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by Alexia Johnston

Stage one of South Canterbury Museum’s $400,000 renovation is taking shape in its upstairs area.
The project, being completed over two stages, will feature interactive touch screens and large images of days gone by.
South Canterbury Museum director Philip Howe said the project was taking shape thanks to the $351,000 raised so far.
The funds have been provided by the Timaru District Council, the South Canterbury Museum Development Trust, Perpetual Guardian Trust and the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury.
Topics to be covered in the museum include the growth of South Canterbury towns in the 19th century, changes for local Maori in the 19th and 20th centuries, the start and growth of Timaru’s harbour, shipwrecks and disasters, working life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rural development and Caroline Bay’s history, among others.
Mr Howe said the project had been in the pipeline for “quite some time” but work could only move forward as funds allowed.
“We’ve been very successful in raising the funds that are needed.
“We are doing all the design work ourselves [so] it’s taking up a lot of staff time; so we are doing it in two stages.”
He said while no date for completion had been set, stage one should be finished “in the near future”.
“[We are] trying to get it open as soon as we can and while that’s open we’ll have [the] stage two area closed off.”