Essay competition on Tauranga Museum

Tauranga students are being asked to pen their thoughts on a city museum for an essay competition. File photo.

An essay competition has been launched in Tauranga's secondary schools to raise youth interest in the city's proposed new museum on Cliff Road.

Students are being asked to define their idea of a modern museum, and justify why Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty would benefit from it.

Promoted by Taonga Tauranga, a voluntary group of Tauranga residents supporting the museum project, the essay competition has been created to encourage youth to pen their thoughts on having a museum as the council's referendum approaches.

Taonga Tauranga believes youth are possibly the largest user group for the future museum but don't get a voice in the referendum.

Sponsorship for the competition is being largely provided by Tauranga-based company Classic Builders, which supports the museum initiative.

Company director Peter Cooney says: 'The museum project will be an attractive addition to Tauranga providing a worthy showcase for the city's heritage.”

Locally established over 20 years ago, he says Classic Builders has a strong interest in seeing that the cultural development of the city is equally as important as other development initiatives and the company is pleased to support the essay competition for this reason.

The other sponsor for the competition, Holland Beckett Law (HOBEC), has been part of Tauranga's story for over 80 years.

Partner Simon Collett says: 'The firm has an important role to play in promoting the benefits a museum will bring to Tauranga. We have always maintained a trustee presence on the Tauranga Moana Museum Trust for this reason.”

HOBEC are sponsoring a first prize of $1000 and second prize of $500 in the Years 11, 12, 13 category.

The essay competition has both junior and senior categories and secondary schools are asked to submit their best two essays in each category.

The two categories are Years 9 and 10, and Years 11, 12 and 13. The word limit is 800 to 1000 words in both categories.

The competition closes midday March 27.

The winners of the Years 9 and 10 category will receive a return trip to Dunedin to visit the studios of Animation Research Ltd (ARL), the company creating innovative graphics that enhance the viewers experience when watching the Americas Cup, Cricket and World Golf tournaments and visit Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, which incorporates ARL technology into its exhibits. The museum recently underwent a $37m revamp.

The four students from each secondary school whose essays are submitted for judging will be invited to the Classic Builders sponsored prize giving on April 4 at the Tauranga Art Gallery starting at 5.30pm.

You may also like....



Posted on 20-03-2018 13:48 | By dumbkof2

the museum wanters must be getting really desperate now


Posted on 20-03-2018 14:02 | By PaulM

I believe it is sad that the children of Tauranga are being asked to give glorious favour in the support of the Museum when the Ratepayers, who are expected to pay for it, have yet to decide that a Museum should be built - let alone where.


Posted on 20-03-2018 14:20 | By dumbkof2

will they have a essay competition as to the best ideas why we don't need one

Dirty tactics!

Posted on 20-03-2018 14:35 | By AndyCap

Why not just offer all Tauranga kids free iTunes gift cards if they join the pro museum movement? The levels these people will stoop to are unbelievable! How about a 'Friends of the City' membership club card too? What next I wonder.

Please explain to them

Posted on 20-03-2018 15:48 | By Angels

Please also make them aware that they and their families will be paying for this each and year till they die. Even ask the kids would you spend your money that way. Let alone dream up more costly ideas.Our current council can,t even figure that out. They should be put back into school, sure not running this city.

Nasty propaganda

Posted on 20-03-2018 17:14 | By waiknot

Well thats 2 business I wont be using and Im not necessarily anti the museum but these tactics.........

Dirty tactics, and pathetic

Posted on 20-03-2018 17:15 | By nerak

What will their next 'trick' be? Kids will only see the $$ they might win. Also agree with other comments, the kids are not going to be hit in the pocket on the rate take. I sincerely hope some of the older students who hear about this competition will see it for what it is, just another load of s*#t in a barrow. Disappointed to see Hobec putting up a prize, but not surprised given Bill Holland is part of the Hobec name. Want and Need are two very different things, and we don't need a museum. There are more urgent matters to attend to, and shame on those in the article feeding into the want. High time the wanters stepped up and emptied their pockets.

All not included?

Posted on 20-03-2018 18:01 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That their life will be mortgaged for many decades with massive debt and huge annual losses, how does that factor in the "benefits" to be considered? In my view they would outweigh the benefits many fold. It is a real pitty that teh referendum does not have a compulsory tab on it, that if you support it then you pay for it by way of a specific rate. That would mean teh 10 people in the Tauranga area who support it would have to pay a $3-4m up front each and say $1m a year to then keep it afloat. All dead money.

