capital redevelopment for the Auckland Museum.

All figures are GST inclusive.