The Otago Museum. Photo by Bruce Munro.
A three-year freeze on Dunedin City Council levy
contributions to the Otago Museum could be nearing an end.
Council staff have recommended a 2% funding increase request
be approved in the council's 2014-15 budget. This
recommendation suggests the council is regaining confidence
in the museum's operation.
The council froze its annual levy contribution to the museum
at $3.77 million for the past three financial years because
it was concerned how any increase would be spent.
The increase amounts to about $75,000 and would take the
annual levy to $3.84 million.
Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said there had been
several requests for increases in the past few years,
particularly in relation to staffing needs, but because the
council had never been able to get clear data about why the
money was required, the requests were declined.
The flow of information, however, was now improving, she
Museum director Dr Ian Griffin was drafting a strategic plan
and was sharing with the council early information about
where he planned to take the museum.
''Commitments had been made to clear and transparent
accountability and reporting, and under those circumstances
staff were comfortable recommending to the council that they
give the increase.''
The recommendation will be considered by city councillors
during annual plan discussions which start today. Dr Griffin
said that, after several years with no increase, he was
''delighted'' the council was considering increasing the
museum's level of support.
The increased funding would be ''hugely important in helping
to improve how we care for, interpret and share our
collection with our community'', he said.