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Tribute to Commemorate the Life of Sir Peter Blake

25 May 2006

Waterfront Tribute to Commemorate the Life of Sir Peter Blake

The New Zealand National Maritime Museum and Te Papa presented today a revised design for BLUE WATER BLACK MAGIC – A TRIBUTE TO SIR PETER BLAKE.

When the project was first presented in 2003, it was agreed that the design would be redeveloped and the costs of the project reduced.
The new design reduces the overall cost of the project by over $2 million.

While the interactive exhibition is largely unchanged from the original exhibition concept, the design has been modified by distinguished Auckland architect, Pete Bossley. The new design features an extension to the New Zealand National Maritime Museum’s Hall of Yachting rather than the original proposal to construct a completely new wing.

The exhibition features as its core, a tribute to the outstanding leadership and legacy of Sir Peter Blake, within the context of the history of New Zealand yachting and this country’s tradition of innovative yacht design, past and present and looking to the future. The exhibition emphasises learning and engagement with young people, with interactive elements to inspire teamwork and achievement.

Te Papa’s Chief Executive, Dr Seddon Bennington, said today that the revised design and subsequent cost savings is a very positive outcome for the project.

“We took on board public feedback at the time we released the original proposal in 2003. There was a clear direction to reduce costs and modify the design. We now have a wonderful Tribute exhibition, a great design and significant cost reductions. We are delighted with the result”, Seddon Bennington said.

Derek Nolan, Chairman of the New Zealand National Maritime Museum’s Project Committee said that the Tribute honours the memory of Sir Peter Blake and places him in the context of the wonderful story of New Zealand yachting and innovative yacht design as a living and evolving exhibition.

“The exhibition is a fitting tribute to a great New Zealander and will be an inspiration, in particular, for young people. It will teach them about leadership and taking risks in order to achieve goals. It’s a great New Zealand story. We are looking forward to the project making a significant contribution to the Auckland waterfront. We are also very pleased that Pippa, Lady Blake and Sir Peter’s family who have followed the development of the project are so supportive of it.

The New Zealand National Maritime Museum is likely to name the wing of the Museum housing the Tribute exhibition in Sir Peter’s honour”, said Derek Nolan.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is NZL 32 Black Magic, the yacht on which Team New Zealand, led by Sir Peter Blake, won the America’s Cup for New Zealand in 1995. NZL 32 was gifted to Te Papa and the people of New Zealand by Team New Zealand in 2001. It will now be suspended in the Hall of Yachting, and the accompanying exhibition will surround the yacht over three levels.

The cost of the original design was over $10 million. The revised design has been costed at approximately $6.5 million, bringing the total project cost, including the exhibition, to $8 million. This approach significantly lowers the overall fundraising target and minimises the ongoing operating costs of the facility.

The Government has affirmed its support for the project, and has contributed $2.5 million. The Auckland City Council pledged $2 million to the project in 2003, and will look at reconfirming its funding support on 22 June 2006. The remainder of the funds ($3.5 million) are being raised through sponsorship grants and individual investment. It is anticipated that this will be completed by the end of 2006 and the Tribute constructed and opened by the beginning of 2008.


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