We want to see Palmerston North positioned as a national – and even international – arts powerhouse.

Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History is key to achieving this vision. Te Manawa is run by Te Manawa Museums Trust. Council owns the buildings and gives the trust an annual grant ($3.1m this year).

The trust has a proposal to redevelop the facility. This would expand Te Manawa’s regional and national profile through enhanced visitor experiences, including blockbuster exhibitions with greater accessibility to collections and the use of more exciting technologies.

The trust will raise most of the funds for this $69m project ($58m excluding inflation). Council is considering contributing $17.9m in 2023-28 ($15m excluding inflation) conditional on the trust raising the remaining funds (programme number 1460). Council will also provide the trust with $153,000 between 2018-21 to help develop the project.

The project includes mandatory earthquake strengthening work. If the redevelopment doesn't go ahead, Council still needs to spend $4m to strengthen the building. If the redevelopment goes ahead, earthquake proofing will be integrated into the project and covered by Council's contribution and the trust’s fundraising.

Options and implications

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Options Contribute $17.9m to the project (as long as the Trust can raise all the rest). This is our preferred option
Contribute a lesser amount Maintain status quo by spending $4m on earthquake proofing the current buildings
City Implications Palmerston North would have a nationally significant museum, with part-funding from Council and the majority of funding for the project coming from fundraising This would depend on how much the trust could raise, although realistically the project would be scaled down

Status quo exhibition space, with earthquake strengthening to the buildings
Financial Implications Our 10 Year Plan includes provision to borrow $17.9m to fund Council’s proposed share of the capital cost of the work. Once complete this would increase the average residential rate by $41 a year. If we contributed a lower amount (say $10m) then the increase in the average residential rate would be less ($23 a year in this case). At this stage we've made no provision to fund any additional operating costs of an enhanced facility.

Our 10 Year Plan consultation process has now closed. Thanks to everyone who has provided us with feedback on our projects and the options we laid out for them.

We will be finalising the 10 Year Plan based on this feedback in June and will confirm the option chosen once this is complete.

23 April, 2018

Brian T says:

“Art Gallery should be maintained as a heritage building for art - not as a museum. Its architecture is "modern" heritage. Fix it.”

23 April, 2018

Kathy says:

“Yes! Council should invest in Te Manawa 2025 so that a national taonga will attract visitors and have locals experience a significant museum”

23 April, 2018

Steven says:

“Option 1: Te Manawa is a vital facility for Palmerston North and Manawatu. It is a major social and economic contributor to the community.”

21 April, 2018

Abi says:

“Option 1! Te Manawa is amazing, lets keep it growing! ”

20 April, 2018

Kelly says:

“Option 3 for me. There are more important things to spend money on”

20 April, 2018

Jono says:

“Option 2 or 3 for me please”

20 April, 2018

Thomas says:

“Yes go for it with option 1! Let’s get a world class art gallery and museum for PN. ”

17 April, 2018

Elizabeth says:

“Need to redeveloped Rugby part of Museum to make it a real tourist attraction.”

17 April, 2018

Anne says:

“Would like to see more National and International Art Exhibitions here and well as more of the Gallery's present art work out on display”

12 April, 2018

DH says:

“Sorry this is not nationally significant and is a poor investment. Look at options to co-venture with the library to provide a full user exp”

6 April, 2018

Margret says:

“More info needed. Art gallery needs heritage status and would object if it was lost in wider development. Some museum redevelopment needed”

6 April, 2018

Lyn says:

“Art/Museums are important, they are what I visit/travel to see in any city, PN Art Gallery & Museum are of great quality, fund them! ”