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Aratoi gets half funding from CDC

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

Over the past five years Carterton District Council has supported Aratoi Museum with annual grants of $12,000 + GST, but due to an administrative error that is about to be cut in half.

Yesterday the council met and discussed the best way to support Aratoi, considering they had missed the deadline to apply for the annual grant.

Times-Age reported yesterday that Aratoi had resorted to closing on Mondays, a costing saving measure taken because of diminished funding from Masterton Trust Lands Trust and a cap on funding by Masterton District Council.

After missing the Carterton deadline the museum’s trust had gone on to make an application for $12,000.

An official report from community services manager Carolyn McKenzie was put before councillors, to advise them on how to proceed.

The report stated officers did not believe Carterton residents would be disadvantaged “in the area of arts and culture if the council was to decide not to fund Aratoi, and as a result of that decision Aratoi could no longer operate.”

It recommended not to allocate money from either the Community Grants Fund or the Community Development budget.

However, it suggested as an alternative option the council could move to use unbudgeted expenditure to support Aratoi.

Councillors agreed that they did not wish to take away Community Grants Fund or the Community Development budget.

Cr Jill Greathead said, “I completely agree with officers, we should not touch those other budgets.”

Cr Ruth Carter said that Aratoi serves the Wairarapa beyond Masterton.

“I think sometimes that gets forgotten.

“We have to look at the wider picture as well.

“I totally agree it should not come out of the budgets we have here.”

Huruni o Rangi marae representative PJ Devonshire said that he had have a fair bit to do with Aratoi through iwi matters.

They had special temperature control in certain rooms to make sure taonga stays safe, he said.

“These things happen sometimes, if we could fund them we would like to see it,” Mr Devonshire said.

Cr Brian Deller said, “My thoughts are, we should carry on funding but probably not to the same extent.

“We still care, but it’s not in our budget.”

Cr Deller moved that the council allocate $6,000 from unbudgeted expenditure.

The motion, seconded by Cr Jill Greathead, was carried unanimously.

Cr Greg Lang abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest he had declared earlier.

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