The people of Tauranga will soon have the chance to have their say on one of the most significant projects many will see constructed in the city during their lifetime.
The transformation of the civic precinct in the central city is set to begin later this year, but first an amendment to the current Long-term Plan will be consulted on so Council can gain community feedback on the options for bringing the project to life.
At today’s Council meeting, the Commissioners agreed that as part of the Long-term Plan Amendment process, the community will be asked whether they’d like to see the full masterplan for the civic precinct site implemented, or the previously planned precinct including a library and community hub.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley says this is a “once in a generation” opportunity for the community to have its say on a project that will transform the city centre into a place people want to visit, live, work and play in decades to come.
“We have heard the message loud and clear that the community wants to see the potential for our city centre realised, and the redevelopment of the civic precinct has a major part to play in that,” says Anne.
“We are at a moment in time when we have the chance to do this once and do it properly, so it’s important that we hear what the community thinks about the options proposed.”
The Long-term Plan Amendment process is running alongside Council’s 2022/23 Annual Plan process this year. Community consultation on both will take place from 25 March until 26 April.
The two options for the future civic precinct that will be consulted on include:
Option 1 (preferred option):
- Staged development of the full refreshed Civic Precinct Masterplan – ‘Te Manawataki o Te Papa’ - which was approved by Council on 6 December 2021.
- Facilities would include a library, civic whare (a venue for Council and community meetings), museum and exhibition space. It would also include the development of the waterfront reserve, between Hamilton and Wharf Streets, linking the harbour with the civic precinct via Masonic Park.
- An estimated capital cost of $303.4 million.
- Develop a modified option of the civic precinct, focusing on projects and services that were included in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan.
- Facilities would include a library & community hub and the civic whare.
- An estimated capital cost of $126.8 million.
Half of the cost of the civic precinct developments would be debt-funded and financed through rates, with the balance funded from other sources such as Government grants, the sale of non-core Council assets and sponsorship.
Following the Long-term Plan Amendment process, the Commission is expected to make a final decision about the future development of the civic precinct on 27 June.
More information about the civic redevelopment plans can be found on the civic redevelopment webpage.