Skip to main content

$10.4 million funding for Sarjeant Gallery and Whanganui Museum

Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery and Museum will receive $10.4 million in funding for redevelopment work, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has announced.

“Both these important institutions will be safeguarded well into the future through this major backing from the Government’s Regional Culture & Heritage Fund,” Ms Barry says.

“The Sarjeant Gallery will receive $10m towards its ambitious redevelopment and seismic strengthening of the heritage-listed Queen’s Park building, while the Whanganui Museum receives $400,000 for its own redevelopment.”

Former Arts Minister Chris Finlayson and local MP Chester Borrows announced the funding at a function in Whanganui today.

From left: Hon Chester Borrows, Former Whanganui Mayor Annette Main, Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall, Director Sarjeant Gallery Greg Anderson, Attorney General Hon Chris Finlayson, Chairman Sarjeant Gallery Trust Nicola Williams

“Both Minister Finlayson and Mr Borrows have worked tirelessly over many years in support of the Sarjeant and museum projects and I was pleased they were able to make the announcement on my behalf,” Ms Barry says.

The Sarjeant is home to a nationally significant art collection including works by Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere and Petrus van der Velden, as well as international artists.

Its 20th-century Palladian-style Queen’s Park building is a category 1 historic place which requires major earthquake strengthening and redevelopment estimated to cost just under $35m.

Whanganui District Council and the Sarjeant Gallery Trust have together raised around $15m towards the project and the Government’s grant is made on condition the shortfall is raised by December 20, 2017.

“I am confident the Council and Trust will raise the further $10m required – fundraising has progressed strongly. The Government’s conditional offer ensures security for the taxpayer money we intend to invest in the redevelopment,” Ms Barry says.

$400,000 will help the Whanganui Museum upgrade its interior spaces, install new climate control systems and improve the layout of its existing buildings while strengthening work funded by the District Council is completed.

For more information about the RCHF, visit:

Updated on 8th January 2018