Welcome to Tauranga - the city where roads take priority over everything else.

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it sure feels that way to a die-hard museum supporter like myself.

It wasn't unexpected that the city-wide referendum would go against spending $20 million of ratepayer funds towards building a museum in the city.

For some reason, there's a perception in this city that museums are unused wastes of space.

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I'm guessing that's because the people who think this way don't visit museums themselves and therefore think no one does, a pretty selfish way of looking at things from my point of view.

The other point people like to make is that a museum would be nice, but roads should be fixed first.

As if the council can only do one thing at a time and can't start a new project until the first is completed.

For this reason, what was surprising to me was the comparative lack of outcry against the council's call to spend $35m on a new CBD library.

To be clear, I'm not against this. Libraries, like museums, are fantastic community hubs filled with scores of information for a hungry mind.

But why was there such an outcry at the possibility of spending $20m on a museum, but barely an eyelid batted at $35m on something we've already got three of?

There was even less fuss made about the huge investment into cycleways - up to $100m. Five times the amount the council was looking at spending on a museum.

I'm glad to see investment in anything that will improve our traffic issues, but it didn't have to come at the expense of a museum.

It didn't have to be this way, Tauranga. We could have had both.

With all the other spending that's been agreed on, a museum would have been a drop in the bucket.