Gallery contract award the fulfilment of a dream




East view of the upgraded gallery.


The award of a contract to begin the redevelopment of Mahara Gallery in Waikanae is a signal that the long-held dream of creating a new, modern Gallery is to become a reality, says Mahara Gallery Trust Board Chairman, Gordon Shroff.

Kāpiti Coast District Council has appointed the Kāpiti-Horowhenua firm of Crowe Construction Ltd to be the main contractor on the project. Work is scheduled to begin in early November and be completed by the end of 2022.

“Many people over the years have dreamed about this, worked hard and raised money to make it happen,” said Gordon Shroff. “The awarding of a contract is the fulfilment of those dreams.

“But the job is not yet done. We still have some $500,000 to raise to meet our share of the cost.

“We will be asking the Kāpiti community to help us bridge the funding gap.”

The redevelopment will occur on the existing Gallery site. It will double the number of exhibition galleries and almost triple the amount of exhibition space.

It will enable the Gallery to accept the gift of the Field Collection of art works, 24 by New Zealand’s most celebrated expatriate artist, Frances Hodgkins.

The project has been a partnership involving Kāpiti Coast District Council, the Mahara Gallery Trust Board and the Field Collection Trust.

The Council is contributing $2.8 million of the estimated $6.5 million project cost. Of this sum, the Waikanae Community Board is contributing $250,000.

The remaining funding is the responsibility of the Mahara Gallery Trust Board.

It has so far attracted a grant of $2.1 million (exclusive of GST and including a contingency sum of $0.432 million) from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Regional Culture and Heritage Fund; $450,000 from the New Zealand Lottery Board’s Environment and Heritage Fund; and more than $1.5 million from private trusts and individuals.

Kāpiti Coast District Council has undertaken to underwrite any shortfall in Trust fundraising, so that construction can begin.

The Deputy Mayor of Kāpiti District Council and Arts and Culture portfolio holder, Cr Janet Holborow, says Crowe Construction was confirmed as the main contractor following a competitive tender process.

“Based in Levin, Crowe Construction has a strong track record of successful project delivery for Council, so we’re pleased to have them on the team to rebuild the Mahara Gallery,” she said.

Trust Board Chairman Gordon Shroff says the Trust is now focussing on attracting the remaining funding needed for the project and on ensuring that the Gallery has a continuing presence in Kāpiti during the construction period.