Taranaki, Wairarapa & Southland first regions to benefit from Regional Museums funding

  • Judith Tizard
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard announced the first recipients of funding under the government's Regional Museums Policy in New Plymouth today.

The government has decided to fund three projects from the $2.55 million (GST inclusive) available for Regional Museums in the 2001/02 year:

„h The Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore receives $30,000 towards construction for the Dr John Money Wing.

„h The new Wairarapa Arts and History Centre in Masterton receives $320,000 towards the construction of the centre, which replaces the Wairarapa Arts Centre.

„h The Puke Ariki Museum and Library Project in New Plymouth receives the remainder of this year's funding, $2.2 million. The government has also signalled its intention to make a further contribution of $2 million to Puke Ariki over the next two years. This is a total commitment of $4.2 million.

"The Regional Museums Policy delivers on the government's commitment to helping ensure the preservation and accessibility of our cultural heritage.

"We announced the policy only three months ago, and here we are today announcing the first grants," said Judith Tizard at the Puke Ariki construction site.

Launching the policy in June, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark said, "Where there are collections of national significance, the government does accept a limited role on behalf of all New Zealanders ¡K in funding projects focused on properly housing such collections."

Judith Tizard said today that as a result of careful analysis of a number of applications, it was decided the three successful applicants fit the criteria specified in the policy.

"One of the criteria was that the projects already had strong regional support. Their success is a sign that their communities are working together to preserve our heritage and build resources for present and future generations.

"I am confident that these projects will prove to be outstanding assets for the Taranaki, Southland and Wairarapa regions, and the country as a whole.

"I would like to congratulate all three successful recipients. Their enthusiasm and expertise show what can be achieved with vision, community pride and dedication to excellence," Judith Tizard told those gathered at the Puke Ariki site.

John McDonald, the Funding Manager for the Wairarapa Arts and History Centre, said, "In terms of smaller communities in New Zealand, the Regional Museums Policy has been a God-send".

In 2002/03, funding of $5 million will be available under the Regional Museums Policy, rising to $7.5 million the following year. Funding will continue at that third year level in baselines.

Details of the three projects:

Eastern Southland Gallery ¡V Dr John Money Wing

„h $30,000 towards construction of the Dr John Money Wing;
„h The Eastern Southland Gallery's redevelopment project is in large part due to the very generous decision by Dr John Money to give his personal art collection to the gallery.
„h In addition, Ralph Hotere has gifted a collection of his works for permanent exhibition. The significance of these gifts in terms of their intrinsic value signal a confidence in the Gallery's ability to care for and display these items.
„h The government recognises that the development at the Eastern Southland Gallery will offer a great deal to the cultural life and economy of the Southland community, as well as visitors from the rest of New Zealand and the world.

Wairarapa Arts and History Centre
„h $320,000 towards construction of the Wairarapa Arts and History Centre, which replaces the Wairarapa Arts Centre.
„h The lack of space until now has meant that important cultural and historical material such as Taonga Maori from throughout the Wairarapa has been lost to the region, or stored away from public access.
„h The new gallery space means these treasures can be put on display. Many people have already been inspired to come forward with more artefacts of great significance. The new museum and gallery will tell many stories of the history of the region, and the meeting and interaction of Maori and Pakeha cultures.
„h The new centre is on track to open in late November.

Puke Ariki
„h $2.2 million GST inclusive, will go to Puke Ariki.
„h In addition it is the government's intention, (albeit not a legally binding commitment), to make a further contribution of $2 million to Puke Ariki over the next two years, making a total contribution of $4.2 million over three years.
„h Puke Ariki seeks to combine in a unique way the services of the Taranaki Museum and the New Plymouth District Library.
„h The new development will allow unprecedented public access to the Taranaki collections, including the much-treasured taonga Maori collection 95% of which have had to exist in storage.
„h Puke Ariki is a combined effort of the region as a whole: The New Plymouth District Council, the Taranaki Regional Council, the TSB Community Trust, the eight major Iwi, represented by Komiti Maori, and Westgate Port Taranaki, Shell Petroleum Mining, and Methanex.