The presentation of a Mayoral Letter of Commendation was one of the tributes extended to Professor Les Holborow at a function to mark his retirement as Chairman of the Mahara Gallery Trust Board.

Professor Holborow is standing down after serving as Mahara Board Chair for almost 5 years.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K. Gurunathan presented Professor Holborow with the letter of commendation in recognition of his services to the arts.

“The Mayoral Office formally wishes to recognise the outstanding work Professor Les Holborow has contributed to the ongoing success of Mahara Gallery and its flagship role in promoting and inspiring the arts in our Kapiti communities,” said the Mayor.

“Professor Holborow has brought a wealth of arts governance and fundraising experience and delivered these with a level distinction that’s a credit to the Board, Kāpiti’s arts community and Kapiti at large.”

Mayor Gurunathan described Professor Holborow as a tireless champion of the Gallery redevelopment project among the arts community, his friends and political contacts.

“Over the five years he had chaired the Mahara Gallery Trust Board, he has succeeded in getting the Gallery Redevelopment Project on track and raised a significant share of the funding.”

The Mayor’s comments were echoed by the incoming Chairman Gordon Shroff and by Board Secretary Kevin Ramshaw.

Gordon Shroff said that Professor Holborow’s contribution had been significant in a number of areas including a keen interest in the arts, a wide network of contacts across the cultural scene, long experience in applying good governance processes and good humour to complex problems and, not least, a very close and positive relationship with KCDC.

“It is my good fortune to be taking over as Chair at an exciting time when the investment of time and effort and advocacy by Prof Holborow and other Board members have finally borne fruit and we can look forward with real confidence to starting construction,” said Gordon Shroff.

Professor Holborow was presented with an artwork by Anna Layzell who had exhibited in the Gallery’s recent 100 Days–a Journey 2020.

While he is stepping down as Chairman, he will continue to serve on the Gallery Board.