Whangarei’s future as an international destination took a big step forward today with Northland Regional Council voting to inject $1.5million into the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery project (HAC).
This contribution brings the Hundertwasser Project Team to 90 percent (or just $2M short) of their $16.25M target by 30 June.
The HAC will have a direct economic impact with much wider local and regional visitation and impact as a result, said David Wilson, Northland Inc chief executive officer.
David said the HAC will add to Whangarei’s already vibrant arts and culture sector and recreate Whangarei from a pass-through destination to a must see riverside city with an iconic cultural attraction of international significance.
“It would also contribute to Northland Inc’s strategic tourism objectives of regional dispersal, and increased all weather, shoulder and off season activity.”
The HAC will add to Whangarei’s already vibrant arts and culture sector and recreate Whangarei from a pass-through destination to a must see riverside city with an iconic cultural attraction of international significance.David Wilson — Chief Executive Officer, Northland Inc.
Northland Inc led the application for funding from the NRC’s Investment Growth Reserve Fund, with support from Prosper Northland Trust and the Hundertwasser Project Team. Around $13.1million had already been raised through support from Whangarei District Council, community fundraising, Foundation North, The NZ Lottery Grants Board and $4million government funding announced by former Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce in February 2016 at the launch of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.
“NRC’s decision today demonstrates their commitment to the economic future and viability of Whangarei and Northland, and we congratulate them for their vision,” said David.
David said the economic impact reaches well beyond the tourism and visitor dollar. “If this project goes ahead, Whangarei can expect a direct economic impact from construction of around $28million and the creation of around 68 full-time equivalent employees as a result.”
People are urged to visit www.yeswhangarei.co.nz for ways to support the project.
For more news on the $1.5m lift for Hundertwasser, read Northland Advocate story here.