The Treasury
Monday, August 11, 2014 at 10:41AM
Bill Barclay

One particular item of interest appears in the CEO's Diary for the month of June that goes to the Meeting on 14 August.

Hammond met with Morrie Dunwoodie and they:

"Discussed ways that the Treasury could explore alternative funding streams including pricing for the council to retrieve archives from its Auckland storage and store at the Treasury".

This is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, Council has already contributed well in excess of $600,000 towards the re-building of the old Carnegie Library for the Heritage Trust that administers the building on what was strongly argued at the time was to be a "district" facility which would attract records from around the District and be available for all to access. It is not clear that this objective has been achieved to the level envisaged.

The completed facility is undoubtedly a credit to all concerned, and in particular to the enthusiiasm and commitment of it pomoters - principally Morrie and Geraldine. I remain to be convinced as the architectural merit of the addition, but that is irrelevant.

What is clear is that the Trust is in some financial difficulty - probably as a result of not meeting its budgetted income stream from research that it believed would be undertaken by a great number of people anxious to explore family roots and district history. Operating costs, particularly for heating and the highly specialised air conditioning systems must be substantial, and hence the need to "explore alternative funding streams."

The suggestion that council archives may be retrieved from Auckland storage to be placed at the Treasury may have merit, but requires close examination in order to establish the commercial logic of such an arrangement, and the appropriateness of public Council records being stored in a mixed facility where space is shared with family and other private records. There are apparently already space problems as attics are emptied.

What Council must avoid is becoming further embroiled in the financial arrangements of this Trust - the commitment to date has for one reason or another been far greater than was originally envisaged concerned with building over-runs, and worthy as the Trust objectives may be, it must not become in any way a Council responsibility.

The current trustees are mostly elderly, and along with a great many other organisations on the Peninsula, their ability to service what they have built may in time become moot. The younger members of the community appear to have only a limited interest, and we need to remain vigilant regarding what has been a substantial Council investment.




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