@ dumbkof2

Posted on 20-03-2018 18:14 | By MISS ADVENTURE

VERY, the more that they roll out the wonders of it all the more rediculous it looks.

Museum wonders?

Posted on 20-03-2018 18:18 | By MISS ADVENTURE

How possibly can it all be taken at all seriously when you can not look at the very parge cost, debt and losses that will be imposed on all for teh desires of a few to be sated? The huge cost of that just can not be offset even a little, no wonder they are limiting and restricting the essay and very much the content to all teh warm fuzzies. Actually it is VERY hard to find a student that is remotely interested in the Art Gallery nevermind a non-existent nonesense like the soon to fail ... befroe it starts Museum.


Posted on 20-03-2018 19:18 | By fifthwheeler

Ask the kids whether they would rather protect local parks for future generations or gone and look at some bones. Most of the bones will be under the concrete slab anyway. Amazing what greasing the palm will do to ethics.

Low blow - manipulating and using our kids

Posted on 20-03-2018 20:42 | By GrahamTGA

Hey kids, who would like a day off school and a visit to a museum with lunch and ice cream? Ask this type of loaded question to school kids, and they will obviously leap at the opportunity. Having two of my own kids in secondary school, I asked them at dinner what they would expect from a Tauranga museum? Both, immediately mentioned Te Papa and their visits there. In my opinion, and what seems evident from several articles and comments in the news, is that a Tauranga Museum would not compare in any way to Te Papa, and would rather be primarily focused on local Maori history and culture. A more suitable and better essay assignment for students would be to explain the importance and prioritisation of planned infrastructure for a growing city, and the costs of running and funding the infrastructure of a growing city?


Posted on 20-03-2018 21:56 | By groutby

....if it gets 'railroaded' through we already know who will be building it and legal stuff, already decided?...this gets more and more 'dodgy' by the day.........

And the Big question is

Posted on 20-03-2018 22:00 | By The Caveman

Who's money is being spent on this competition - oh I forgot - what is the REAL source of the money - RATEPAYERS.........................................

Sorry, but this is more than a bit one sided.

Posted on 21-03-2018 01:07 | By babyG

Of course a museum would be of benefit, BUT.... at what expense in terms of development outlay and ongoing running costs? At this stage, Tauranga has other urgent priorities. Needs vs Wants! Do school kids want a museum, or more quality time with family and friends, instead of wasting large quantities of time sitting in traffic on the daily school and sports runs. What about a better bus service and a more user friendly city infrastructure? The massive increase in rates will most certainly impact on our savings for our rare family holiday that we all so look forward to. Not all parents can afford to pay more rates with the rising costs of running a household. Tauranga's top earning elite just don't seem to care about the bulk of the residents and ratepayers and are prepared to use every possible means to drive home their opinion for theiowninterests


Posted on 21-03-2018 08:20 | By Captain Sensible

The winning essay will be written in maori. I'd like to enter the competition as to why we don't need a musueum.

Hobec=Bill Holland

Posted on 21-03-2018 09:35 | By kimmel

Funny how Bill Holland(Hobec) who is Chairman of the TECT Trust wants to give all the Trust Powers beneficiaries money to the Charity Trust and give it to the Community I.e. TCC projects. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

Youth are our future,

Posted on 21-03-2018 15:37 | By R. Bell

grizzling oldies are not. How better to feel out the opinions of our children and educate them in English composition. Great initiative by concerned companies and there is NOTHING cynical about it. To claim any museum would focus only on Maori culture is yet another pathetic example of inherent prejudice. Robin Bell.

Youth are our future,

Posted on 21-03-2018 15:38 | By R. Bell

grizzling oldies are not. How better to feel out the opinions of our children and educate them in English composition. Great initiative by concerned companies and there is NOTHING cynical about it. To claim any museum would focus only on Maori culture is yet another pathetic example of inherent prejudice. Robin Bell.

