Tauranga City Council says three months of community engagement has shown significant community support for a new museum in Tauranga, and the redevelopment of the central library.
At a meeting on Wednesday, the Tauranga City Transformation Committee discussed the community engagement undertaken so far, outlining perspectives from community members on what they value and what they would like to experience in a new museum and central library.
This information was gathered through workshops, focus groups, school visits and stalls at community events.
Chair of the City Transformation Committee Larry Baldock thinks it was a great opportunity to talk with the community about what is important to them.
“We have been blown away by the level of engagement, discovering the willingness of people to get involved and share their views."
The feedback will be used to shape the business case currently being prepared for a new museum and the redevelopment of the central library in the city centre.
The most common perspective from people was their desire for a new museum to be able to ‘tell our story' and learn about what has shaped Tauranga to be the place it is today.
People also thought it was important for a new museum to build cultural awareness, be a local tourist attraction, and a place to take visitors.
Feedback recognised the need for the central library to be modernised, but stressed the need to retain some of the more traditional aspects of the library service.
Some highlighted concerns about the costs and prioritising this work over other community needs.
However, these comments were minor in comparison to the support that was voiced.
With the business case well underway, the City Transformation Committee discussed the community engagement and the potential location for the facilities.
City transformation general manager Jaine Lovell-Gadd says Council has previously resolved to look at the locations of 91 Willow Street and Cliff Road.
“The recommendation on a location will consider such factors as; strategic objectives, cultural significance, experience, cost, time to build, suitability of land and neighbourhood impacts.
"The role of the Council is to assess all the factors, and recommend a location and approach, which will give Tauranga the best opportunity for a successful museum and library."
The City Transformation Committee resolved to receive a report on August 1 that provides information to support the shortlisting of options and location for cultural facilities that reflects the information received to date from engagement with Tangata Whenua, Kaumatua and the community and the technical advice including advice from Technical Advisory Group.
Any proposed investment in a new museum and the redevelopment of the central library will be formally consulted on as part of the Long Term Plan process in early 2018.