MOTAT Media Statement - Museum receives additional funding

In response to the article which appeared on the New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB website this morning, the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) has prepared the following statement.

This article confuses two completely separate matters, the first being the granting of additional funding to MOTAT to resolve an unanticipated asbestos problem and the second being Auckland Council’s review of the governance structures of the city’s cultural institutions; a process which MOTAT supports and welcomes. These issues are in no way linked.

Members of the MOTAT Board and Management attended Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee yesterday to present the Museum’s Draft Annual Plan for the 2017/18 financial year. This includes a request for $2.1 million in additional funding required in part to address the unforeseen discovery of asbestos at MOTAT’s off-site storage facility which in remediating, requires the current collection review project to be expedited. This request was granted by Auckland Council.

The asbestos was detected in one of several off-site storage buildings which houses MOTAT’s larger collection items such as cars and buses. The Museum is working closely with asbestos removal experts, Golder Associates to resolve this issue and relocate the affected objects to new storage premises following their decontamination. Many New Zealand buildings of a certain age were built with material containing asbestos and unfortunately this particular leased building has had some degradation. Once this became known, MOTAT brought specialist consultants on-board to advise the Museum and formulate a plan to address the problem.

Additional resources will be allocated to the process of cleaning, decontaminating and moving large artefacts which has in turn expedited MOTAT’s current collection review. This on-going project is in keeping with museum best practice and involves the critical assessment of the Collection to ensure its quality and development in line with the Museum’s strategic plans and collection policy.

Further to this, a long-term redevelopment master plan has been designed for MOTAT by renowned New Zealand firm, Athfield Architects, with input from the late Sir Ian Athfield. Costing approximately $ 150 million to implement, funds are likely to be requested from Council, Government and corporate sponsorship in addition to other sources such as bank loans and fundraising grants.

An entirely separate matter is the Auckland Council’s review of cultural institutions. This is a project which has been discussed by Council for some time and is something which MOTAT supports and welcomes for this sector.  The Terms of Reference for this independent review are to be determined by Auckland Council. Auckland’s cultural institutions are governed and funded under various Acts of Parliament and sources, with no integrated approach. MOTAT is pleased to hear that this review has now been formally adopted by a unanimous vote of Council.

For further information regarding the independent review into the governance, funding and storage requirements of wider Auckland’s cultural institutions, MOTAT recommends contacting the Auckland Council.

Read Item 21 of the Auckland Council's Agenda. 

Vanessa Hefer
Communications Advisor
Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)
Phone: (09) 845 3703
Mobile: (021) 340 518