@ R. Bell

Posted on 21-03-2018 21:45 | By Jayleen Wood

Please do not patronise us parents that are actively involved in the upbringing of our own and others children on a daily basis. The word used by Grahamh was 'primarily', meaning firstly or predominantly, as opposed to the word 'only' used by yourself. You may have demonstrated your own prejudice, but there is a difference in the two terms. We are also not debating 'any museum' but rather the Tauranga Museum that will be funded at huge cost by Tauranga residents, many of whom may agree with the opinion of Grahamh. As you are so well connected, perhaps you could tell everyone how much funding (in dollars) local iwi have offered to contribute towards the museum? And lastly, I would be interested to hear what percentage of the museums overall footprint you envisage being dedicated to other exhibits and subjects of interest that have little or no Maori connection?

Tauranga has yet to hold a referendum

Posted on 22-03-2018 02:52 | By Centurion

on the need for a museum, yet it would appear that the decision has already been made. It would also appear that it will be sited on Cliff Road. Isn't it time that those expected to pay for this very expensive exercise (rate-payers) were treated as citizens rather than mushrooms? And yes, I have worked in both central and local government, which only serves to strengthen my cynicism when projects such as this are floated.

Two comments that were in the news just days ago included:

Posted on 22-03-2018 08:06 | By GT in Bay of Plenty

1) However, tangata whenua have expressed their strong view that a Willow St location is not aligned with their aspirations 2) Mikaere said he thought it had been made perfectly clear that Maori leaders did not support the combined option in Willow St, and that without their support Government funding was not going to happen. My question is: Just who is running the show here, and to what end? I also thought the planned museum was going to be more along the lines of technology and the natural world around us. Sure, our history is important, but it is not going to draw visitors, other than bus loads full of compulsary school trips. Why should ratepayers have to pay the bills?

Thank you Jayleen,

Posted on 22-03-2018 09:34 | By R. Bell

for the lesson in English comprehension. Perhaps you could now enlighten me and others on the facts surrounding the claim that our new proposed museum would be "primarily focused on Maori history and culture" as claimed by Graham. It may have escaped your attention, but Maori just happen to be rate payers too. If you look before you leap you may find a number of examples of Maori contributions to the development of local facilities, unrecognised by you and many others. To answer your last leading question Jayleen. I have no idea as to what size "footprint" non Maori exhibits would hold, but my guess would be to provide enough interest and education for ALL of our citizens and visitors. Check out "modern museums" you will be pleasantly surprised. Robin Bell.

Tangata whenua have the right to an opinion,

Posted on 22-03-2018 09:53 | By R. Bell

as for the assumption that our history is not going to draw visitors you could not be more wrong G.T. One of the first requests of visitors is to view Maori cultural exhibits.The history of Pakeha settlement is also high on the list. Presumably Maori prefer Cliff road because it is culturally significant and could be a stand alone iconic building, something Tauranga needs badly. As for the false claim that costs fall solely on rate payers, absolute nonsense. Hamilton has over 30 contributing companies to ease that burden. Robin Bell.

Some are honest enough to get down to the basics.

Posted on 22-03-2018 11:37 | By Brenda-cyclemax

What will the proposed museum actually include. If we do not know how can we vote either for or against. What is very clear is that this essay competition is an attempt at showing perceived support from the school going community for a museum that has not even been given the green flag go ahead by the ratepayers. Ratepayers, who by the way will be forking out millions upon millions to keep it running year after year, after year. We were sold a similar line with the Art Museum and Historic Village, both of which have proven to be total financial flops that require constant propping up by council. I am not interested in a Tauranga museum controlled by and dedicated in most part to Maoridom.

R. Bell – Do the kids know the financial realities?

Posted on 23-03-2018 11:15 | By CountOnMe

And just how another debt hole has the potential to further increase their parents rates bills. Larry Baldock also said "contrary to opinion, ratepayers will not be heavily affected by the cost of a museum as corporate investment could cover much of the capital outlay." However, to the best of my knowledge, to date not a single corporate has come forward with any capital (and we are talking about tens of millions $$$$ required), neither is there any realistic, sound business model that can support the $$$$ for ongoing operating costs. R. Bell, to put this to bed, simply name all the Tauranga companies that are willing to provide all this money and simply state the exact figure, how much $$$$ iwi are contributing to this museum?

CountOnMe, you certainly can.

