A new campus for Te Wananga o Aotearoa, new offices for the Tauranga's branch of the Blind Foundation and a new technology block at Tauranga Boys' College are among almost $13 million worth of new construction in Tauranga.

Tauranga City Council building consent figures show $12,992,000 of commercial consents got the green light in February, more than double the $6,266,192 approved in February 2014.

A $3.6 million development by CBC Construction is being developed for Maori tertiary education provider Te Wananga o Aotearoa and will house more than 800 students by the end of the year. The 2000sq m building is being built at 17th Avenue Business Park opposite the Historic Village and is due to be completed by November.

Construction has begun on the Te Wananga O Aotearoa campus on 17th Ave.
Construction has begun on the Te Wananga O Aotearoa campus on 17th Ave.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa facilities manager Bruce Nunns said the new campus was an important step forward for the wananga in Tauranga.

Advertisement

"It represents a significant investment in our tertiary facilities and a long-term education commitment to the people of Tauranga."

It will include staff facilities, five teaching rooms, computer suites, library, workshop, gym, cafe and a room for raranga, traditional Maori weaving.

A new $1 million building on 17th Ave, to be tenanted by the Tauranga branch of the Blind Foundation, was also given the go ahead last month.

Blind Foundation spokesman Ben Watson said building was under way and staff hoped to move into the new offices about July.

The new building would be painted in contrasting colours to help make it easily accessible for those with poor vision and would include an adaptive technology room which was a first for the area.

The adaptive technology would include talking screen reading software, electronic braille displays, note takers with a speech or braille output and software which could enlarge text to enable it to be seen more easily.

Developer Peter Cooney, who is behind the Blind Foundation and Te Wananga developments, said he had not seen such buoyancy in the local construction industry since before the global financial crisis.

"I think there's a lot more confidence in the market at present. Construction that has been put off for years are coming to fruition." Tauranga Boys' College got approval for $1.2 million worth of demolition and construction work for a new technology block.

Principal Robert Mangan said said work on the demolition of "O" block would make space for the new technology block.

The new block would include two large open plan classrooms, a design room with computers and a machine room geared towards metal work.

Other big projects included stage three of the Trustpower office building on Durham St which was worth $3.5 million and a new warehouse and offices worth $1 million in the Tauriko Business Estate.

Tauranga mayor Stuart Crosby agreed the growth was a good sign.

"That's very encouraging that we're not growing just residentially. We do need commercial development to enhance employment," he said. "There's more in the pipeline that I'm aware of."

Residential building activity in the city did not fare as well last month with the number of new dwellings consented dropping from 83 worth more than $27 million in February last year to 76 units worth more than $24 million this year.