Firstly, a huge huge HUGE thanks to our visitors who filled out forms and stuck post-its to the SOS – Save Our Services board over the Easter Holiday and Week One of the School Holidays. We are going to take your comments, share them with the community and also take them directly to Wellington City Council.
Wellington City Councillors have said that Te Papa’s funding cut lies in the hands of Wellington ratepayers. We need ratepayers to make official council submissions supporting a return of funding to its pre-cut level of $2.25 million dollars.
Why? Council is keen to get a steer from the community about what it values – and we have thousands of stickies (like this one below) telling us You value Te Papa. We just need you to tell the Council that directly now.
Some Food for Thought
Council is trying to ensure that residential ratepayers get great Value for Money, which is something we all understand and support. However, Residential Ratepayers aren’t responsible for the entire Wellington City Council contribution. Te Papa is classed as a Visitor Attraction in Council’s budgets for economic development and this budget is majority funded by the Downtown Levy (a Targeted Rate paid by the owners of commercial, industrial and business properties – check out page 118 of the Draft Annual Plan 2011/12 for more definitions).
Here’s the financial statement from the Wellington Council Draft Annual Plan (City Promotions, Attractions and Events) 2011/12 – In the figures for Funding you’ll notice that Targeted Rates (in this case, the Downtown Levy) contribute more than General Rates – this illustrates that for a fraction of the total Council contribution, residential ratepayers get a great value-for-money service from Te Papa, and its one we are proud to provide.
So – while the Council’s big theme is ensuring residential ratepayers are being given value for money – we can prove that local Wellingtonians do get that bang for your buck! We’re proud that as Wellington businesses foot the majority of the bill , we’ve helped them by stimulating $59 million in visitor spending, and city residents can access Wellington City Free Days (to our premium exhibitions) and also be the first to enjoy our collections and displays free of charge.
We need our Wellington City ratepayers to tell the council directly – via official council submissions – written submissions open today.
With a HUGE thanks from the team at Te Papa