Posted on 24-03-2018 10:05 | By R. Bell

If you read the above article you will see evidence of corporate interest. No money or other support can ever reduce ratepayers support to zero, however, nor should it. All ratepayers whether private or business have a vested interest in the on going development of this city. Those who wish to opt out should put their case of genuine hardship to council. Education and inspiration cost money, but both are more necessary today than ever before. Narrow minded fear has never, ever seen the development we need, succeed. Those of us that support a museum, do so out of an unselfish belief that such facilities engender attachment, inspiration, education even entertainment as well as employment opportunities. Robin Bell.

Mr R. Bell. I have read the above article several times.

Posted on 24-03-2018 17:43 | By CountOnMe

It describes how the Taonga Tauranga group together with a home building company and a legal firm are involved in promoting and sponsoring a children's essay competition to the tune of a few thousand dollars. Financially, there's nothing more. Also, no one mentioned reducing ratepayers support to zero, but let's start with say a fair 50/50 split or 60/40 or even 70/30, with the bulk from council ratepayers and the lesser percentage being corporate and iwi. So, my questions still stand. Please list (with no attached waffle) all the Tauranga companies and businesses that have pledged financial investment towards the multi million-dollar museum project? Also, the dollar value that iwi have offered to contribute. In closing, I respectfully put to you Mr R. Bell that you cannot provide detailed evidence of even the first million dollars of corporate or iwi investment, let alone the additional tens of millions required.

You have a 'curious' way with words........

Posted on 25-03-2018 09:37 | By groutby

.....Robin, presumably each designed to gain momentum from the general populous, more often than not I have to say not achieved. In this case you write..'you will see evidence of corporate interest'...I re-read the article keenly to see, my hopes ever so slightly raised. Not so. The 'corporates' spoken of are two of the companies vying for, if not already guaranteed, the planning and work to build the museum. No evidence of direct financial contribution whatsoever, and realistically we know the reason for that, or at least most of us do.

@ CountOnMe

Posted on 25-03-2018 12:40 | By MISS ADVENTURE

No they dont, likely Bell does not either, the level of understanding is indeed a strong paralell here. This pervdes master Bells phyic template on a permanent basis, nothing factual, real can penatrate unless it is a perfect match to the predetermined answer already "programmed" in.

@ R. Bell

Posted on 25-03-2018 13:10 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Sadly you are very much deluded. The welfare of a community is very much affected by the overwhelming affects of debt and particularly huge debt. The same applies to the massive ongoing burden of the huge losses also. To think for just a moment otherwise is totally naive. Perhaps you should attend any High Court (well over due...) on the Civil list day each four weeks, sit, say nothing and listen to the results of financial carnage, excess debt, over spending and so on. These reflect decisions made that were not that prudent. What you support here is the same thing, however when it all fails and Council has commissioners appointed then likely rates will double just like Kaipara. Can you say that is a good thing for the citizens of Tauranga? God save the Ratepayer as no one else will!

Hands off our school kids

Posted on 25-03-2018 15:55 | By AndyCap

until the decision is made to proceed or not. Children should not be used as political pawns to help sway a point of view either way. As mentioned, the Maori leaders views about the location is of great concern in relation to the integrity of the proposal as put forward by council.

To my detractors,

Posted on 25-03-2018 16:51 | By R. Bell

To my knowledge no detail has been released on who, how many and what level corporate contributions will make up the financial contributions needed. What we do know for certain is these contributions are both essential and necessary. To my knowledge no absolute decision has yet been made. Therefore confusing to some or not, all for OR against are essentially commenting prematurely. My comments are simply to oppose those who spread misinformation for instance the inference that local IWI should contribute more than anyone else.IWI are made up of individuals many of whom pay rates and or contribute in other ways. Presumptions etc do not enter my mind, as claimed. Those who oppose the museum, have that right. I reserve the right to support it. To discredit my comments, all need to put forward the facts they expect me to supply. To date no one has done that.Robin Bel

Thick with inference groutby,

Posted on 26-03-2018 11:54 | By R. Bell

as usual. No factual comments whatsoever. Your presumptions are way out. I have no interest in " gaining momentum with the general population" I leave such foolish dreams to you, missy and others like dummkopf2. Robin Bell.

Robin, here's what i'm getting at.

