Arts centre plan gets $50k grant for build

By Lindy Laird

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The Te Kakano (the seed) folly, a precursor to the Hundertwasser Art Centre that has just been granted $50,000.
The Te Kakano (the seed) folly, a precursor to the Hundertwasser Art Centre that has just been granted $50,000.

The Hundertwasser museum project has been granted a further $50,000.

Pub Charity Limited has granted $50,000 towards "the first stage of the Hundertwasser project", a 5m-high, stand-alone, brick and tile structure in the Hundertwasser style but not designed by the late artist or the Vienna-based foundation set up to promote and protect his signature work.

The koru-shaped building which will house a seating area will be constructed on the grassed area across the service lane between the former harbour board building and the park.

"This is a welcome boost to efforts to get this first structure under way, and comes on top of a generous $100,000 donation from the Tiger Trust," said Barry Trass, on behalf of Prosper Northland Trust, the main driver behind the project.

The $300,000 building is officially known as Te Kakano (the seed).

Te Kakano's approval by the Whangarei District Council back in June was controversial because it had not been mentioned in the referendum papers.

Prosper Northland holds that Te Kakano was part of the proposal that Whangarei ratepayers voted for. The trust said the building is necessary to enable craftspeople and builders to master the techniques before the larger project begins.

The council also voted in June for Te Kakano's $3500 annual maintenance and security costs to be the responsibility of Whangarei Art Museum Trust (WAMT). That way, as previously promised to ratepayers, the council would not have Hundertwasser-related expenses on its books.

Te Kakano is almost fully funded now and work will start after the consent process is finalised, expected to be later this month.

Should the required $16.25 million not be in hand for the Hundertwasser museum building before June next year, that project will have missed its deadline and not go ahead.

- Northern Advocate

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