Media Release – Community invited to visit the Blueprint Day
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Media Release – Community invited to visit the Blueprint Day

Media Release – Community invited to visit the Blueprint Day

Team beginning preparations for Blueprint Day on 12th November in Queen's Park

Team beginning preparations for Blueprint Day on 12th November in Queen’s Park


The Whanganui community will soon have an opportunity to get a feel for the scope of the world class multi-million dollar redevelopment of the historic Sarjeant Gallery.

The event kicks off on the evening of Friday, November 11, with a presentation by architects Roy Wilson and Ralph Roberts from Warren & Mahoney architects. They will be joined by specialist engineer Philip Yong.

On Saturday, November 12, the public will be able to walk through a “to scale” layout of the proposed gallery extension, pegged out on the site at the back of the existing gallery in Pukenamu Queen’s Park. A cherry picker will also take people up to the height of a proposed viewing window at the back of the new gallery.

Pre-booked tours of the original heritage Sarjeant Gallery building will take place on the hour from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Each tour is restricted to 12 people. The gallery has also organised a number of fun family activities in the park.

The redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery involves restoration and earthquake strengthening of the original building and the addition of a new, state of the art gallery. The new wing will provide much needed storage for the extensive and nationally significant Sarjeant art collection along with additional gallery space, education facilities and a café.

As a result of a fundraising campaign led by the Sarjeant Gallery Trust, $11 million has been donated and/or pledged from the private sector. From its earthquake prone building levy, Whanganui District Council has contributed $5 million towards the project, part of which has helped fund developed design, geotechnical work and the gaining of resource consents; with the remainder earmarked for the project in the current 10 Year Plan. The level of private funding and the national significance of the Sarjeant Gallery art collection qualified the Sarjeant Gallery Trust to apply for $10 million in funds from the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Trust chairman Nicola Williams says news this week of a successful application from Whanganui District Council for funding from the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund for $800,000 has further boosted the fundraising effort.  She says a number of other significant funding grants are also in the pipeline.

Ms Williams says the latest quantity survey has confirmed the cost of the project at $34.8 million and, if everything goes to plan, construction could get underway towards the end of next year.

“In Whanganui we have an internationally significant art collection that is rated as one of the best in the country.

“The redevelopment will give us a world class facility that has the potential to put Whanganui on the map as a ‘must visit’ arts destination bringing millions of dollars in economic benefits.”

She says it’s hoped Whanganui residents and people living further afield who have an interest in the project will make the most of the opportunity to come along to the Blueprint installation on the Pukenamu Queen’s Park site on Saturday, November 12, and judge the merits of the project for themselves.


Sarjeant Redevelopment Presentation: 6.00pm Friday, November 11 – Alexander Heritage and Research Library Whanganui.  Free admission

Sarjeant Gallery Pukenamu Queen’s Park – Saturday, November 12. Walk around the new extension installation “The Blueprint” 10:30am to 3:30pm. Guided tours of the original building will depart on the hour from 11:00am to 3:00pm – maximum 12 people per tour. To pre-book call the Sarjeant Gallery on 06 349 0506


For further information:

 Greg Anderson
Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui
DD 06 349 3246


Nicola Williams
Chairman Sarjeant Gallery Trust
027 248 5987

First published in the Wanganui Chronicle 04 November, 2016