Museum Governance Group Chair appointed, search for members commences

Experienced South Island director Rex Williams has been appointed Independent Chairman of the governance group that will make recommendations to the Invercargill City Council on the best outcomes to deliver a future museum in the city.

As part of deliberations on the LTP, Council has agreed to establish the governance group to review, assess and make recommendations to Council on the best outcomes for the city as it looks to deliver the future museum service.

GM Leisure and Recreation Steve Gibling said Mr Williams possessed the ideal business and public sector acumen, and museum sector knowledge, to chair the governance group.

The purpose of the governance group is to create a unique and compelling vision for the museum that will define the nature of the service for the community of Invercargill and solidify its role in the Southland region.

Mr Williams, who was educated as a civil engineer, spent 40 years as a manager in the building materials sector, including 10 years as managing director of Holcim Ltd.

Since retiring from full-time employment in 2007, he has had a range of governance roles, Chair of West Coast District Health Board, Chancellor of Canterbury University, and a Commissioner of Environment Canterbury. He has been a director of HW Richardson Group and subsidiaries since 2006, including 12 years as Chairman.

Mr Williams said he developed a special interest in art galleries and museums, big and small, in many different locations, during overseas travel.

“I have learned the importance of understanding the philosophy of community decision making and the connection to successful museums and galleries,” he said.

Mr Gibling said the governance group will be made up of seven members, including five skill-based appointees and one member nominated by iwi.

“The group needs to be composed of capable people able to work cohesively to address a complex arrangement of technical and service oriented advice.”

Council are releasing today an Expression of Interest (EOI) for all potential members who wish to be considered for the group.

The full EOI and terms and references for the governance group can be found here.

The appointments panel is to be made up of Mr Williams, Chief Executive of ICC Clare Hadley, as representative of staff as operators, and a staff representative on behalf of the two local funding organisations (Invercargill Licensing Trust and Community Trust South).

The panel will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate skill and/or experience in the following (including a tangible link to the arts / creativity / science / education / museum focused sectors): experience in capital project delivery, an understanding of current building standards, an understanding of customer experience, and a range of relationships relevant to the project.

The EOI process will close on the 21st July and appointments will be made by the 26th July.

The group will need to make its recommendations to Council in time for inclusion in the draft Annual Plan 2022/23.  On this basis, the group will be called together in July 2021 and with a preliminary report provided prior to Christmas 2021, and their initial advice should be completed by the end of February 2022.

Council has confirmed the preferred option to invest $39.4M of $52.5M total budget – and including $12.9M of third party funding – for the museum 2021 – 2026. Its preferred location remains Queens Park at this stage and the delivery will be no more than one year later in 2026/2027.