Council discusses $100m project costs

Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout with the ground penetrating radar, was used to delineate a pre-European pa site beneath the proposed Cliff road museum site. Photo: Ryan Wood.

Estimated costs for the Tauranga’s proposed new museum and library have increased.

Architects Jasmax told city councillors of the increased costs at a City Transformation Committee workshop meeting.

A glass-floored museum built over the significant archaeological site on Cliff Road is estimated to have a total costs of $64.4 million.

Building a stand-alone library in Willow Street is estimated to cost an additional $56.34 million.

An integrated museum/library on Willow Street is expected to have a total cost of $93.7 million.

It’s the first time the architects Jasmax have been able to present their cost estimates publicly and Principle Neil Martin prepared three pricing tiers for councillors to discuss; full scope, targeted reductions, and reduced scope.

The reduced scope option obtained by shrinking some internal spaces and using cheaper materials brings the estimated totals down to $44.8m, $77.8m and $52.9m respectively.

They compared bulk and location and scale drawings. The costs are based on rates projected to July 2018. Also included in the total are per square metre construction costs and fit-out.

In reply to councillor Bill Grainger’s question about why the building cost of a Cliff Road museum is between 11-12,000 per m2, when the integrated museum and library building cost per m2 is between $7,000 and $7,800, Neil says a Cliff Road museum will have to be built on piles to prevent destruction of the site over which it is built, and a section of glass floor is costed in.

They are also compressing a lot of museum into a smaller area which drives up the per square metre rate, says Neil.

“We put a nine metre stud into the building. We have interpreted the aspiration on that site as requiring a certain monumentality.

“The option we studied was a one story building providing benefits for access and benefits in terms of the way it would be perceived on the site. In order to give it the monumentality and status we think the building needs on that site we gave it a nine metre stud. Twice the height of the integrated museum or the library would have around 5-5.5 m. The integrated building will be five stories tall.

“That comes about through the museum needing to do everything if you like, to create the scale presence on that site all by itself.”

Project lead Carole Canler says the staff recommendation is to use the costing for the full scale facilities so the council does not compromise of functionality and is able to deliver on all service requirements.

External funding also has issues councillor have to bear in mind.

“External funding is not proportional to the cost of the building,” says Carole.

If the cost goes up, it doesn’t mean the external funding will increase by the same amount.

“It’s not forever extendable. There’s only so much central government and other organisations will give.”

And the most outside money the council can get will be for the museum, as libraries are not considered a primary local government function.

“When you see those external fundings around the $30m mark that is probably driven by the museum.”

It means external funding for a stand-alone library is $5.5m or 11 per cent of the total. External funding for the stand alone Cliff Road museum is 55 per cent of the total at $32.5m. But external funding for the integrated museum and library falls to 47 per cent of the cost, $37.7 million.

External funding for the stand-alone museum and stand-alone library is 36 per cent at $38m.

“So we can understand what it means for the funding requirements for those options from a TCC perspective,” says Carole.

“When you take the total project costs and take out external funding, this is what you are left with before you have any ancillary costs.”

But while a stand-alone museum at Cliff Road is well supported by the government, the option of a separate museum and library is calculated to add $128 to the rates.

A stand-alone museum at Cliff Road and a reinstated central library, will cost ratepayers an addiitonal $81.30 a year.

An integrated museum and library in Willow Street will boost rates by $95.60.

A new stand-alone library will cost ratepayers an additional $52.90, and just reinstating the library will add $5.60 to the rates demands.

The workshop which is open to the public, continues in the council chambers on Thursday morning from 9am, but the business case will be discussed behind closed doors from 11.30am.

Decisions are not made at workshop meetings. A recommendation to council will be made at the City Transformation committee meeting on December 5.


No one need pay unless they want to?

Posted on 12-12-2017 16:35 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Master Bell, all you are doing is confirming that: - any Museum is a financial disaster, that you want all to pay for it when they dont want it in the first/middle/end place ... do you spot what is not fair at all about that.

