A $400,000 grant will not only provide a lifeline for Whangārei's Kiwi North, but it will also help the museum move forward.
Allie Fry, Director of Operations at Kiwi North, said there was jubilation at Kiwi North with the announcement of the grant from the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Programme.
''This is not only a lifeline for us but allows us to keep moving forward.
"There are really no words to describe the relief of knowing that our team, the museum collections, our education and community programmes and the living taonga in the Kiwi House are secure for another two years. Although the future is far from predictable, we can now go forward with more confidence,'' Fry said.
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The grant addresses a deficit in operating income. Visitor revenue has been halved due to the loss of the international market as a result of the borders being closed due to Covid-19. The funds are needed to do long-awaited repairs to the museum's 36-year-old roof.
It also contains the final funding necessary to start the extensive conservation project of Glorat, the Clarke homestead, a Grade II Heritage NZ-listed building, protecting the significant funds already raised towards the capital project.
The collation, packing and storing of Glorat's collection will provide employment, as well as work for the builders contracted to do the conservation work, she said.
''We are extremely grateful and proud of the recognition of Kiwi North as a strategic asset of the Tai Tokerau Northland's tourism network. This formal acknowledgement of its value to the tourism sector is intrinsic to the organisation's future,'' Fry said.
Kiwi North is owned and governed by the Whangārei Museum and Heritage Trust. Kiwi North, at Maunu, is home of the only kiwi house in Northland and is a charitable trust. It depends heavily on income from visitor admissions, Fry said. It also houses lizards and tuatara.
The Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme has been allocated to support tourism businesses, Inbound Tour Operators, and Regional Tourism Organisation.
Decisions were made by the Tourism Recovery Ministers group, supported by MBIE advice.