Hilary Yip may only be 12 but she has some award-winning ideas for a museum in Tauranga.

Hilary was the intermediate age-group winner of an art competition, run by the Tauranga Moana Museum Trust in collaboration with Taonga Tauranga, encouraging primary and intermediate pupils to be ''bold, wild and adventurous'' in terms of their design creations.

The Tauranga Intermediate pupil's creative design for the proposed Tauranga city museum resulted in her being named one of the three age-group contest winners. Her schoolmate Mirakyl Mitchell, 12, was runner-up in the same category.

Read more: Tauranga's museum referendum a New Zealand online voting first
Designers return home to Tauranga to speak on potential museum
Potential $1.5m hole found in budget for proposed Tauranga museum project


The pair got the unexpected news during their school assembly on Friday.

A delighted Hilary said she had worked on her ''Open Museum'' concept design for two weeks. It included a tall stand of trees, a faceless person's sculpture, a history room, a Maori cultural learning room, a library and cafe.

"My design also includes using earthquake-proof materials, and I have included trees because I really like large trees and the open-plan features included in this design."

Mirakyl said she was "delighted" her design, which included Maori culture elements, a reading room and a cafe, had also found favour with the judging panel.

Hillary's prize was an art kit, Mirakyl received a set of drawing pens, and their school received a cash prize of $500.

Tauranga Moana Museum Trust co-chair Dr Kelly Barclay said the competition was "well-supported" and he was "hugely impressed" by the creativity of the young people who entered - a number who were commended for their efforts.

"The students have come up with some fantastic ideas, including virtual-reality features, using lots of different materials, and incorporating features unique to Tauranga.

"It's so inspiring to see how the young students followed our brief and were bold with their designs to show us what an inspiring museum in Tauranga could look like, " he said.

Barclay said the competition was the perfect vehicle for the students to become part of Tauranga City Council's decision-making on the road to making the museum a reality.

The competition entries would form part of the public submissions to the council about the proposed $55 million museum project.

Principal Brian Diver said he was "rapt" to see his students having the opportunity to share their creative ideas with the Tauranga Moana Museum Trust.

Other winners:
Age group winner, 8-10 years: Zion Mitchell from Bethlehem Primary .
Runners-up: Anabelle Smith, Michael Kontze and Heinrech Kotze.
Age group winner, 5-7 years: Lucian Prescott Park from Golden Sands School.
Runner-up: Olivia Smith.