Ratepayers must pay their fair share,

Posted on 04-12-2017 21:33 | By R. Bell

after all it is they who reap the capital gain, from a progressive city, or pass it on via rentals, or pass the wealth to their children. those who genuinely cannot afford the added cost ( of an ice cream per week) should be given an exemption. Robin Bell.

@ Robbin Ring-a-ding Bell

Posted on 04-12-2017 16:00 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Thats an admission and a half, your lifetime to date has been about how profitable it is and how wonderous it will all be. At last your are realising and stating that it is a financial disaster and ratepayers might just be unwittingly lined up to pay dearly for this extreme folly. Lets not forget that a former Council voted unanimously to support a idea of a Museum but as long as "Community funded" i.e. not ratepayers.

Groutby, if the costs fell solely on ratepayers,

Posted on 03-12-2017 09:05 | By R. Bell

I too would be against the idea. They certainly don’t. Ongoing donations from industry and commerce, commercial ventures within the complex. Intangibles such as education, adding to the obvious attraction of a modernised city centre. All of these bring wealth to our city, but more importantly it all brings the prospect of a brighter future for all. It is true Museums are inherently not for profit. The profit is intangible, especially to those driven by money alone. Robin Bell.

Not right - $8I.30/YEAR = $I.75/WEEK

Posted on 02-12-2017 15:15 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The cost will be a lot more, likely around $20 million annually in losses, interest, huge salaries and lots of hidden costs buried all over the place ... That is just the Museum and Library. Then add all the rest of the ’creations’ on the slate, also that no interest free loand from Government. Result around $50-60 million annually added to rates. That is around $1000/household/ratepayer or some 40% over a few years. The signs are already there, Hamilton Councilors rejected 12% increase as to high so the Muppet-Puppets came back with 17%. That is the warped mentality that is making the decisions and spinning a yarn to COuncilors. The same will have to happen here.


Posted on 02-12-2017 13:08 | By groutby

....I understand and accept your calculation, however, I would be more than happy to pay to go to any Museum if I wished to do so, and I would. I would also be happy to recommend to visitors they do also based on my experience there and would suggest money well spent for them whilst here. We both know though that there will be serious cost over-runs when TCC are involved and that figure you tabled will undoubtedly increase. I suggest all ratepayers already pay for stuff they don’t need/use /go to etc....this would be yet another, and spending needs to become more controlled. So, back to private investors for this project...there aren’t any are there?...they know why and most of us do also.


Posted on 02-12-2017 08:27 | By nerak

"WE have interpreted the aspiration on that site as requiring a certain monumentality." and "In order to give it the monumentality and status WE think the building needs on that site.." What’s this WE touch Neil? We ratepayers are not paying you to design something for yourself. Council, think again. Discussing the business case behind closed doors is a transgression of your duty to ratepayers.


Posted on 01-12-2017 18:16 | By MISS ADVENTURE

This is the last thing this Council ever wants to happen, the last thing that they want is the public to have a say, to make a binding decision for Council. This is so becasue Councillors think it is there right to "decide what is best" and have failed to realise that they are being played ... Second: that Council itself has already decided the answer, the path now is simply about now to shunt it though and get the puppet Councillors to approve it without letting the truth of it all out before hand about what the true public views are, the true level of support is around 10% at best (once they know the truth of it).


Posted on 01-12-2017 18:12 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Exactly right, but these are not "real" costs, the actual will be lots more, that is always the case and has always been so, TCC have always failed to deliver, failed to cost things properly and failed to ever turn a profit.

@ R. Bell

Posted on 01-12-2017 18:10 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The usual comments, no thought about it, no basis, just the usual and to heck with the mess created ... as long as at best a handful get the desires paid for by everyone else makes it all fair and just?? Unbelievable!!

@ dumbkof2

Posted on 01-12-2017 18:06 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Its noth "thousands" it already many millions and like this is not the first go at it.

@ Sg1nz

Posted on 01-12-2017 18:05 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The survey they refer to was not about "do you want a Museum? or Library? they were all about where to have it and whats to be in it, in other words assumed a done deal. That is not a "survey its a preloaded gun being railroaded though regardless.

