February Update.

Since the November’s Cobweb redevelopment article, fundraising to meet our 1/3 commitment towards the $533,629.00 cost of the Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre building has been reached.

Not only have we achieved the target but shot past it.

By the second week in February our grant applications for the remaining monies to the major funders will have been submitted.

We intend to hold a public meeting in May (date & venue to be advised) to enable members of our community the opportunity to be informed as to progress & latest news.

Our progress to date has taken approx. six years, with many changes to funding rules, building regulations & the need to raise funds has been difficult, but the old adage “you cannot pick up unless you bend down” seems to make sense. 

It all started with a Hat Parade, then the Garden Fete, Historic House Tours, the Food Fest (a grand day was had by all), Cross Country Walks, raffles, Brass Band Concert’s, Car Rally catering and the ongoing Museum Firewood campaign.

There’s still much work to be done, but we can add a big tick to this stage of the Museums fundraising endeavours to date.



A lot has happened since February and we are delighted with progress towards the construction of our new museum.  The project was begun early in 2010 and many people have volunteered their time and expertise since then towards achieving our aims.  Since February we have been granted $120,000 by Lotteries and $100,000 by the Otago Community Trust, adding these amounts to approximately $180,000 raised by local volunteer efforts through a range of fund raising events, firewood sales and local sponsorship. This has meant that we can now proceed to the next stage, ie construction of the new building. To this end work has begun to clear the site and reduce the ground level back to what it was originally in order to improve drainage of the site and to also assist in drying out the old museum building. 

A contract has been agreed and signed with the main contractor and local sub-contractors identified who have quoted for work to be undertaken. On August 24th 2017 an informal ceremony was held to mark the beginning of the work and several local identities with long time involvement with the museum were present on the day. We hope to have our new museum open for business by early next year.


Construction has begun on the new museum building. We are all very excited to finally see this happening. Substantial ground work to remove soil down to the subsoil has ensured that the new building will barely move in any future earthquakes. Many “treasures” were found during the excavation and will become part of a future display. Drains to remove excess water and electrical conjute has been installed to enable a future connection to the old museum building as well as for the new building. Retaining walls have been erected around the site, but mainly along the Kildare Street perimeter, as over the years the road level has been drastically raised, leaving a steep bank. Work on the foundations has also now begun and once the pad is complete the actual building construction should go ahead quite quickly. Go to our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WaikouaitiCoastHeritageCentre/ to see more detailed photos and information.

Grand Vision for Heritage Centre

The Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre is planning to construct a 400sqm building on vacant land behind the existing historic Museum. This will house an exhibition gallery, collection storage, workshop, staff room and public research facilities. It will also act as a Visitor Information Centre.

The Centre will be financed largely by the fundraising efforts of the Waikouaiti Museum Society which is planning a comprehensive calendar of events. The Society also gratefully accepts donations from organisations and individuals who understand the value that a high quality heritage centre brings to a community.

Once the new exhibition centre is complete, the existing building, which has Category 1 status with Heritage New Zealand, will be refurbished and undergo structural strengthening.

Fundraising efforts to date

Extensive local fundraising efforts, sponsorship, grant funding and firewood sales have seen us all but reach our target of nearly $450,000. It has been a sterling effort. Major funders have included: Lotteries (environment & Heritage), Otago Community Trust, JR Stout Trust, Oceanagold and the Alexander McMillan Trust. But grateful thanks also go to all the many volunteers for their hours of work and also local families for their donations.