More delays for treasures building

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 05:00 29/08/2014

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Work is yet to start on a new home for Hawke's Bay's cultural treasures that cannot fit in its $18 million museum because it is too small.

Just 10 per cent of the $44m collection owned by the Hawke's Bay Museums Trust is on display in the new MTG Hawke's Bay building.

The building, which opened last September, can house only 40 per cent of the collection, which consists of about 100,000 objects.

When the old museum closed in 2010, the collection was moved into the old Rothmans building, with 10 per cent of it going into the new building. The basement storage area remains empty.

Napier City Council aims to spend about $600,000 on a purpose-built structure at its depot in the industrial area of Onekawa, because its lease on the Rothmans building expires in January.

Council chief executive Wayne Jack said last month he expected the building to be completed quickly, and the collection moved "around September/October".

Now he says the building will not be completed until early next year.

"It is still in the planning stage as we work through the building requirements. A draft design will be developed within the next month that will then enable a costing to be made."

An accurate idea of cost would be known once the design was complete.

He could not exactly say when the new building would be finished or how long the collection would stay at the Rothmans building.

The council's lease on the Rothmans building, about $20,000 a month, will be extended on a monthly basis until the new building is completed.

Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana has objected to the plan to store taonga in a "tool shed at a depot". He favoured taonga being kept at a proposed innovation and cultural centre in Hastings Civic Square, where it could be on public view.

Jack said when a design for the new storage building was completed, "we will discuss this with key stakeholders including Ngati Kahungunu".

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- The Dominion Post

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