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Auckland Art Gallery budget confirmed

Auckland City Council
Media release

18 March 2008

Auckland Art Gallery budget confirmed through tender process

Auckland City Council’s Finance and Strategy Committee will tomorrow consider the appointment of a construction company to develop the Auckland Art Gallery into a world-class facility for the city and the country.

Hawkins Construction Ltd is being considered as the preferred contractor for the Auckland Art Gallery development.

The company’s tender price of $85.38 million means the final budget cost is $113 million, including a contingency of $5 million.

Councillor Aaron Bhatnagar, Finance and Strategy Committee deputy chairperson, says the final budget includes additional costs associated with the Environment Court and rising building and construction costs.

The Environment Court costs are associated with modifications to the building design and delays to the project as the council addressed public appeals through the Environment Court.

“This process, although costly, will result in a building that now meets the expectations and addresses the concerns of the public,” says Mr Bhatnagar.

“We want to get on with restoring and developing this vital asset for the community. We need to do this quickly and efficiently to avoid any further cost escalations."

The budget increase of $16.6 million has been offset by council and government interest, development contributions, and already approved budgets, leaving ratepayers with an additional $10.47 million to fund.

Along with the council’s contribution, the main funding sources for the Auckland Art Gallery development are central government and the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation.

“We are grateful to central government and the foundation for their generosity,” says Mr Bhatnagar.

The supplier recommendation and final budget will also go to the Auckland City Council meeting on 27 March for final approval.

Councillor Noelene Raffills, chairperson of the Auckland Art Gallery Board, says councillors need to consider the council’s total contribution in context.

“We are the guardians of some of the country’s most precious artistic assets. Increasing the gallery’s display and exhibition space by 50 per cent will enable people to enjoy more of this 14,000 piece collection for a total council contribution of $48.1 million,” says Mrs Raffills.

“When work is complete in late 2010, the gallery will rejoin the ranks of major art museums internationally and be able to meet the new art and audience demands of the 21st century.”


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