Picton Museum Whaling Wing Extension Project


The Picton Museum on London Quay has been a feature of the town for almost 50 years. It is owned and operated by the Picton Historical Society Inc. (a registered charity) and built on foreshore land leased from the Marlborough District Council (MDC).

The museum welcomes 5,000 visitors per year and has a busy display of artefacts with the theme "Maritime & Heritage".

Recently, the replica 32' whaleboat Swiftsure I and the original restored 35' whale chaser Cachalot III were offered to the Society for permanent display.

To accomodate these 2 vessels and better display the whaling exhibits, an extension to the museum is required.

                               Swiftsure I and Maori Girl                                                              Cachalot III 

 The whaling wing extension concept is a two-storied, free-standing building with a foot print of 18 x 12m on land leased from MDC. The design is for a mezzanine floor allowing an overview of the whale boats and with a link connection to the west end of the existing museum.

MDC commisioned an independent Feasibility Study by OPUS Int'l Consultants which considered the Extension to be an achievable project and worth funding. The total capital cost estimate is $1.0 million and major external funding will be sought from the likes of the Lotteries Board after the Museum has raised its own contribution of $350,000.

The Whaling Wing Extension Project is supported by the Museum Development Office of National Services Te Paerangi (Te Papa) and the MDC (Manager Support Services, the Community Development Adviser and the Sounds Ward Councilors).

The Extension Project will be realised over 18 months in 3 stages of Funding & Consents, Building Construction, and Furbishment. Cost estimates per stage are $35,000, $850,000 and $145,000 respectively.


  • 1) Bank accounts for the Extension Project building fund have been opened with an inaugural donation by the Society's President.
  • 2) An anonymous contribution to the building fund of $50,000 has been promised via the Society's Honorary Solicitor.
  • 3) The Project has received good publicity in the regional media -  The Picton Seaport Scene, Marlborough Express and The Sun newspaper.
  • 4) MDC has isssued an "Intent of Council" giving assurance on the availability of the foreshore land for the Extension Wing.
  • 5) Smart Alliances Ltd of Blenheim has been awarded the contract for the Architectural & Engineering design and construction supervision of the Extension.
  • 6) Society Committee has approved the architectural design.
  • 7) Resource Consent was granted in February 2014.


Next steps will be application for Building Consent and the confirmation by MDC of the Lease of land for the Extension. Then will follow the search for funds sufficient to construct the Extension. This will be followed by Construction Tenders, the build and finally a furbishment contract and fit-out.

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