Auckland's Maritime Museum appoints director

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 17:15 16/07/2013

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Auckland's Maritime Museum, Voyager, has appointed a new director to oversee a proposed $25 million redevelopment of the facility.

Linda Wigley, who has just resigned as head of Toitu Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin, has been given the Auckland role.

Wigley will take charge of the museum on September 27, and oversee a proposed $25m refurbishment of Voyager.

A specialist in museum project fundraising and management, she has just finished a $40m state-of-the-art transformation of Toitu.

Voyager's acting director, David Hebblethwaite, confirmed the appointment and the proposed redevelopment of the entire museum site.

Hebblethwaite said the $25m for the redevelopment was a ballpark figure.

"We've got ambitious plans that are quite well formulated. We are looking at the entire site, holistically. That includes gallery spaces, including those outside the museum, the pontoon and marina area.

"We are looking at a co-ordinated redevelopment programme so we have a lot to offer visitors."

The Auckland waterfront was undergoing substantial change, he said.

"We are looking at how the maritime museum, as the only actual cultural attraction on the waterfront, can be an active contributor to that.

Hebblethwaite declined to release more detailed plans for the site. Delicate stakeholder and funder discussions were taking place, he said.

"We're really just at the beginning of that work. It will be the best part of 18 months to get the funding together."

Fundraising and a revisiting of the museum's financial model would cover cost of the redevelopment.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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