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Mr Vandervis is a Dunedin city councillor and a council appointee on the board of the council-owned museum.
At a recent board meeting, Mr Vandervis noted the museum building had been largely closed to the public for much of the past year, because of disruption caused by the museum's $35 million redevelopment project.
The museum complex has also been completely closed to the general public since May 1.
The museum's latest annual statement of financial performance showed $46,000 had been spent on marketing.
Mr Vandervis expected this would have been lower, given the closure. He said in an interview that, given the difficult overall debt situation faced by the city council, even modest sums in council budgets should be closely scrutinised in order to make savings.
Council community life general manager Graeme Hall told the board the marketing spend was in fact lower than the $62,000 budgeted for the financial year, ending on June 30.
Museum director Linda Wigley said museum exhibitions were now closed but the museum was actually continuing many of its programmes, including its education service.
The museum still needed to advise the public about its activities and the redevelopment progress, she said.