A council body has hired American consultants to review its cultural institutions - not long after Auckland Council paid Australian consultants $178,000 for a similar exercise.
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) has hired the American firm AEA Consulting at a cost of "less than $150,000" to look at the future of its cultural organisations.
Both reviews cover the Auckland Art Gallery and the New Zealand Maritime Museum, which the council review recommended being split from RFA.
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The Australian consultants, Stafford Strategy, picked up a concern that RFA is heavily focused on commercial matters and lacks heritage and culture strength on its board.
When the council review was released in October 2018, Mayor Phil Goff said it found the way cultural institutions are run pre-dates the Super City and are no longer fit for purpose.
It was important, he said, to come up with an enduring solution to run and fund the city's cultural institutions. Work on a solution is ongoing.
The Stafford Strategy review looked at the art gallery, maritime museum, Auckland Museum, Museum of Transport and Technology (Motat) and Stardome Observatory.
It recommended the five major institutions and dozens of others, which collectively receive more than $85 million a year, come under a new independent statutory body funded by council.
Regional Facilities strategy director Jonathan Wilcken said the AEA review was a distinct piece of work to the council review.
The review is looking at how to manage and consider long-term planning for RFA's broader base of cultural assets, which includes everything from the art gallery to the Aotea Centre, Auckland Zoo and stadiums, he said.
Wilcken said the review could help with any decisions coming out of the council review and feed into next year's long-term budget.
He said it follows a commitment from RFA chairman Andrew Barnes to councillors to review RFA and Auckland's future cultural infrastructure needs with an eye on more diverse ways to fund developments, rather than solely from rates.
AEA, he said, is a highly experienced international group working with cities to establish cultural districts and associated infrastructure.
"They will be advising us, based on international trends and benchmarks, on the cultural infrastructure strategy RFA might consider for the future."
Councillor John Watson, a strong critic of RFA's stadium plans, said the council-controlled organisation is good at spending money on reviews and plans, saying they "stretch from here to Bluff".
"It will be interesting to see what is in this latest review."