The Moutoa Gardens memorial to Maori soldiers who fought in World War I is to receive a facelift worth nearly $500,000.

The Pakaitore Historic Reserve Board, which administers Moutoa Gardens, this week received confirmation from the Lottery World War I Commemorations committee that it would be given $431,980 to restore the monument, which needs repairing.

However, there's a catch - the work must be completed by April 18, 2015, less than two years away.

Board chairman Hamish McDouall said the entire board was "amazed and delighted" when they received the news of the funding, which will cover the cost of the restoration in full. He said the board was not intimidated by the short time-frame.


"We want to have the monument finished in time for the centennial celebrations of the landing at Gallipoli. That date falls a week after we have to have the work finished, so the timing is perfect."

Mr McDouall said he had been confident the board would receive some money but he was thrilled the project would be fully funded.

"The monument is very significant, but the amount we applied for was certainly at the high end."

The Lottery World War I Commemorations committee is a government organisation tasked with providing funding for community events, activities and capital projects associated with commemorating the centenary of World War I.

Most of the money for the work will go towards stone masonry construction and conservation.

The monument, which is made of shell rock, was formally opened in 1925. It has been in poor condition for a long time - including a large crack down the middle of the column - and was under threat from an earthquake or strong gust of wind.

In March this year, stage one of the restoration project began. The marble statue of local Maori soldier Herewini Whakarua was removed and put in storage, and waling beams were put around the column to keep it secure.

This stage cost $50,000, which was paid for by the board. Mr McDouall said the next piece of work to be done will be a detailed assessment of the monument's foundations.

"After that's been done, we will put together a clear time-frame for the work to be finished."

He said he wished to thank the board's administrator, Rosemary Tennant, who was instrumental in compiling the board's application for funding.

Where the money will go

Engineering design, supervision and documentation: $26,450.

Conservation supervision and documentation: $34,500.

Stone masonry work, construction and conservation: $288,241.

Earthworks and engineering construction works: $82,789.