This covers most of the Agenda for 18 March 2021, running from page 6 to 74, and includes a “90% developed plan” for the Gallery with many detailed drawings, although the reproduction in the Agenda is fairly small and rather fuzzy (a sample is above).

Says paragraph 7 in the management report: “The project design is substantially progressed with the developed design completed and the resource consent granted. This has allowed the Mahara Gallery Board to secure the majority of the funding requirements through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and through local fundraising efforts. (Appendix 1 – Developed Design)”

Paragraphs 12 to 14 state:

  • “Mahara Gallery Trust confirm they have successfully secured funding from the Regional Cultural and Heritage Fund (RCHF) through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH).
  • In making this decision, the Government is recognising the importance of this facility, and the gallery’s collection and programmes, to the Kāpiti community. The requirements of the funding are set out in the attached letter and are required to be confirmed by Council no later than 31st March 2021. (Appendix 3)
  • Mahara Gallery Trust also confirm they have successfully raised additional funds through various fund raising efforts and are committed to raising further funds for the project.”

In essence, the council votes on contributing a third of the total project cost, which is $2,176,000 of $6.528.000.

As always seems to be the case with council construction projects, costs have escalated at a rate well above inflation — in this case construction has jumped 13.7% in 18 months (see below) and the’ contingency’ is more than doubled — but given how long this project has been talked about and (largely) agreed upon, in your editors’ view it’s time to bite the bullet and get on with it. Nothing will be achieved by further delays.