Posted on 26-03-2018 13:33 | By Jayleen Wood

Others have addressed similar thoughts to mine, but I am genuinely interested to hear about examples of Maori contributions to the development of local facilities in Tauranga? I also took your advice and checked out 'modern museums' and was impressed, especially when I also checked out 'art galleries' and discovered magnificent testimonies to human creativity, frequented by millions worldwide. Unfortunately, this is not the case with our drab, uninspiring, rates funded Tauranga Art Gallery... and this is just my point. Give me a financially sustainable business case for a grand, world class all encompassing museum experience showcasing our city, culture, history, technology, environment and the world we live in, with constantly changing interactive displays, mind boggling exhibits, exploration pathways etc and I'm in. What I don't want, is another loss making half effort to appease a perceived basic need, or the wants of a minority group.

Jayleen, it's not my job,

Posted on 28-03-2018 09:15 | By R. Bell

to give you a "financially sustainable business case" that is the responsibility of council etc.I can give you my own experience of interaction with museums, cultural, art of all kinds and my personal favorites engineering. Not all people are inspired by such displays and in any event it is subjective. I was inspired and that led to a lifetime of discovery. It is always right to aim for the best in all things, but your prerequisite for a "world class all encompassing museum experience " carries the whiff of sarcasm we expect from those opposed at any cost. Never under estimate people Jayleen, it's always a mistake. Robin Bell.

My factual comments Robin...

Posted on 28-03-2018 22:57 | By groutby

...lay squarely (and obviously I thought) by stating that there is "evidence of corporate interest"...would it be possible for you to explain please and answer to "CountOnMe 24/ corporate/iwi investment in such project? ...(yes, with no attached waffle)...........

Interest, groutby.

Posted on 29-03-2018 07:48 | By R. Bell

If you reread the above article you will see both companies show an "interest". in the concept of a museum. Both show a willingness to contribute, both MAY be prepared to contribute further. I suggest you study what the noun interest means. Please don't twist my words to suit your own cynical outlook. The "direct financial contribution" you refer to was, never mentioned by me. Robin Bell.

@ Jayleen Wood

Posted on 29-03-2018 13:10 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The part Maori contributions you ask of, theese are simply to seek to collect a fee to approve it, when their approval isnt actually required but they demand it so anyway. Your fear expressed in teh conclusion is the fact of it. It will have massive losses just like the Art gallery, but a lot more. The crap that is apparently so valuable and wonderous is not even in the novelty category. A museum Tauranga style/quality (dispte all the "trumped up" hype, it will be a complete flop and failure for stated dreams and certainly financially.

'INTEREST' Noun . .

Posted on 29-03-2018 14:18 | By Jayleen Wood

showing interest 'the feeling of wanting to know or learn about something or someone'. I have a great interest in the Tauranga Museum debate, but I won't be voting "Yes" at this stage, or providing any sponsorship! If either of these companies are willing to contribute, let them clearly say so and stop mucking about around the edges of the issue. Rather front up and tell the Tauranga public "should the museum proposal go ahead, we will be willing to contribute X dollars." It's called confidence of conviction, rather than this low cost, shrewd brand awareness marketing scheme. We can all keep going at this Robin because as you indicated, there is no detailed financial plan forthcoming from council. Let's just agree to leave it to the Yes/No referendum, and not let a certain councillor LB anywhere near the vote counting process. Everyone, have a great, safe Easter.

Jayleen, my last on this thread.

Posted on 29-03-2018 16:19 | By R. Bell

To be brutally honest I think you put the horse before the cart. Companies that contribute do so for many reasons, social responsibility, promotion of their brand name, even vested interest. It would be foolhardy to expect any company to " invest " without some firm proposition from council. You fail to approve out of fear, without your consent to move forward, the things you question can never be answered. Even your questioning of the honesty and integrity of councilor Baldock. I find it sad that on the one hand you engage with me on this subject, yet fail to engage with those who commented long before me in such disparaging terms. Robin Bell.

@ Jayleen Wood

Posted on 30-03-2018 13:44 | By MISS ADVENTURE

They wont come out of the shadows and come clean, neither TCC nor the purported company sponsors. TCC is simply just trying to create a perception of support for something that is a big challenge to float with the public and jsutify in any way that its a good thing somehow. These little things that they keep "creating" are just hype intended to simply get to teh en result by any means possible.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment.