Strategy in place to meet additional cost; focus remains on achieving $16.25 million referendum target
Prosper Northland Trust have released revised figures for the build cost of the Hundertwasser Art Centre after undertaking due diligence on project plans.
The revised cost of the project is now $20.977 million with additional costs attributed to:
- The result of core sampling at the building site and subsequent engineer’s review;
- Learnings from the effect of the Kaikoura earthquake on Wellington
- Learnings from the building of Te Kakano;
- And an increase in building and materials costs.
While all factors are outside of PNT’s control, the trust is happy that the resulting plan meets a higher structural standard and ensures increased transparency around the expected build total.
Trust chairman Barry Trass says though the group is quietly confident they can meet the additional project costs, the focus must remain on meeting the referendum target of $16.25 million. The trust needs to raise a final $1.6 million plus the project underwrite before June 30, 2017, to ensure the project goes ahead.
“We are very close to reaching our initial target but we are not there yet. We have a strategy in place to fund the additional building costs but that means nothing if we don’t meet the June 30 referendum target of $16.25m.”
Mr Trass says the trust is working with potential funding sources from outside of the region to meet the additional build costs.
“We took this pro-active step to review the project plans to ensure any potential surprises would be revealed before building begins. The referendum figure of $16.25m is two years old now, so there was an understanding that the actual build cost could be higher.
“We are comfortable with the revised costs, and the resulting plans which ensure the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery is a lasting asset for our community,” he says.
The structural improvements make up $3.6m of the cost increase with the balance of $1.1m being building industry cost increases.
Sir Ron Carter, one of New Zealand’s most respected engineers and a supporter of the Hundertwasser Arts Centre with Wairau Maori Art gallery says Prosper Northland Trust has acted professionally and prudently in seeking further engineering advice.
“This project will become a long lasting iconic feature for the region. It makes good sense to have a robust design that meets the latest standards.”
National and local community support remains overwhelming for the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery, which is a unique social, cultural and economic opportunity for Northland, says Mr Trass.
“The latest statistics from MBIE show that total tourism spend in Northland has increased 20% since the original HAC economic impact calculations were done. This means we can be confident that the project will bring more than $22 mill each year into the community and that the Northland region will have generated more out of this project in just a single year than what it would cost to build.”