Regional museum collection storage facility build officially complete

Construction of the first strand of Invercargill City Council’s Project 1225 – to build three key cultural facilities in the city – is officially complete, right on schedule.

Project 1225 will see the construction of a new museum, a specialist tuatara enclosure, and a museum collection storage facility undertaken in Invercargill.

The build of the first of the three projects, the Tisbury storage facility, has officially been completed.

Invercargill City Councillor Grant Dermody, the lead councillor on Project 1225, said the completion of the Tisbury storage facility was a significant milestone.

“We know how much Project 1225 means to our community, and we are pleased to have ticked off one hugely important milestone,” he said.

“The Tisbury storage facility is a crucial part of Project 1225. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery collection numbers more than four million items, and while Invercargill’s new museum is set to have a larger footprint than the former Southland Museum and Art Gallery, there is simply no feasible way to have each of these on public display all of the time.

“There is obviously still a lot of work ahead of us, but it is exciting to see Project 1225 continuing to progress. We look forward to reaching more milestones as we move through the project, and deliver important cultural facilities for our community,” Dermody said.

Council Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said she was delighted that the project had been delivered on time.

“The Tisbury storage facility is the first part of Project 1225 to be completed, and we are thrilled to have chalked up its completion. Our contractor, ABL, has done a tremendous job and the facility is looking fantastic – it is an absolute asset to the people of Invercargill, and the wider Southland community,” she said.

“Our region has a wealth of history, a wealth of stories, and we are thrilled to now have a purpose-built facility available to keep our taonga safe.”

The 1650 m2 facility included state-of-the-art shelving, temperature and humidity-controlled storage areas, office space and workrooms, and Southland’s first-ever regional conservation lab. Construction began in December 2022.

Items from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery will begin to be transferred to the new storage facility, after a private tapu-lifting ceremony led by rūnanga. The process of transferring collection items from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery is expected to be completed by the end of March 2024.

Meanwhile, the new specialist tuatara facility is scheduled to be completed in April 2024.

The base build of the new museum, Te Unua Museum of Southland, is scheduled to be completed by December 2025. Following that, the experience build will begin, with Te Unua Museum of Southland set to officially open to the public in late 2026.

Click here to learn more about Project 1225