Museum and Arts staff members Fleur MacRae and Victoria Sinclair pack collection items for transfer to safe, offsite storage during the redevelopment project.

The redevelopment of the Whakatāne Museum and Research Centre has received a $120,000 funding boost from the Lion Foundation.  The redevelopment will see a southern extension built into Burgess Park and the existing building upgraded, and Chairman of the project’s Governance Group, John Pullar, says it is fantastic that one of New Zealand’s oldest and best known charitable trusts has leant their support to the plan.

“This is a sizable donation and we are now well on track to achieving our funding goals,” Mr Pullar says, “and it also takes us a step closer to the completion of a facility that is fitting for the remarkable collection we have here in Whakatane. In addition to the public research centre and better access to the collection, the redeveloped building will also provide an educational space and expanded, climate-controlled storage, so this really is about preserving our heritage for future generations.”

Work on removing the collection from the Boon Street location to a safe storage facility is already well underway, and Whakatāne District Council Community Services Project Manager Paula Chapman says that though the process is a long one, it has also provided a reminder of the quality and diversity of items in the collection.

“The collection we have here in Whakatāne has been described as of national importance, so it will be fantastic to have a facility that we know will be able to provide a space that will help protect our community’s heritage for future generations,” she says.


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