4 Feb 2016

New funds for Hundertwasser centre

8:57 pm on 4 February 2016

Prominent retired businessmen Sir Ron Carter is throwing his weight behind the proposed Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei.

An artist's impression of the proposed Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei.

An artist's impression of the proposed Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei. Photo: SUPPLIED

The government announced today it would contribute $4 million towards the construction of the centre, which it said would boost tourism in Northland and create jobs.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce made the announcement as part of the launch of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan in Kerikeri.

The funding is subject to the Whangarei Museum Trust obtaining the additional $8.2m needed for the project.

Sir Ron said the government's contribution would give other organisations and philanthropists the confidence to contribute the remaining funds.

The former engineer and concrete magnate said he was an admirer of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's work and would himself be making a donation.

Years of argument

The late Austrian artist, who lived in Northland, suggested the design, which would transform an old building at the town's marina, in 2003.

A model of the proposed Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei.

Late Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who lived in Northland, designed the centre in 2003. Photo: SUPPLIED

After years of argument about it, the council has agreed to let a local trust raise money to build it.

The trust said it was delighted the government had come to the party, and that Sir Ron was now championing the cause.

The centre, which would include the Wairau Māori Art Gallery, would bring an estimated $3.7m into the Northland economy each year.

Dover Samuels and Winston Peters listen as Steven Joyce announces the funding boost for the Hundertwasser Art Centre at an event in Kerikeri on 4 February 2015..

Ngāpuhi elder Dover Samuels, left, and Northland MP Winston Peters, fourth from left, listen as Mr Joyce announces the funding boost for the Hundertwasser Art Centre. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Steven Joyce announces government funding for the Hundertwasser Art Centre, at an event launching the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan at the Marsden Estate winery in Kerikeri on 4 February 2016..

Mr Joyce speaks at the event, at the Marsden Estate winery in Kerikeri. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

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