February 24, 2014
Council funding puts art gallery on hold
Supporters of a proposed new Maori art gallery in Northland fear it is about to be given the kibosh by the new Whangarei District Council.
The Wairau Maori Art Gallery is part of the proposed Hundertwasser Art Centre in the city.
A group of councilors have filed a notice of motion for Wednesday’s council meeting to remove references to the project from the annual plan, in effect withdrawing an $8 million grant made by the previous council.
Maori advisory panel chair Elizabeth Ellis says it’s a critical time for the project, as it is awaiting to hear if it will receive additional grants from central government and other funders.
She says the galleries will draw tourists to the city, both to see the work of the Austrian-born artist who made Tai Tokerau his second home for 30 years, and to see a permanent display of some of the best Maori contemporary works.
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