Minister's visit delayed

By John Maslin


A change of plan means the Wanganui District Council has had to defer a discussion with the Chris Finlayson, the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Mr Finlayson was scheduled to be in Wanganui tomorrow to meet local iwi about Treaty of Waitangi claims but he has had to cancel that because of overseas commitments.

While in the city he was going to spend time with the district council, which had organised an extraordinary meeting to discuss with him its funding application for the Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment project.

Last year the council had gone to Mr Finlayson seeking $10 million as a government contribution to a $22 million extension, earthquake proofing and environmental controls in the gallery but that application was turned down.

However, late last year the minister told the council that, although its initial application was turned down, it only came up short on some minor issues and getting those right would secure the funding.

Mr Finlayson also said he was aside setting a portion of funds in the regional museums policy for capital construction projects "in expectation that your proposal will be fully developed in the near future".

Mayor Annette Main told the Chronicle that the council would now be looking to reschedule the meeting with him.

"There was some information some councillors wanted to learn from the minister directly, so we'll be looking for another date," Ms Main said.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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