Waipa District Council voted last Tuesday to approve a payment of $150,000 to help fund a war memorial museum in Le Quesnoy, France.
The total cost for the museum in our sister city is estimated to be $15M, with the chair of the New Zealand War Memorial Trust, Sir Don McKinnon, describing the project as one of ‘national significance’.
For their part, Sir Don said the French government has effectively subsidised the purchase by selling land and buildings to the trust for 50 per cent of the market valuation.
The property that will house the museum includes a four-level 19th century home, once Le Quesnoy’s mayoral residence, eight surrounding terraced houses on a 1ha site, and a stand-alone cottage and garage.
A total of nine councils, including Waipā, have donated more than $200,000 to the project. Most amounts given were between $10,000 and $20,000, according to trustee Brett Hewson, with Waipā’s contribution making up the bulk of that.
There were no dissenting voices in the council vote confirming the $150,000 pledge, however Cr Susan O’Regan abstained, as did Poto Davies (as a representative of Nga Iwi Toopu O Wāipa).