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Ed Said - Can the Museum support itself?


dadWe all watched with interest and took part in a number of fundraising activities as the embryonic idea for the new museum grew into a plan, then a master plan and then into the real thing, and quite a lot more than many imagined. Many thanks are due to those who dared to dream and worked tirelessly for years to make that dream a reality.

Countless hours, a large percentage of which were simple goodwill in the interests of the project, went into the blueprint, the building of the exterior, the landscaping and then the laborious task of planning and creating the internal organs of the museum itself. The history within makes its heart beat and provides something of a pacemaker, keeping alive that all important record of a Mangawhai that most alive today never knew but one that the youngest of our generations will carry on further, then probably carry to their graves. In the planning and completion of the project there must have been more than a little consideration as to whether it would, or how it would, pay for its own livelihood – rates, maintenance, upkeep and replacement of some of the artifacts plus suitably qualified managerial staff as it would be churlish to rely entirely on volunteers to carry the burden in its entirety.

I broach this subject as some members of the public have commented to me having noted an application has been made by the Mangawhai Historical Society for Community Assistance Funding, capital grants which are available from the Kaipara District Council. Basically nothing unusual in applying for a grant but this one is appealing for what seems a sizeable amount and, in fact, well above that normally available to all applicants. It is itemised as:

Power- $12,000, phone and internet-$1,800, Insurance $10,300 and Manager’s salary- $58,000, a grand total of a bit over $82,000 per year for a three year period. In round figures, near enough to a quarter million.

The comments have centred around the museum now officially ‘trading’ for fifteen months, these fairly basic items must surely have come into calculation as one presumes forward planning would have been for a greater future period than this.

The workings of any museum are many and varied.

Ours comprises committees that deal with such things as:

Live documentation, adapting history, collections, projects, education, genealogy, rolling forecasts and marketing and strategies the latter pair which are the specific domain of the Manager. Many of those areas overlap and require interaction which they need to do to run smoothly.

The result of the funding application will not be known for some months and with accounts being audited shortly no doubt all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

The bottom line is that the Museum is a Mangawhai landmark. It is also a work in progress and will probably be so throughout its life, such is the nature of the beast, but it is important that, while it stands proudly, it is able to support itself in the long term.

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