Prosper Northland has thanked Prime Minister John Key for performing the formal sod turning of Te Kakano – the precursor trial building to the Hundertwasser Art Centre(HAC) in Whangarei.
Just weeks after Central Government committed $4 million to the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery (HAC) project, Prosper Northland Trust Chairman Barry Trass says it is immensely satisfying to have Mr Key effectively kick-start the build process.
“Te Kakano signifies the first tangible step of the project commencing. We anticipate starting Te Kakano in April and that will be a 16 week process where tests will be conducted on the methods to be used on the main build of the Hundertwasser Art Centre,” says Mr Trass.
All Hundertwasser buildings must start with a process where the required skills and techniques of construction and artistic elements are practiced, refined and then approved by the Hundertwasser Foundation.
Mr Trass says Te Kakano, which has a Koru shaped footprint of approximately six metres diameter at its centre, will become an attraction in its own right and a great addition to the ‘loop walkway’.
“It will be a permanent public amenity in which people can sit and walk up to a lookout area. They will be able to examine details of the artistic elements typical of the Hundertwasser style.
“We greatly appreciate the Government’s support and will look to the community and other significant funders to help us cross the line. The community can help us make this happen and we will be releasing information on our next step in weeks to come.”
The Hundertwasser Art Centre has been identified as a significant contributor to the economic future of the Northland region. Recent economic analysis by Northland Inc predicts a return of $4 to the region for every $1 of Government money spent on the project, says Project Director Andrew Garratt.
More than $10 million has now been raised by Prosper Northland and Mr Trass believes the project’s target of $16.25m by June 2017 is achievable with the help of the community and other major donors.