The Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangārei will be a superb boost for Māori artists, a prominent advocate for Māori art says.
The $21 million project reached its fundraising target with the announcement yesterday of a $3m grant from the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage grant from the government.
The upper floor will showcase Hundertwasser's life and art, and Te Wairau Māori art gallery will be housed on the ground floor of the building.
Elizabeth Ellis, chairperson of the gallery's advisory board, said New Zealand would have its first gallery dedicated to the very best of Māori fine arts.
"This means that we will have for the first time ever, a dedicated contemporary Māori art gallery in this country - in the world actually."
Ms Ellis said there would be permanent and rotating exhibitions and a full-time Māori curator.
Yesterday's announcement brings the total government contribution to the project to $7m. Work could start before Christmas on the building.