Funding boost delivered for Wellington attractions

6 October 2014

A new tranche of financial support is heading toward some of the Wellington region’s top attractions and events, after the latest meeting of the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund (WRAF).

Members of the WRAF, consisting of Mayors of participating councils Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti and Masterton, decided at the 3 October 2014 meeting to award funding to 11 of the Wellington region’s top cultural and environmental organisations.

There was a total of $971,000 in the third year of the fund’s existence. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who chairs the WRAF, said the committee faced difficult choices among 23 worthy applicants.

“The Wellington region has an abundance of interesting events and attractions that make our region a great place to live, work and play,” she said. “The aim of this fund is to provide a financial boost for organisations which contribute to the region’s economy, clearly need the funding and demonstrate benefits across the region.

“There were 23 very worthy applicants, who were asking for $2.3 million in total to take their events and attractions to the next level. The fund had up to $980,000 to allocate. WRAF members had to turn down some great events and projects that didn’t fit the agreed criteria,” she said.

The recommendations are:

  • Circa Theatre: $150,000 toward stage one of the refurbishment project
  • Creative Capital Arts Trust: $34,000 toward the 2015 NZ Fringe Festival
  • Mahara Gallery: $55,000 toward operational support for project manager position
  • NZSO: $30,000 toward a special event celebrating the centenary of Gallipoli
  • Te Papa: $130,000 toward supporting regional delivery of Matariki Wellington 2015
  • Wairarapa Arts Festival Trust: $47,000 toward LUMA event, part of 2015 Kokomai Creative Festival
  • Toi Maori Market: $125,000 toward 2014 Maori Arts Market
  • Wellington Lux Festival: $100,000 toward 2015 Wellington Lux Festival
  • Orchestra Wellington: $100,000 toward outreach and community development
  • Wellington Zoo and Zealandia: $100,000 for Nature Connections Project
  • Wellington Museums Trust: $100,000 towards the 150 Year: 150 Buses pilot project

Mayor Wade-Brown is very excited that the 150th anniversary of Wellington as the Capital will be a pilot project to bring the region’s school students to the Capital’s national institutions.

“Our vision is that Wellington, as the centre of nationhood, will attract students of all deciles from around the whole country, as Canberra and Washington do.”

The WRAF committee also received a report on the previous year’s funding, which show it was successful in growing both arts and environmental partnerships across the region.

“The fund has been a real catalyst for the Wellington region and it’s particularly pleasing the way the fund regional created connections,” said Mayor Wade-Brown.

“WRAF funding made a huge difference to celebrating Matariki, which became an extraordinarily busy period with diverse cultural offerings.

“Nature Connections successfully pulled together Wellington Zoo, Zealandia, Staglands, Pukaha Mt Bruce and DoC and the Harbour Islands Kaitiaki Board, turning competitors into colleagues by creating a high quality visitor experience across our region’s eco-assets,” she said.

Now the reach of Nature Connections is expanding to include new partners Kaitoke Regional Park, Battle Hill Regional Farm Forest Park, Wellington Botanic Gardens and Otari-Wilton’s Bush with more to be confirmed.