Over the last couple of weeks my office has been fielding many calls from people about the Tauranga Museum. Many of our callers are upset at how much the project is likely to cost, which has been wildly debated since the project was first talked about many years ago.
I believe that if the proposed site at Cliff Road goes ahead, there are some really worrying risks.
Don't get me wrong, I have been the biggest advocate of a Tauranga museum and a driving force behind it. As a progressive city we need one.
But it has to be affordable and it has to be in the right location.
And building a museum on Cliff Road is fraught. For starters, it's an expensive option where costs could easily sky-rocket and it may well get bogged down with consent and consultation issues.
Let's remember Cliff Road has historical significance for both Maori and the early European settlers to Tauranga. What impact will digging up this area have from an archaeological stance and will this cause cost blowouts and time delays?
I believe this is pretty likely.
Putting the cost and time delays aside, there are other considerations like continuing to create a vibrant CBD. How great would it be to easily walk between the museum, library, art gallery and cafes?
Deciding on the right location is so important. Put the museum in the CBD and also do something less significant to honour the archaeological finds at Cliff Road –
a win/win on cost, time and for our city centre.
This is our opportunity to make something brilliant happen in the right way.