Queens Park set to become construction site for new museum

The area around the current museum in Queens Park is about to look a bit different, as the establishment of a work site begins and Project 1225, the museum rebuild, progresses.

Invercargill City Council has committed $39.4 million into Project 1225 to develop a new museum in Queens Park, a new home for the tuatara, and construction of a collection storage facility by December 2025. The new museum is set to open in late 2026.

From July, the site surrounding the current building will begin being fenced off and access to some walkways, roads and parking will be restricted.

Victoria Ave, from the Kelvin St end through to the Gala St Reserve crescent, will only be accessible to site vehicles, and parking will no longer be available to the public along Victoria Ave.

Access to some walking tracks around the museum site will also be changed and redirected.

Council Programme Lead Lee Butcher said the time had come for work to begin at the site of the museum, in preparation for the demolition of the current building in April.

“Setting up and establishing a work site is a very significant part of Project 1225 and this will be the moment where the community can really start to see the project come to life.

“I recognise it could be frustrating to start with as our park users adjust to the changes, but we will be doing our best to provide signage and updates to make sure people know where they can and can’t go to ensure their safety.

“We want the community to feel involved as we move along this journey so we also have plans to provide special viewing areas where the community can have a sneak peek through the fences at what is happening with construction.

“It’s important for us to remain transparent about what is involved in this project, and being able to see what is going on beyond the fences is just one small way of doing that.”

Preparation of the site is already under way with several trees coming down to make way for the new museum. The wood from these macrocarpa trees is intended for use in the new build.

Demolition of the current museum will begin in April when all items of the collection have been moved to the Tisbury storage facility. The base build is set to be completed in December 2025, and the museum will be open to the public in the second half of 2026.

Architects Fjcstudio, Evatt Martin and Design Tribe were appointed in April to design the new building, and concept designs are expected to be ready in July.

See the site establishment plans on this map: