Feedback sought on museum rebuild options

The Invercargill community will this month be asked their views on options identified for the future of the region’s museum.

Invercargill City Council committed in its Long Term Plan 2021-2031 to invest $39.4 million to redevelop the region’s museum and art gallery and agreed to review whether a new building would better meet the region’s needs.

An independent Governance Group was formed in August to reimagine the museum and art gallery and make recommendations to Council on the best outcomes to deliver a future cultural facility in the city.

The Governance Group finalised their vision and recommendations to Council in December 2021.

Council will now consider their recommendations and select a preferred option for consultation during the draft Annual Plan 2022/23 Consultation from 24 March.

Council Group Manager Leisure and Recreation Steve Gibling said the group had created a vision for a redeveloped cultural facility that was unique to New Zealand, connects visitors to the local environment, becomes a community hub, tells our stories, and sparks curiosity.

“The community has been clear they want to see action on the museum. We know how important this is to our people,” Mr Gibling said.

“The Governance Group has set out a clear vision and has looked at all the options, considered the needs and wishes of the community, taken professional advice and set out a vision and direction for the future of the museum that is truly aspirational and exciting.”

Based on feedback from the community during Long Term Plan consultation, the group considered different options for the facility, including reopening the existing pyramid facility or building a new facility. Two size and scale options, both larger than the current facility and both requiring an off-site, standalone storage building to house the region’s heritage collection have been presented.

Both new build options would require additional funding of between $13 million and $23 million.

The governance group also considered the location and have recommended the current location at Queens Park to be the most appropriate for any future facility.

“This is an important facility for our local community and significant funding has been set aside. We want to hear from as many people as possible about their views and wishes so we can push ahead.”

The Council will formally receive the Governance Group report at an Extraordinary Infrastructural Services meeting on Tuesday 15 March, where they will vote on recommendations to consult on the options for the museum.

Detailed information will be made available to the public and feedback sought during public consultation on this year’s Annual Plan, from 24 March.
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