Funding proposals discussed in private
The Hamilton City Council has been asked to endorse a $50,000 funding request for an art gallery study.
The funding application was one of three proposals seeking support from the council's external funding subcommittee.
The Arts Forum - which consists of community leaders and representatives from arts organisations and the council - formed a working group in November last year to identify a range of models for a public art gallery in Hamilton, the only major city in New Zealand without one.
Last month, the working group resolved to apply to Trust Waikato and Wel Energy Trust for $50,000 to fund an art-gallery pre-feasibility study, pending the approval of the council's external funding subcommittee.
The council has been requested to apply to external funders on their behalf of the Arts Forum and art-gallery working group because they are not legal entities.
An objective of the study will be to identify the need for a public gallery in Hamilton.
Arts Forum chairperson Pam Roa, in the study proposal, said it was "beneficial to spend a little money testing a proposal rather than commit a large amount to a project that fails".
A purpose-built gallery is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars to build.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker recommended the subcommittee discuss the pre-feasibility study proposal behind closed doors and was supported by councillors Martin Gallagher and Margaret Forsyth.
Another staff report, recommending that the council apply to Trust Waikato ($25,000) and Grassroots Trust ($57,950) for costs and fees associated with Hamilton's 150th city party celebration, was also moved to behind closed doors.
Hardaker said one of the council's jobs was to sift through projects and determine its priorities.
It was important the council decided what were the best funding applications to endorse and how much funds should be sought.
Gallagher said he was happy to have those discussions behind closed doors as long as the public was given as much information as was feasible afterwards.
A third staff report recommending the council pursue a funding application with the Next Foundation for Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park was received by the subcommittee and then moved into the public-excluded part of the meeting.
The Next Foundation aims to support environmental projects that protect and sustain New Zealand's habitats and species.