About 40 people have turned up for the Durham St opening ceremony held at the University of Waikato.

Kaumātua Tamati Tata blessed the project outside the University of Waikato campus before the group headed inside for mayoral address and breakfast.

Mayor Tenby Powell said he was proud and excited to open after a 16 month transition period. He thanked the business community for their patience.

"Significant change brings significant growing pains," he said.


He said the council had learnt lessons from the project that it was taking on and applying to the Mauao base track project, with increased communication and involvement by the executive team in projects.

This included meetings every 24 hours to ensure the project was on track.

Work started on the Durham St upgrade in June last year.

The 300m stretch of road had been plagued with issues including archaeological finds, poor ground conditions, ageing pipes out of place and in need of replacing.

These had caused delays and cost blow-outs, prompting some businesses in the street to move out.

Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell previously told the Bay of Plenty Times the businesses who struggled needed to be recognised, along with the contractors who worked on the project.

He said the new council would be better at engaging with businesses - consulting widely, taking on board opinions and ideas, keeping up constant communication and facing up to problems quickly and in person.

Powell said he supported Downtown Tauranga's plans to activate the CBD, but any council funding or support for initiatives would need to be discussed with the full council.