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Commissioners give the nod to gallery development

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MEDIA RELEASE

29 September 2006

Commissioners give the nod to gallery development

The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki development project has been given the green light by independent commissioners in a report received yesterday (28 September) on the resource consent application.

The decision follows a thorough public consultation process to meet the requirements of the Resource Management Act, beginning with a call for submissions on 2 April and concluding with the final day of public hearings on 7 August.

The decision follows on from one made earlier this month by Auckland City's Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee that a section of Albert Park be reclassified from historic reserve to local purpose (art gallery).

The decision from the independent commissioners now opens the way for more detailed planning to take place, subject to the appeals process.

The Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard, says he is pleased to see the commissioners have given the project the go-ahead.

"The restoration and expansion of the Auckland Art Gallery will result in a world-class public gallery that will put Auckland and New Zealand on the map internationally.

"This project offers us an opportunity to enhance this special facility and future proof it for the enjoyment of generations to come."

In their decision the commissioners highlighted that more work was needed around the design and location of pedestrian pathways in the entrance forecourt and at the northern end of the building between Kitchener Street and Albert Park in order to ensure visual and physical connectivity.

Chris Saines, Director of the Auckland Art Gallery says "As we go into detailed design we will take this into consideration to make sure we've got it right."

The lengthy approval process means that the main building will now stay open longer than originally planned. The closing date was due to be at the end of this year. A revised closing date will be announced at the conclusion of the appeals process.

Chris Saines, Director of the Auckland Art Gallery says the gallery is working hard to ensure a great programme is in place for the first half of 2007.

"The shifting timeframes are an inevitable part of major development projects. We are committed to providing visitors with an outstanding art experience while we remain in the main gallery building, and when we operate solely from the New Gallery once the development commences.

"The extended programme we're developing for the main building features masterpieces from the 18th and 19th century European collection, and in the New Gallery Summer Daze, a family friendly show, followed by turbulence, the much anticipated 3rd Auckland Triennial of contemporary art, scheduled to open on 9 March."

The Auckland Art Gallery development is a key part of the Auckland's CBD into the future strategy which will reinstate the CBD as a vibrant, dynamic, cultural and business centre.

ENDS


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