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A new multi-purpose community facility in Foxton will receive more than a million dollars in government funding from the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF).

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry made the announcement today alongside MP for Otaki, Nathan Guy.

“The new community gallery, exhibition spaces, public library and Council community hub - which together make-up Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom - are a great example of a cross-cultural partnership achieving big things on a tight budget for a small, but energetic community,” Ms Barry says.

“It’s the result of collaboration between the Horowhenua District Council, Te Taitoa Māori o Te Awahou Trust and the Dutch Connection Museum Trust.”

The Government’s $1,026,450 contribution to the $9.5m project is for the capital construction costs for the whare taonga, museum and gallery parts of the new facility, due to open in October.

Otaki MP Nathan Guy says he’s delighted the project has secured funding. 

“I’ve lobbied hard for this project and I know it will be a fantastic local asset that will encourage more tourists to visit Foxton, a town that is rich in culture and history,” says Mr Guy.

“The RCHF is a fund of last resort designed to help smart, cost-effective projects in smaller communities. I think the Horowhenua District Council has got the scale and flexibility of this project right for its community,” Ms Barry says.

“The exhibition spaces will preserve and promote the art, stories and cultural heritage of Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and the region’s Dutch settlers, as well as those of the wider Foxton community.” 

The RCHF was established in 2016 with $29.5m for allocation over three years to qualifying capital projects benefitting regional arts, culture and heritage institutions. 

“This announcement follows recent allocations of $4m for seismic strengthening of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings and $3m for the Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangarei,” Ms Barry says.

Further information about the RCHF:

Previous recipients from the fund were:

  • $10 million to Wanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery - tagged towards the redevelopment and seismic strengthening of its heritage-listed Queen’s Park building;
  • $400,000 to the Whanganui Museum for its redevelopment;
  • $368,000 towards Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre redevelopment;
  • $1.5 million towards the restoration of the Nelson School of Music’s auditorium;
  • $1.5 million towards Whakatane’s Museum and Research Centre redevelopment;
  • $110,000 towards Gore’s Eastern Southland Gallery project to establish a Muka Studio Wing for its arts centre

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