Hundertwasser project moving ahead with confidence

Posted: 03/07/20

The fundraising teams led first by Prosper Northland Trust and now Whangarei Art Museum have raised money for the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery from government, as well as from private and public charities, businesses, personal donations and sales. The construction is at an advanced stage, with tiling and brick work underway. Rooftop plantings will begin later this year. The goal is to deliver an exceptional cultural destination that transforms people’s lives through the power of art and nature, while supporting economic growth and development for the region. Northland Inc has calculated the HAC’s direct economic impact for Northland at $37 million, with an ongoing impact of $26 million per annum.

Funds have been raised towards the construction cost, the fit-out cost, the cost of insuring and transporting Hundertwasser artworks from Europe to Whangarei, costs associated with the impact of Covid-19, and the living rooftop and sculpture installations. On top of this, funds have been raised towards the cost of Te Kakano and the underwrite (required by Council). 

Central Government provided $18.5m via the Provincial Growth Fund. Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council provided $5.5m (including sunk costs and funding as a result of the referendum). Community funds of $10m have been raised from Lotteries, Foundation North and Oxford Sports Trust. Funds have also been raised from private and public donations, as well as from sales.

The project has been a significant driver of employment, and currently 84 people are working on aspects of the build. Trigg Construction estimates that so far more than 500 people have been employed for as much as a few hours to many days and weeks – from ice road construction and services diversions – to demolition, asbestos removal, air testing, piling, earthworks, subfloor waterproofing, ground beam steel fixing, insitu wall construction and steel fixing, plumbing and draining, concrete supply and concrete pumping, precast manufacturing and installation, plastering, tiling, bricklaying, roof waterproofing, project management and administration. Additional people will be employed for landscaping, planting, ceilings, gib fixing and painting work. We also acknowledge the many hours invested by over 100 volunteers, who have contributed towards the project across the years.

The Hundertwasser Art Centre will open in December 2021.