A marae might be integrated into Tauranga's proposed new museum - but tangata whenua have concerns about site choice.

Tauranga City Council's city transformation committee is considering three options for new cultural facilities - a stand-alone new library on Willow St, an integrated library and museum on Willow St and a stand-alone museum on Cliff Rd.

They planned to select a preferred arrangement to take to the full council in November.

Read more: Nervousness around preferred museum site for Tauranga

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At a Tuesday meeting councillors and representatives of the Tauranga Moana Museum Trust reviewed briefs for potential features of the potential buildings.

Requirements proposed for the two museum options included a contemporary marae comprised of a marae atea (place of encounter) and a wharenui (meeting house).

Non-voting committee members, Puhirake Ihaka and Buddy Mikaere, raised concerns with the council about how the marae had come to be in the brief for the integrated Willow St option.

Mr Ihaka said he struggled to see that the site could incorporate a fully expressed marae as well as a library and a museum.

"What we've been talking about over last 18 months - in terms of concept for marae atea and wharenui - is not something you would fit on a postage stamp."

The size was not the only problem - the spirit of the site was wrong too.

Mr Mikaere said it was the first he had heard of the idea and tangata whenua were opposed to a marae on that site.

"It is disappointing to get this far and see mention for the very first time of a contemporary marae on this site."

Project manager Carole Canlier said the council was willing to engage with tangata whenua on draft plans by architects.

She said kaumatua and tangata whenua representatives strongly advocated for the inclusion of a marae in a new museum during earlier engagement workshops.

Mr Mikaere said that was under the "clear understanding" they were talking about the Cliff Rd site, not Willow St.

Councillor Larry Baldock hoped Tauranga had moved on from being a community that would just "throw a marae in" to a project without the right reasons.

In September, the Bay of Plenty Times reported that the committee heard that tangata whenua had expressed strong preference for locating the museum on the Cliff Rd site.

A Trust representative said its objective was for Tauranga to establish an appropriate museum for the community by 2020.

"The trust has a neutral position with regards to museum site until such time as due process has been followed, the business case is completed, approved and adopted."

Council explores funding for options

Some of the requirements and details of the shortlisted options for a new museum and library a Tauranga City Council committee is considering.

Library on Willow St
Estimated build cost: $31.6m
Council chips in: $30m
Size: 4500sq m

Requirements include:
- Cafe
- Community spaces
- Spaces for children and teens
- Heritage research centre

Joint library and museum on Willow St
Estimated build cost: $59.2m
Council chips in: $30m
Size: 7000sq m

Requirements include:
- Cafe
- Contemporary marae including marae atea and wharenui
- Full-catering kitchen
- Retail space
- Community spaces
- Family, school-aged and teen areas
- Exhibition spaces
- Outdoor space
- Galleries
- Private events space
- Heritage research centre

Museum on Cliff Rd
Estimated build cost: $27.6m
Council chips in: $10m
Size: 2500sq m

- Cafe
- Contemporary marae including marae atea and wharenui
- Small kitchen
- Back office
- Retail space
- Community spaces