The museum was built in 1974 to commemorate 100 years of organised settlement in Karamea. Much of the material used was recycled from the old Denniston school and badly needs replacing. For our phase 1 redevelopment we have already re-roofed the building, replaced the spouting, painted the building, as well as repositioned and replaced one set of old wooden double doors with smart new bifold doors.
Phase 2 will involve building an extension to the side of the museum for storage, photographic displays and space to research archived records, plus an obligatory toilet.
The Museum provides the community and visitors with educational and learning opportunities, creating an awareness and understanding of Karamea’s very own special heritage which has developed in isolation from the rest of Aotearoa. This in turn has developed a strong culture of resilience and self reliance amongst our people.
In addition, an enclosed foyer will create a more welcoming entrance where we can also promote other local businesses and activities, and have space for the sale of Karamea arts & crafts and other items, such as local history books. This will help to increase our revenue (for running costs and phase 2 of our plan) and encourage visitors to stop, chat and linger longer.
We expect this will feed into our recent foray into using social media to promote the Museum. Since launching our facebook page we have had a noticeable increase in heritage tourism. We are currently open 6 days a week instead of 4, with ‘opening on request’ still available. We hope an upgraded entrance to the Museum will boost visitor numbers further in addition to standing us in good stead for Karamea’s 150th birthday celebration in 2024.
Quotes for the work from a local Karamea builder are attached to this application.