Opening of the Hundertwasser Art Centre
20. February 2022
In 1993, Hundertwasser was invited by the Whangārei District Council, represented by Mayor Stan Semenoff, to design an art gallery building in Whangārei. Hundertwasser sketched a two-storey building with an afforested roof accessible from below in the most beautiful place in Whangārei, at a water arm of the marina. Two columns, one "European" and one "Māori" at the corners of the building were intended to accentuate the facade. The existing Council Building on this square should be included in the design. The project was not pursued further and only resumed in 2008 by the Whangārei District Council (WDC) in cooperation with the Hundertwasser Non-Profit Foundation with the aim of establishing a "Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery". After many years of debate, the realization of the project was decided by a referendum in 2015. The realization is thanks to a citizens' initiative, which was formed as the Prosper Northland Trust under Ian Reeves, Barry Trass and Trevor Griffiths, and the commitment of many supporters, volunteers and sponsors.