Museum fit-out funds cut to $1.25m

Work continues on the upgrading of the Otago Settlers Museum. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Work continues on the upgrading of the Otago Settlers Museum. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Otago Settlers Museum was the main casualty of a "wash-up" at the end of the Dunedin City Council's budget-setting process yesterday, when an earlier decision to give it $2.16 million for fit-out costs was reduced to $1.25 million.

Museum staff this week told councillors they needed the extra $2.16 million to buy fittings and complete the fit-out because the money was not included in the museum's original $39.2 million redevelopment budget.

Council general manager of city strategy and development Dr Sue Bidrose and museum director Linda Wigley told councillors the total cost of the fit-out was about $7 million, considerably lower than the $13 million fit-out figure suggested by a museum consultant.

During consideration of the council's draft long-term budget yesterday, Cr Teresa Stevenson moved that, because of the council's financial constraints, councillors vote to reduce the council contribution to the museum to $1.25 million, which Dr Bidrose said Mrs Wigley accepted was manageable.

The $1.25 million would still allow for the creation of a museum ratepayers would probably feel was sufficiently "wow" when they went there, and only those in the know would know what was missing, Dr Bidrose said.

The museum's fundraising committee would have a slightly stressed target, but not one that would make them lose much sleep, she said.

The motion was carried unanimously.


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