Funding for island museum

Arts, Culture and Heritage associate minister Hon Carmel Sepuloni visiting the current Rakiura Museum last week. PHOTO: Supplied

The Government has confirmed a $1 million grant to the Rakiura Heritage Centre building in Stewart Island.

The Government has confirmed a $1 million grant to the Rakiura Heritage Centre building in Stewart Island. 

Arts, Culture and Heritage associate minister Hon Carmel Sepuloni signed off on the funding last week, having met with the Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust on Friday to congratulate it on its work to secure the funding. 

The $1.08 million grant is provided to the trust from the Government's Regional Culture and Heritage Fund. 

Trust funding manager Jo Learmonth said the announcement was significant because it meant the trust now had the money it needed to construct the centre.

Ground works would be underway this month.

Last year the previous Government had offered to grant funds subject to some conditions.

Mrs Learmonth said it took the trust longer than anticipated to meet the conditions attached to the grant, which mostly came down to the difficulty of organising a large-scale construction effort on Stewart Island.

The new centre will display around half the museum's current collection, while the remaining collection will be safely stored in a much improved collection storage space. 

It will incorporate environmentally-friendly design features including solar power generation and water collection. 

Ms Sepuloni said the New Zealand Fire Service made the new site available to the trust and community members had worked tirelessly to raise funds for the project. 

Other key contributors to the project include Lotteries Special Projects Fund, Lotteries Environment and Heritage, Community Trust of Southland, Southland Regional Heritage Committee, Rakiura Maori Land Trust, and a Department of Conservation Rakiura National Park grant.


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