The Hundertwasser Art Centre is half a million dollars closer to reality thanks to a Lottery Environment and Heritage grant.

The grant was announced yesterday and brings funds for the project, with its attached Wairau Maori Art Gallery, to within two-thirds of the total amount needed.

"It pushes all our funding to around the $10.9 million mark of the total of $16.25 million needed to build the centre," HAC fundraising co-ordinator Helen Whittaker said.

The award comes during Hundertwasser Awareness Month, with planned community events to be held throughout June.

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The project needs to raise a further $5.3 million by the end of June 2017 for construction to go ahead.