After 11 Long Years, Mahara Gallery Expansion Gets The Go-Ahead

Jeremy Smith reports that it has taken Government money but, after 11 years of discussions, Waikanae’s Mahara Gallery is a major step closer to a $6.5 million redevelopment.

And this will include a permanent home for the Field Collection.

Waikanae Community Board chair James Westbury says the decision is ‘fantastic news.’

$2.1 million from Council

Kapiti district councillors have voted to confirm the funding – including $2.1m of council money – for the gallery, including space for paintings by the prominent artist Frances Hodgkins.

The government money –  $2,265,000 – comes from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage from its regional Culture and Heritage fund.

Artist’s depiction

Mahara Trust Money

Government money is backed up by the Mahara Gallery Trust’s own funding of $1.5million. Two years ago the  Waikanae Community Board pledged $254,000 for the redevelopment.

Despite the go-ahead, the Trust still faces a $700,000 shortfall.
Trust chair Gordon Shroff said their extra funding would include approaches to the  Lotteries Fund and NZ Community Trust.

They would also offer naming rights, make approaches to individuals, and run a public fund-raising campaign, as well as an art auction which could raise up to $80,000.

An ’emotional’ moment

 The council’s ‘yes’ vote brought looks of relief from trust members in the room. Trust member Kevin Ramshaw described it as emotional.

The Ministry grant included a deadline of March 31. It required the Trust to provide architectural plans and also requires the KCDC to take responsibility for the project through to its completion.

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