$4M approved for new i-Site

The city council is seeking feedback on the location of the new i-site: Supplied photo.

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne is welcoming the city council's approval of $4 million for a new i-Site in Mount Maunganui's Coronation Park.

The council has approved the ‘medium option', $4,026,000 for a visitor information centre with about 330m2 of enclosed space and a further 480m2 of semi-enclosed space.

The council is not funding the ‘iconic roof' which will cost an addition $1 million, with councillors suggesting this week that it be paid for by industry participants who actually make money out of the growing cruise ship tourism market.

“From a Tourism Bay of Plenty perspective we are really pleased with the result today and we feel this is critical for the industry and we are looking forward to consulting with the community on the details around this project, and today marks the first step of that. It is really the beginning,” says Kristin.

“I hope the result will be a really beautiful building that we can all be proud of.

“We are really pleased for the industry and I think our tourism industry and all of the industries should feel really encouraged.”

Kristin believes the additional $1 million for the iconic roof will be found.

The preferred location is Coronation Park on the corner of Maunganui road and Nikau Crescent. The alternative is the old i-Site location in Salisbury Avenue.

The city council is going to consult with the public about the options.

Bill Grainger's suggestion the council seriously look at taking over part of the Mount Ocean Sports Club at the end of Salisbury Avenue didn't get traction, with one of the factors being the congestion that Salisbury Avenue already faces – apart from the fact the club is not council property.

Tourism spending in Tauranga is estimated to be $713 million for the year ending December 2016, an increase of $65 million over the $648 million estimated visitor spending in 2015.

Regionally, tourists are estimated to have spent $933 million in the year ending December 2016.

The fastest growing segment is the international visitor market – cruise ship passengers disembarking at Mount Maunganui.

Tauranga City Council's supports Tourism Bay of Plenty to the tune of $1.4 million, compared to the Rotorua District Council's $3.9 million.

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Whakatane District Council pay $190,000 and $84,000 annually.

Visitor information centres are considered loss leaders in that they themselves do not run at a profit. But economic analysis finds more than 40 per cent of international visitors use them and that 59 per cent of those spend more in the area as a result - on average $1000 more.

Bay of Plenty visitor expenditure in 2016 averaged approximately $2.5 million per day. The total cost of delivering an ‘iconic' visitor information centre would equate to less than two days of regional visitor expenditure.

The decision to fund the project will be included in the 2017/18 Annual Plan, with construction expected to start March 2018 and be finished in time for the following holiday/cruise ship season in October 2018, meaning costs will be spread over both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Annual Plans.


more wasted money

Posted on 09-03-2017 10:21 | By Mein Fuhrer

from iSite to iSore

$5 million...

Posted on 06-03-2017 13:19 | By morepork

... sounds like a lot, but in the context of $173M in tourism revenue, I guess it isn't. During the last One Love Concert weekend I went to Taupo. I needed to get some information and was very happy to use their information centre. It was humming, with backpackers and tourists and a great buzzing atmosphere. You could see it is an asset to their town, and it is a pleasant place to be, even if you have to wait a little to get service. Comparisons between the number of house and land packages that could be bought are not really fair; it is apples and oranges. If the centre leaves tourists with a good impression of our area, it is an investment into the future. I hope they get the roof.

Welcome to Tauranga..

Posted on 16-02-2017 08:11 | By Me again

Our foreign visitors, would you like to leave a KOHA in the yellow box to pay for our extravagate i-site office . There you go people 1 idea, What's yours

That roof

Posted on 16-02-2017 07:53 | By Paploc

Million dollar roof for the homeless and beggars to sit under. Will look great

$5 million - laughable

Posted on 15-02-2017 21:16 | By chatter

and yet, you can build at least 7 (yes SEVEN) brand new 3/4 bedroom house & land packages for a similar value. SERIOUSLY TCC ? ? ? Put your friggin priorities back with the residents of this city.Public consultation is a joke - and a majority of the costs estimated for something like this is going into the back pocket of out of town consultants. The Architects who sell these grand schemes, are only in it for the magazine articles, self gratification and to enhance their already swollen heads.More parking facilities and better transportation/corridors around the City is what is called for.

'Same Old'

Posted on 15-02-2017 19:54 | By Mackka

It is disappointing to see that the 'same old' 'same old' is happening with the new mayor at the helm. I, like most, had hoped that some common sense might prevail where the purse strings are concerned. But it seems 'NO' - very disappointing Mr Brownless! We had great expectations of a better deal for us ratepayers!

