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During a non-public section of a full council meeting on Friday, councillors voted unanimously not to participate in the Expressions of Interest process which seeks to determine the museum’s future.
The hall of fame was operating on reduced funding after Sport New Zealand suspended its $100,000 annual grant amid discussion about how to make the facility more attractive and viable.
The hall has been at the Dunedin Railway Station since 1999, but exhibits there are static, doubts have grown about the suitability of the location and alternative venues are being considered.
The hall’s steering group had launched the Expressions of Interest process, seeking a preferred partner for the future of the museum, and included the council on a shortlist of parties invited to take part.
The council had until Wednesday to decide whether to participate.
Councillors also decided not to offer the museum an additional $100,000, to further support its operation in the 2021-22 financial year.
The money was not included in this year’s budget and would have come at the expense of the city’s other economic development activities, the council said.
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said a previous report had already shown the museum was not sustainable at its current location, with the current level of resourcing.
He said councillors worked through a robust process, with a range of views expressed, before making their decisions.
“Council was not convinced that this was the best short-term investment we could make in economic development, to the extent that we could justify cutting budgets for other projects.
“Ultimately, the votes reflect the concerns of Council in taking on more responsibility for a venue with an uncertain financial future, and the costs associated with putting it on a more successful path.’’
The council was still happy to work with any other party prepared to partner with the hall.
In the meantime, it would offer a property arrangement grant and subsidised rental for its existing home at the Dunedin Railway Station while it worked through the next steps.