Work has restarted on a major redevelopment of the Kauri Museum in Matakohe. It involves building a new Science and Discovery Centre and relocating the museum’s nationally-significant gum collection to a space where it can be better displayed.
The work is being funded by a $3 million grant from the Provincial Development Unit. It was awarded in 2020, as part of a multi-phase development of the museum, but work was delayed due to Covid.
Museum Board chair Grant McCallum says the work is the largest building redevelopment at the museum since 2007.
“Our project manager Adam Farrell is working not only on the Science and Discovery Centre, but also on an upgrade to the museum’s Gumdiggers Café, and a whole new area called The Forest Walkway,” McCallum says.
“The walkway includes a new addition to the museum, which will link the entrance through to the Volunteers Hall.
The roof on the Ross and Sterling Wing is also being replaced.”
Meanwhile, the Museum Board has appointed a new director. Pablo Garcia has been in the role as acting general manager as previous interim manager, Dawn Folkard, finished her contract in January. Pablo and wife Linda recently bought a property near Kaiwaka. Pablo has diverse managerial and commercial experience, and is already fully engaged at the museum.