Museum storage facility officially opened in Invercargill

Southland’s new museum collection storage facility at Tisbury has been officially opened in a formal ceremony today.

Invercargill City Council’s Project 1225 development includes the construction of the new storage facility, Te Pātaka Taoka Southern Regional Collections Storage Facility, as well as that of a specialist tuatara enclosure and a new museum, Te Unua Museum of Southland.

Te Pātaka Taoka is the first of the three facilities to be completed, with construction finished in December 2023.

Invercargill Deputy Mayor Tom Campbell said he was delighted to welcome about 70 key stakeholders to the opening event, during which Invercargill MP and Minister Penny Simmonds unveiled a commemorative plaque to celebrate the occasion.

“Ticking off the first completed build of Project 1225 is a huge milestone, and it was great to celebrate this with members of our community who have been integral in its creation,” he said.

“If Project 1225 is about bringing our region’s stories back to life, the construction of Te Pātaka Taoka Southern Regional Collections Facility is about ensuring those stories are preserved and protected with the mana they deserve.”

Lead Councillor for Project 1225, Grant Dermody, said it was fantastic to be able to show stakeholders through the facility.

“Te Pātaka Taoka Southern Regional Collections Facility is a tremendous regional asset. Through the construction of Southland’s first dedicated museum collection storage facility, Invercargill City Council has been able to ensure the history of our region will continue to be protected and shared with our community for generations to come,” he said.

The 1650m2 facility included temperature-controlled storage areas and specialist shelving to ensure taonga are stored appropriately, offices, and the first-ever conservation lab for museum collection items within the region.

The process to transfer items from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery is expected to continue until April. Items from other regional museum collections will also be housed within the Tisbury facility.

Minister Penny Simmonds officially declared the facility open.

“I am excited to mark this momentous occasion celebrating the inauguration of the Tisbury Storage Facility, a crucial milestone in the Invercargill City Council’s Project 1225,” she said.

“I am delighted to be part of this exciting project and look forward to the first stage of getting our museum back on track.”

The tuatara enclosure is expected to be completed mid-2024. Meanwhile, demolition on the existing Southland Museum and Art Gallery is scheduled to begin about the same time, once all items within the collection are transferred to the new storage facility at Tisbury.

Click here to find out more about Project 1225.