Tauranga City Council’s Commission has given the green light to proceed with the most significant investment in community facilities the city may ever see.
Te Manawataki o Te Papa – the heartbeat of Te Papa – will see the development of a new library and community hub, civic whare (community meeting house), museum and exhibition gallery on Willow Street in the city centre. Upgrades to Baycourt and Tauranga Art Gallery, along with associated landscape and waterfront improvements will also add to a greatly enhanced environment.
At a late-July Council meeting, Commissioners approved proceeding with the full programme of works after considering the business case and financial strategy, and updated designs and costs.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the business case tells a story of a city centre reimagined and outlines the multitude of benefits the transformative development will create for the city, its residents and wider subregion.
“In economic terms, Te Manawataki o Te Papa is expected to increase the present value of local and regional economic output by around $500 million, with wider benefits totalling a further $500 million over the life of the buildings.”
It’s expected Te Manawataki o Te Papa will attract triple the number of visitors to the city centre, to 5,500 people a day, or two million visits a year, by 2035.
With a total budget of $306.3 million, the financial strategy supports Council’s commitment to cap rates-funded debt at $151.5 million. Council is already making good progress to secure additional funding following TECT’s recent approval of a significant $21 million grant towards Te Manawataki o Te Papa, and $12.1 million in central Government Better-Off funding received last year.
Construction of Te Manawataki o Te Papa is expected to begin early next year and is earmarked for completion by the end of 2028.
Find out more at www.tauranga.govt.nz/civicprecinct