North Otago Museum to reopen

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The North Otago Museum will undergo refurbishments over the next six months, with the main museum display area reopening to the public by May 2019. 

This follows a Waitaki District Council resolution in July this year to consider a range of immediate options for Oamaru’s cultural facilities. It also complements the work currently underway regarding Waitaki District’s application for UNESCO Global Geopark Status. 

Refurbishments will see the Thames Street entry reopened to the public and a range of new displays developed showcasing the unique stories of the Waitaki District. 

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher is delighted to see work underway at the museum site, which has been closed to the public since 2016. 

“The Museum is such an iconic Oamaru building, and being able to open it soon is going to be great for our community. We’re aiming to have things up and running in time for a visit from the UNESCO Commission, which could happen as early as May next year – it’s an exciting time for Oamaru and the Waitaki.” 

“While we continue the work started under the Cultural Facilities Development Project (CFDP) to develop the museum, art gallery and archives into a top-class cultural facility, this option allows us to get the Museum doors open and showcase our rich history and heritage for locals and visitors alike.” 

Director of the Forrester Gallery, North Otago Museum, Jane Macknight notes the work under way at the Museum right now addresses some of the issues which have long been a driver for the CFDP. 

“As we focus on this work, we will continue to work on solving fire compliance issues at the Forrester Gallery, as well as making progress on an expanded vision for the CFDP. We are also delighted to have the continued support of our main funder, the Lotteries Significant Projects Fund, which has allocated $1.064million to this project. 

Work is already underway on a range of upgrades that will see new display facilities installed, a refurbishment of the windows, walls and ceiling, a new heating system and the replacement of the old bamboo floor, which is no longer fit for purpose. 

The refurbishment will be funded through the CFDP as well as property accumulated depreciation funds. ​​

Page reviewed: 07 Dec 2018 8:39am