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Northland Inc congratulates Prosper Northland Trust as Government commits up to $3m for HAC project

Posted on June 16, 2017

Arts, Culture & Heritage Minister Hon. Maggie Barry
Arts, Culture & Heritage Minister Hon. Maggie Barry

The build of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery was confirmed today with an announcement by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barry that the government will pledge a time limited conditional offer to grant up to $3million to the project.

The announcement was made alongside Whangarei MP Dr Shane Reti at the HAC folly Te Kakano ("the seed") at Whangarei's Town Basin, in front of a crowd of wellwishers, supporters, general public, media, stakeholders and volunteers from Prosper Northland Trust; the organisation which led the fundraising campaign.

“The fundraising is done. The project has the green light. It’s time to celebrate before building starts in earnest,” said Northland Inc Chief Executive Officer David Wilson.

The Minister’s announcement comes just days after the New Zealand Lotteries Commission pledged a grant of $3.5million to the project, taking the fundraising tally to $21.7 million – well over the Whangārei District Council project referendum target of $16.25 million and covering the revised, earthquake strengthened, build cost for the project.

Northland Inc has worked closely with Prosper Northland Trust to secure central and regional government funding, including $7 million total from government and $1.5 million from the Northland Regional Council’s Investment Growth Reserve Fund.

Mr Wilson said that over the years many individuals and groups have contributed to making Hundertwasser’s vision for Whangarei a reality but the project had trouble gaining the momentum it needed.

... everyone who has worked to get HAC over the line can feel satisfied that they have created a lasting legacy for their community.

David Wilson — Chief Executive Officer - Northland Inc

“Prosper Northland Trust has done an amazing job picking this up and bringing it to fruition – they really need to be congratulated for having achieved something momentous. For $21.7 million to have been raised in a community-led project run solely by volunteers is staggering.”

Northland Inc has calculated the HAC’s direct economic impact for Northland at $37 million with an ongoing economic impact of $26 million per annum. For every $1 invested by government a return into the regional economy of $9 after the first year of operation has been calculated.

“The HAC will have the same effect as Te Papa has had in Wellington, Te Kōngahu - Museum of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, Len Lye in Taranaki or even the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. When the region’s economy is stronger as a result of this project, and when Whangarei stands as an international visitor destination in its own right, everyone who has worked to get HAC over the line can feel satisfied that they have created a lasting legacy for their community,” said Mr Wilson.