They Dont Care

Posted on 15-02-2017 18:08 | By Capt_Kaveman

its not their money, you elect idiots this is what you get idiot ideas


Posted on 15-02-2017 17:54 | By dumbkof2

once again another rip off. how can it possibly cost 4 mil for that building perhaps the ratepayers should demand a breakdown of the costs and then we will see who is ripping the people off

Oh dear me

Posted on 15-02-2017 16:20 | By Dino

Really Council?? you are spending this much on something that will bring very little to the local economy and yet you balk at $25k for an event that will bring more money and people to the CBD - i think that you actually need to start consulting with the people that are paying your wages, and not just sit in your ivory towers and guess at what should and shouldn't be happening in our city

aw, come on Mackka!

Posted on 15-02-2017 16:07 | By nerak

Wheres your sense of humour? Surely the wally/ess who dreamed this edifice up, complete with it looks like 40 downlights (not cheap to run?) must have designed this with the shape of many a councillors head in mind? Likely the designer isnt a ratepayer here. Im concerned about: Visitor information centres are considered loss leaders in that they themselves do not run at a profit. But ... ..more than 40 per cent of international visitors use them and that 59 per cent of those spend more in the area as a result - on average $1000 more. and think ratepayers deserve proof of the $1 k at the end. So a loss leader, why pour ratepayer circa $4m into it, which we all know will blow out. Fail, council. Pity, a lot of us hoped for better from council. If the hat fits.


Posted on 15-02-2017 14:59 | By Sandy Fordyce

Isn't it interesting that the council can find money for this monstrosity of a building that will not be used by very many, but cannot find $25,000.00 to help to host an event that will bring in not only visitors to the area, but also money for the business in the City. Someone really needs to look at who is allocating money for these sorts of projects. Put the money towards events that will bring people to the city and retailers... There is so much information sourced online from visitors now... is a new Isite really that necessary when the old one can be upgraded for at least half that cost!


Posted on 15-02-2017 14:03 | By Politically Incorrect

Is it diamond encrusted or something? 4 million is probably 3 million too much, and then there will be budget blowouts to investigate a dead pigeon found on site and the usual delays. No doubt the contract will be awarded to the councils pet developer too. Another million for the 'iconic roof', iconic by cost, not by presence. Does the council not employ quantity surveyors, or someone who can at least question this? Someone must realise this is a complete gouge. Most expensive swiss sauna ever.

Regional Council??

Posted on 15-02-2017 13:53 | By peecee09

Your article indicates the various local Authorities contributions to Tourism BOP but I see no mention of the BOP Regional Council. Is this an omission by your journalist or is it yet another example of this cash rich authority's "stingy" attitude coming to the fore once again. The BOP Regional Council has numerous large investments that the" man in the street" has absolutely no knowledge of. They are empire building at our expense with our money . Shame on you.

Oh Dear!

Posted on 15-02-2017 13:01 | By Mackka

Well it certainly will be a 'sight' - a laughable one, with that outrageous, ridiculous roof - costing $1 million!!! A beautiful building? Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you'd need a great imagination to call this lopsided, eyeful "beautiful"!

How the council

Posted on 15-02-2017 12:42 | By Hot stuff

Just loves to waste ratepayers money , why does it have to cost that much .It must have gold plated toilets in it

golly gosh

Posted on 15-02-2017 12:09 | By old trucker

They will not consult with the PUBLIC,(SCINCE WHEN) $5 million for a shed,for goodness sake whats wrong with the little Kiosk where it use to be, just upgrade it,i wonder if this is one project already signed off by outgoing Mayor, Immmmm,where do they get this about spending from,it will only get used in tourist season,and locals wont use it,what a terrible waste of money,(BUT) us MUGGINS are going to pay for it,why is it the New Mayor step in and say NO NO,can not afford this,(BUT) maybe just maybe,immmm,have a finger in the pie,just my thoughts only,Sunlive thankyou for the great news you put out and try and keep us up to date with whats going on.Thanks 10-4 out.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

What are your thoughts on the council’s proposal to increase rates 40 per cent over the next three years?

Good, it will help pay to revitilise the city
Not good, rates are high enough now
I’m ok with an increase, but maybe not such a big one

Bay Today

Penumbra on Sunday. Photo: Joan King.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz