Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology could be split in two with the science, technology and innovation arm merged with Stardome.

These are among the recommendations in a review of the city's cultural and heritage bodies that attempts to address concerns over funding, governance and poor relations with council.

The final report by a firm of Australian consultants, Stafford Strategy, proposes a new centralised body to oversee and fund Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand Maritime Museum, Motat, Stardome and other cultural and heritage bodies funded by council.

Ratepayers stump up about $60 million a year for the five main cultural and heritage bodies and a further $25m for dozens of other organisations that make up the city's cultural tapestry.


The review said there is a general concern that council is insufficiently connected to the culture and heritage sector and there is a case to simplify funding, control and accountability.

It has proposed a new statutory entity in the medium term with an independent governing board that receives all of council's culture and heritage funding and allocates it across the sector.

Among the recommendations are:
Auckland Museum remain as it is with its own governing body.

Auckland Art Gallery should move to independent or semi-independent status.

Motat could be split in two, one focused on science, technology and innovation, and one on transport heritage. Science, technology and innovation could be moved to a "socially and economically disadvantaged area of Auckland", such as south or west Auckland. Transport could stay at Western Springs, where surplus land could be sold.

Stardome remains as it, but could merge with Motat's science, technology and innovation arm.

New Zealand Maritime Museum should be at least a semi-independent entity.

The five institutions and Regional Facilities Auckland would not comment on the review, issuing a joint statement saying they endorsed the comments of Mayor Phil Goff and looked forward to working collaboratively to develop an "exciting and vibrant arts, culture and heritage sector".


Goff said the "discussion paper" concludes the current arrangements are no longer fit for purpose and outlines a number of options as the basis for consultation.

Motat could be split in two between transport heritage and science, technology and innovation. Photo / Supplied
Motat could be split in two between transport heritage and science, technology and innovation. Photo / Supplied

"It is important that we have a coherent and consistent system of governance and funding that ensures our city's most iconic institutions are getting the best from the large investment the council makes in this important area," he said.

Goff said the council will take whatever time is needed to deliver a strong and enduring future for Auckland's cultural institutions.

Earlier feedback to the consultants, published in the final report, showed dissatisfaction with council and Regional Facilities Auckland, and a desire for greater independence.

Motat was opposed to being split in two, Stardome supported the idea of having a true science centre and Regional Facilities Auckland wanted to be the single culture and heritage body.