Mahara Gallery Upgrade A Step Closer

We recognize what an asset a combined gallery-library complex would be in a revitalized Waikanae Town Centre and we are working closely with the Council to make it a reality. Mahara Gallery Trust Board Chairman, Professor Les Holborow

Mahara Board welcomes Agreement signing

By Roger Childs

A lot more space needed for Kapiti's premier gallery
A lot more space needed for Kapiti’s premier gallery

The Mahara Gallery Trust Board has welcomed Monday’s (14 November) formal signing of the Agreement for the Upgrade of Mahara Gallery.

The document was signed by representatives of Council, the Mahara Gallery Trust Board and the Field Collection Trust. Mayor, K Gurunathan, signed the document on behalf of the Council.

Trust Board Chairman, Professor Les Holborow says Kāpiti Coast District Council’s plans for the revitalisation of the Waikanae Town Centre and upgrade of the Waikanae Library provide a unique opportunity to create a shared library and gallery complex.

It represents a change in direction from the original plan to redevelop or refurbish the two existing buildings but it is one we have embraced, he said.

Work in progress

This earlier proposal off the table

Kapiti readers will appreciate that upgrades to both the Mahara Gallery and the Waikanae Library  have been under discussion for over ten years. An earlier plan, (see alongside), to link the two facilities with a portal air-bridge is now off the table as other proposals are being looked at.

According to Kevin Ramshaw, Secretary of the Mahara Gallery Trust Board The Council is seeking to open up Mahara Place and as a result, is looking to combine the gallery and library on a site yet to be determined.

As far as financing the $5.2 M cost is concerned, it is probably going to be three way split

  • One third from KCDC (committed)
  • One third from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (to be negotiated)
  • One third from local fund raising ($1 M already committed)

Ball now in the Council’s court

Currently, we are waiting for the Council to establish a site and develop a plan for the combined gallery-library building before we resume our approaches to potential funders. Kevin Ramshaw

mahara-galleryLast week’s signing of the Agreement between the Trust and the Council shows a determination to see this important project through.

The Mahara Gallery is the Kapiti Coast’s only art display centre of any size, and desperately needs more space to do justice to the historic Field Collection and other exhibits. An enlarged gallery will also enhance its tourist appeal.

Meanwhile the Waikanae Library, which serves a highly literate community with a large number of retirees, is also very cramped for space.

Both the Library and Gallery are important community assets and we are committed to providing a high quality venue that will enable the Mahara Gallery to display the Field Collection and realise its visitor attraction potential. Says Mayor Gurunathan


(My thanks to Kevin Ramshaw for the information on the current status of the project.)