$1m funding for Stewart Island heritage centre

Minister Maggie Barry looks around the museum collection. Source: Southland District Council.

PRESS RELEASE: Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry

A new purpose-built heritage centre on Stewart Island will receive more than $1m in Government funding, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has announced.

“I’m very pleased to announce the Government is committing $1.08m to the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust to build a modern fit-for-purpose facility through the Regional Culture & Heritage Fund,” Ms Barry says.

“The Trust has done a sterling job bringing together its community, local sponsors and business people to achieve a project which will enhance this very special place for generations to come.”

“Rakiura has a rich and fascinating story to tell, but the current museum was simply too small for an increasingly large and valuable collection. It’s time Stewart Island had an appropriate facility for islanders and visitors to enjoy.”

“The new building will allow up to half of the collection to be displayed, and for the rest to be stored safely and securely. It’s also an environmentally-friendly design which incorporates solar power generation and water collection.

“For such a small community, Rakiura has done well to achieve their goals and leverage funds towards the project, and I am pleased today’s Government commitment covers the full remaining shortfall for the building’s construction phase.

“I would like to acknowledge the strong role of local MP Sarah Dowie, who has been a committed advocate for the project and for Stewart Island, and also the generosity of the New Zealand Fire Service, which has made land available at a peppercorn rental for 100 years.”

The Government’s contribution to the $3.609m centre is conditional on the project securing resource consent by 20 December 2017.  A decision on the resource consent application is due in the next few weeks.

Friday’s announcement is the fifth of this year’s RCHF commitments. More will follow in the coming weeks.

Further information about the RCHF can be found at: www.mch.govt.nz/RegionalCultureHeritageFund

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