Council decision clears the way for Gallery upgrade to begin


Photo (from left): Mahara Gallery Director Janet Bayly, Waikanae Coummunity Board Deputy Chair and new Mahara Board trustee Margaret Stevenson-wright and Mahara Board Chair Gordon Shroff give the "thumbs up" for the gallery redevelopment.


The long-planned upgrade of the Mahara Gallery is scheduled to begin later this year.


This follows Kāpiti Coast District Council voting to confirm its $2.8 million commitment to the project’s $6.5 million estimated cost and agreeing to underwrite the project.


The Council’s decision follows the Mahara Gallery Trust’s recent success in securing significant government funding of $1.73 million from the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund towards the project. 

Mahara Gallery Trust Board Chairman Gordon Shroff says “This project will ensure that we can retain the Field Collection of artworks in Kāpiti and enable Mahara to be a more effective district public gallery for Kāpiti.

We still have $750,000 to raise to meet the fundraising target we agreed with Council. With this in mind, we recently submitted an application to the NZ Lottery Board’s Significant Projects Fund for funding which would significantly reduce the shortfall.

We will continue to search for other potential funding sources to help bridge the gap.  The Trust will launch a community fund-raising programme soon to seek the support of Kāpiti people and businesses.” 

Mr Shroff is hopeful that key members of the Kāpiti community will recognise the power that their own contributions will have. “Reducing the gap further will help to strengthen our funding applications,” he says.

We know that the economic impact of COVID-19 has been tough on members of our community.  Having this project proceed now will help a lot of businesses and employ local people.

We are hopeful that by the end of next year, we will have a district gallery that meets accepted museum and gallery standards and houses an art collection of national significance.”

 The redevelopment project will be managed by Council and more information about next steps and the construction timeline will be available on its website soon.

The Council funding includes a $250,000 grant from the Waikanae Community Board. This month, the Mahara Gallery Trust Board welcomes Margaret Stevenson-Wright to represent the Community Board on the Trust Board.


Board members will be available to talk about, and answer questions, on this wonderful project at the Easter Fair in Mahara Place Saturday morning, 3 April. The gallery information table will include selected publications and other items for sale.

The following Saturday 10 April at 2.30pm we are looking forward to hosting a conversation between contemporary Maori visual artist Hemi Macgregor and Huhana Smith, Head of Art at Massey University Wellington, in his exhibition, reviewed here by Mark Amery.