The Sarjeant Gallery – Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui

In September 2019, the Sarjeant Gallery secured the final funding contribution required to proceed with the Gallery Redevelopment Project, which has been in the planning for over a decade.

In September 2019, the Sarjeant Gallery secured the final funding contribution required to proceed with the Gallery Redevelopment Project, which has been in the planning for over a decade. The project will entail the redevelopment of the iconic Sarjeant Gallery building and add a new building extension to house and display the gallery’s nationally significant collection.

Whanganui District Council and the Sarjeant Gallery Trust have been long-term clients of Giblin Group. We have worked alongside the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project Team to provide a range of services over an eight-year period which has resulted in $28.8 million being raised for the project.

Project background

The Sarjeant Gallery Collection had its origins more than a century ago and now boasts approximately 8,000 works in all media. The collection, valued at $28M, is nationally significant for its size and depth and is unrivalled in the provinces. It is ranked in importance alongside the public collections of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.  

The gallery is one of New Zealand’s finest purpose-built art galleries, which has become an icon for the city of Whanganui. Due to the age of the building, lack of environmental controls and storage not being up to modern museum standards, the gallery was at serious threat from both deterioration and earthquake damage.

Whanganui District Council proposed refurbishing and earthquake strengthening the existing gallery and constructing an extension to the north of the building. 

The redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery will contribute to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of the Whanganui region and also offer opportunities to link with neighbouring regions on a significant art trail for the North Island. A recent economic impact assessment estimates the redevelopment will attract 22,000 additional visitors per year and generate around $11M in additional regional spending.

The Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau has said the project has a number of benefits in addition to increased tourism, including helping to better preserve taonga on behalf of iwi. “It will play a key role in preserving New Zealand’s history and cultural identity for future generations to appreciate and enjoy in the region, nationally, and internationally”.

Giblin Group’s involvement with the project

Giblin Group has given support to this project as required and where our expertise can offer the most value over the eight-year period of project development. Our input has been focused on the strategic documentation required to support major funding proposals and applications, and the preparation of such proposals and applications. We have been successful in securing funding from all the major government funds available for such a project as this.

Services included:

  • Development of a comprehensive Revenue Generation Strategy and Feasibility Study;
  • Applications to Central Government funds (Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Provincial Growth Fund);
  • Development of marketing collateral to support the fundraising strategy, including a corporate sponsorship brochure and proposals;
  • Development of a Community Engagement and Fundraising Plan;
  • Local Government and Central Government relations, including Government Minister briefings.

Successful funding applications supported by Giblin Group:

  • Lottery Significant Projects Fund: $6M
  • Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund: $800K
  • Ministry for Culture and Heritage: $10M
  • Provincial Growth Fund: $12M

“It has been a pleasure working with Giblin Group on the redevelopment of Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui.  Jenni Giblin and her team have made great efforts to understand the complexities of this nationally significant project and translated this into high-quality bids for Central Government funding.  Their experience and advice have been invaluable and, armed with the collateral material they’ve provided for us, has been instrumental in us meeting our funding targets.”

Nicola Williams

Chair, Sarjeant Gallery Trust

“Since 2011, I have worked with Jenni and Christine on a number of highly successful fundraising initiatives in support of the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project.  With their help and expertise, we have raised more than $28.8M from central government and Lottery sources.  The Giblin Group are a pleasure to work with and have provided great advice on many occasions concerning communications and public engagement.  I can certainly recommend their services.”

Greg Anderson

Director, Sarjeant Gallery

Since 2011 I have worked with Jenni and Christine on a number of highly successful fundraising initiatives in support of the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project. With their help and expertise, we have raised more than $28.8m from central government and Lottery sources. The Giblin Group are a pleasure to work with and have provided great advice on many occasions concerning communications and public engagement. I can certainly recommend their services.

Greg Anderson, Director, Sarjeant Gallery

Giblin Group supported Blue Oyster with developing a robust Revenue Generation Strategy that took into account the specific needs of our organisation and activity. Jenni and Jess offered substantial advice and support in, not only establishing this strategy but giving us helpful tools for implementation and always prioritised sustainability throughout. Their enthusiasm for our space and activity was truly felt and appreciated – our relationship with them will be nourished and valued well into the future.

Grace Ryder, Gallery Director, Blue Oyster Gallery

“As our thinking evolved, Giblin Group showed a steady commitment to deepen their understanding of our needs. We always looked forward to our coaching sessions which were stimulating and inspiring. Jess and Jenni became valued colleagues that supported and provoked thinking with rigour and generosity. They’re now not only valuable advocates for BATS but part of our whānau.”

Jonty Hendry - General Manager, BATS Theatre

“Jenni did a fantastic job in helping us to secure critical partnerships and funding support for our internationally significant Len Lye Centre project – what’s more we really enjoyed working with her.”

Barbara McKerrow - Former CEO New Plymouth District Council

“Giblin Group’s knowledge of government practices and procedures on a national and local level is invaluable, and I often find that they are well connected with staff and officials on all levels of Government. Giblin Group scopes their assignments well, provides accurate cost estimates for their services, delivers within the agreed timeframes and always deliver excellent quality work – no project manager can really ask for more!”

Kritzo Venter, Senior Stormwater Engineer, Wanganui District Council

“The work that the Giblin Group completed, in collaboration with our staff, was instrumental in the success the project has had in securing significant funding to this key City initiative. In particular we have found the experience of the Giblin Group to been invaluable in seeking funding from a variety of sources in an increasingly challenging environment.”

Lance Vervoort, General Manager – Community, Hamilton City Council