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New funding confirmed for Hundertwasser project - Whangarei Art Museum

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A welcome $4.5m funding boost by the Provincial Growth Fund will allow the Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Māori Art Gallery to complete construction by December 2021.

The announcement was made on site today by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones.

Whangarei Art Museum Trust chief executive Kathleen Drumm, who leads the project, said that while ongoing fundraising efforts continued, the cash injection would allow the project to forge ahead with certainty.

"We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing governmental support. What we are building here will be an iconic new cultural and tourism destination for Northland. It will attract tens of thousands of visitors each year who will spend in the city and wider region, so the benefits will be shared by all," Ms Drumm said.

Northland's Regional Economic Development Agency, Northland Inc has estimated the art centre will bring an annual economic benefit of $26 million to the region.

The project had made substantial savings within its budget to mitigate the challenges it faced, and will continue to do so wherever possible while not compromising the quality of the build or the promise of the visitor experience.

Ms Drumm said progress on site was back to normal after the halt due to COVID-19 lockdown and was currently providing work for 65 personnel.

The funding boost would bring the total PGF investment in the project to $18.4 million. The remainder of the funds had been raised through a combination of local and central government investment, along with private and community donations.

The art centre’s construction is now budgeted to cost $33.2 million.

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