Garden's entrance to remain

Margo Reid
Margo Reid
The plan is for Dunedin's Chinese Garden to remain a separate activity from Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, even though the museum will take over managing the garden.

Outgoing garden manager Margo Reid said whether there would be a physical connection between the two Dunedin City Council-owned attractions would be something museum management would have to decide later, but the separate physical entrance to the garden from the street would have to remain, either way.

''There is special significance about that entrance.

''It would be very disrespectful for that not to be used.

''It is an activity in its own right,'' she said.

In an effort to reduce the cost of the garden to ratepayers, museum management has started assuming responsibility for day-to-day running of the garden, and will take over completely from July 1, when Ms Reid's role will be disestablished.

Plans could include a new cafe-function room at the garden, and bringing merchandise sales to the entrance. There had been no discussion on changing entrance charges for the garden, Ms Reid said yesterday.

What the museum intended to do with an empty space at the garden end of the museum, or whether it intended to take garden entrance fees at the museum's front desk had not be discussed and guesses at this stage would be ''crystal ball gazing''.

Signs around the museum about the garden were simply the two attractions working together to ''acknowledge each other's presence'', rather than any indication of how the two would work together in the future, she said.

The marketing for the two attractions would be organised centrally by the council and follow the general practice at this stage for all the city's cultural activities to be marketed as a group.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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