During the debate over whether Tauranga, New Zealand's fifth biggest city should have a museum, someone described Tauranga as a cultural desert.

I can understand why that might be so. It seems that other places in the country, large and small, boast such a facility.

Dunedin, the city that we have displaced size-wise, has two fine museums full of local heritage and history and displays bursting with innovation and imagination.

But Tauranga a cultural desert? I'm not sure about that. I guess it comes down to what you imagine "culture" to be.


Everybody immediately looks to some amorphous thing called