Equal funding bid

Ian Griffin
Ian Griffin
Otago Museum has the most visitors of Dunedin's cultural institutions, has the biggest collection and has had no funding increase for four years, so it would be fairer for the Dunedin City Council to redistribute the increases proposed for 2014-15 equally among Otago Museum, Toitu and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, says museum director Ian Griffin.

At present, the council's draft 2014-15 annual plan proposes the council increase its levy to the museum by 2%, to Toitu by 3.3% and DPAG by 4.37%.

Dr Griffin told councillors yesterday the museum was changing, there were exciting plans for the future and staff had been working hard to ensure commercial opportunities were increasingly offsetting costs.

It was also upgrading Discovery World and planned to redevelop the Tangata Whenua gallery before 2018, so every little bit affected their bottom line.

He also asked the council to consider a further increase in the museum's levy to accommodate a recent increase in rates payable by the Otago Museum from its cafe and gallery businesses and whether they would consider allocating some economic development funding for the museum's activities in Shanghai, especially when it at present came at a direct cost to the museum by taking resources away for the development of the museum's galleries.

He assured councillors he was actively lobbying the Government for funding.

Mayor Dave Cull said he would have the council's support for those efforts.


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