Prosper Northland has welcomed today’s announcement of a $4 million contribution by Central Government to the Hundertwasser Art Centre (HAC) project in Whangarei.
With more than $10 million now raised, Prosper Northland believes the project’s target of $16.25m is well within reach.
Prosper Northland Trust Chairman Barry Trass says the Government backing is a major boost.
“It is the seal of approval we have been waiting for. There are other potential funders out there who have been waiting for this announcement before committing to the project and we hope they now have confidence they are backing a winner,” says Mr Trass.
Mr Trass says with regional decline in the news so frequently, it is pleasing to have the Government work with local organisations and residents passionate about boosting their regions.
“The Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Maori Art Gallery project is fully volunteer-based, run by the community, for the community and it will eventually owned by the community. Once completed it will be an achievement we can all be proud of.”
His comments have been echoed by Whangarei-based National MP Shane Reti.
“This is one of the biggest commitments by central government to tourism facilities in Northland and will be of great economic benefit, driving visitors to museums and other tourist spots across the region,” says Mr Reti.
With $6 million still to raise by June 2017, Hundertwasser Art Centre Project Director Andrew Garratt is confident in meeting the target.
“Our business plans have now passed considered Government scrutiny and will give other major funders in the business and philanthropy areas ultimate confidence that this project is viable,” says Mr Garratt.
“We know we still have a lot of work to do but the project team is encouraged more than ever and we are looking forward to progress efforts to secure further funding.”
The project 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 Mr Garratt.
Prime Minister John Key has previously acknowledged the economic potential of the Hundertwasser Art Centre.