The possible locations for a new museum were narrowed down to two today.

City councillors on the City Transformation Committee agreed that the site options for a museum in Tauranga should be restricted to the 91 Willow St site or the Cliff Rd site.

They also agreed that a new performance venue be located within the city centre - between Marsh St and 8th Ave.

The committee, chaired by councillor Larry Baldock, was tasked with leading plans for the city centre, including the Heart of the City Programme which would create a vibrant, safe and thriving city centre.


The Cultural Facilities Project, which was part of the Heart of the City Programme, was investigating options for a revamped city centre.

The options included renewing the existing library or building a new one; building a combined new library and museum; building a standalone museum; increasing Baycourt's capacity or building a new performance venue.

In 2005 the then-council investigated a preferred location for a museum, short listing 91 Willow St, Cliff Rd, the police station and where Trinity Wharf Hotel now sits.

Only two of the four sites now remained available.

Five steps would guide the decision: assessment against investment; city making objectives; technical analysis; cultural and spiritual assessment; and consideration of visitors' experience.

The location for the library would depend on several factors, including council's decision regarding the future of the current library building, council's decision whether to retain the site for a future performance venue and council's decision whether to build a joint library and museum.

Councillors would decide on the future of the library building on March 21.

Detailed business cases were still being investigated for a museum, library and performance centre.


During the committee meeting, councillor Gail McIntosh brought up the importance of storage for the museum, as it was understood the museum would have a rotating collection.

She asked if some of the current collection might be decommissioned and items which would never be displayed given back to their owners to save money on storage.

The answer was it was unlikely any items would be decommissioned, and there could be a way to work out shared storage with other cultural facilities such as the art gallery.

In the public excluded session the committee appointed members to the Tauranga City Centre Technical Advisory Group which would consider different design aspects to create an upgraded city centre.