13 September 2019
A contract for the $15 million Provincial Growth Fund grant for Rotorua Museum has been approved by the Full Council.
The contract, which is with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), is for the strengthening and restoration of the museum building.
Contracts with MBIE for PGF funding for the lakefront and forest developments were approved by Council last December and the museum contract brings the total of grants to Rotorua Lakes Council from the PGF to $41.9 million.
Details of the museum contract were discussed in confidential at yesterday’s Extraordinary Full Council meeting but a report to elected members in the public part of the meeting provided an overview and detailed background.
Council approved the contract and passed a further recommendation acknowledging that the PGF allocation of $15m, and a Ministry of Culture and Heritage grant of $5m also for the museum, were both capped and Council takes full financial responsibility for the completion of repairs and re-opening of the museum.
The project received funding from the PGF because, like the lakefront and forest projects, it was seen as enabling economic transformation and supporting Rotorua’s tourism sector, Group Manager Strategy, Jean-Paul Gaston told elected members.
The aim of the PGF is to enhance economic development opportunities, create sustainable jobs, contribute to community wellbeing and lift the productivity potential of regions.
Council consulted on the museum project as part of development of the long-term plan and annual plan and had maintained close relationships with local partners and iwi organisations, Mr Gaston’s report to the Council said.
Not proceeding with the project or not signing the contract at this stage would result in reputational and financial implications for Council. The museum project would need to be reconsidered without the PGF funding and other projects could also be put at risk if partners withdrew their support as a result.
In response to questions regarding the risks outlined in the report, Mr Gaston said there was a strong link between the three PGF-funded projects and any future decision to alter or forego any of these projects would incur reputational damage, require funding already received to be repaid and would require further community consultation and a change to Council’s long-term plan.
Go to p19 of the Council meeting agenda to view the full report on this matter.
Yesterday’s meeting was livestreamed. The recording can be accessed via THIS LINK on Council’s website.