A council committee is less than a month away from making a big decision on the future of plans for a new museum and central library in Tauranga.

This month people interested in the research so far or who care about the issues involved will have an opportunity to share their opinion and try to sway councillors' views.

Tauranga City Council has set up an "engagement hub" at 2 Devonport Rd with information about the options on the table, as well as some fun stuff such as virtual reality tours of existing museums, a colouring competition and slides of potential exhibition items.

Larry Baldock, chairman of the committee, said the goal was to bring people up to date and give them an opportunity to have their say on what the council should do.


Included in the information are some early architectural plans for each option - a standalone museum at Cliff Rd, an integrated museum and library on Willow St, and a standalone library at Willow St.

Rooftop gardens featured in all three designs, which were prepared by Jasmax.

The standalone library at Willow St was designed as a four-storey building with 4500sq m of usable floor space built around a deep atrium with a cafe on the ground floor.

An integrated museum and library were drawn with five storeys - the library spreading from the ground floor to the third, sitting alongside museum spaces on the first, second and third floors. The fourth floor had space for special exhibitions.

The Cliff Rd museum design was a single storey, with wings either side of the central entrance - one for the museum with exhibition spaces and the other for a wharenui, which had its own entrance, and an open outdoor space, or atea.

Councillors were shown the designs at a workshop on Tuesday, the first of three open workshops on new facilities this month. They were also scheduled to hold a fourth workshop - closed to the public - on November 30.

At their next committee meeting on December 5, they will make a recommendation to take to the full council on December 19.

A veteran of the council's 2007-08 failed museum attempt - where a waterfront museum was designed and costed only to be canned after an election shuffle - Baldock was determined not to see this project go the same way.

"We will get it done this time."

Engagement hub opening hours

Wednesday, November 8: 10am-6pm
Saturday, November11: 10am-4pm
Wednesday, November 15: 10am-6pm
Wednesday, November 22: 10am-6pm
Wednesday, November 29: 10am-6pm
Saturday, December 2: 10am-4pm