@ morepork

Posted on 01-12-2017 18:02 | By MISS ADVENTURE

They dont think like that, in fact they dont think at all. In fact it isnt about affordable, commonsense, realistic or anything sensible at all. It is about "I WANT"! Add to that, it isnt there money its ratepayers and they dont care at all about spending, wasting and blowing it all no matter the consequences.

Concert Hall

Posted on 01-12-2017 17:23 | By jaydeegee

What about a decent concert hall built where the Baycourt Theatre is? At leas that would be a ’live’ activity instead of a ’dead’ activity of a museum.

Proper referendum required

Posted on 01-12-2017 15:44 | By Border Patrol

In the BOP Times it was reported that 400 residents completed a "willingness to pay" survey based on the three different library/museum options. "A majority of 64% supported a museum and 41% were willing to pay". Then shown the varying levels of impact on annual rates, 69% supported the integrated museum/library option which is the cheapest. These are quite interesting stats, as it seems to show that while people like the idea of a museum, there is not the same willingness to pay for it, and cost is of concern. A survey of 400 residents doesn’t seem to be a very big portion of Tauranga’s population of around 128,000 for feedback on such a large scale and seemingly, controversial, project.

Unbelievable indecent costs.

Posted on 01-12-2017 10:21 | By CONDOR

TCC have completely and utterly lost the plot.This lot need to go before they reek irreparable carnage on Ratepayers.

$ 8I. 30 PER YEAR = $ I. 75 PER WEEK,

Posted on 01-12-2017 10:01 | By R. Bell

or there about. Less than you would spend on an ice cream, or a news paper. Jeez!!! what are you? Bring on the Museum folks we will never regret it. Robin Bell.

tunnell vision

Posted on 01-12-2017 08:06 | By whatsinaname

Council staff have tunnell vision and the museum is at the end of it . Wish they would open their eyes and see the wider picture .a museum is NOT going to fix the roading issues

museum etc

Posted on 30-11-2017 22:06 | By dumbkof2

How many more thousands of dollars are going to be wasted on so call ed experts. Is this council so thick that they cant see that the majority of people dont want a fancy museum or grandiose library. As for a glass floor, well the mind boggles. more expense for them to supply every visitor with slippers.

Vote or be quiet

Posted on 30-11-2017 20:52 | By Sg1nz

People voted these people in. All of the referendums, surveys and community engagement says that the majority want these amenities. If that’s not the case, then it’s time to wake the majority. What I think though is that the time of $10 Tauranga has past and that the new majority is speaking with a clear voice.

If you can't afford something...

Posted on 30-11-2017 19:42 | By morepork

... don’t buy it. These kinds of numbers could make a HUGE difference to people in need in Tauranga.

Joke of it all

Posted on 30-11-2017 17:51 | By MISS ADVENTURE

A museum gets Government funding (obviously recognising the rediculous costs involved) and a Library has no Government contribution as "Not essential Local Government function". That is a revelation that TCC has always held onto desperately. As usual, time reveals all.

@ sangrae

Posted on 30-11-2017 17:48 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Influence? They are on the hook already, wont say anything against the "masters" dreaming wayward ways no matter the cost, damage ...

Our Rates

Posted on 30-11-2017 16:41 | By PaulM

In keeping to moderation after reading this I can only say "bloody hell" - who are these people who wish to spend our money ? Surely they should get on with the job of Council instead of being led by secret lobby groups who exert social justice on "must have", on the well paid staff and executive.Sadly it is too late now as the damage has been started.

Once upon a time

Posted on 30-11-2017 16:33 | By backofthequeue

In days of yore the highwayman would plunder from the citizen with "Your money or your life". Today the citizen is plundered with "Pay your rates on time".

Project Costs

Posted on 30-11-2017 16:02 | By sangrae

What a joke costs going up all the time soon be $150 thousand or more if these projects go ahead ,is it not time for a full referrendum or poll for all the people of Tga to have a say come on Sunlive use your influence.

Here we go again.

Posted on 30-11-2017 14:01 | By sobeit

Another kite flying exercise. It will cost double whatever the estimate is. Plus an open cheque from ratepayers to run it. At least 6% on your rates. If Larry, Terry ,Kelvin and co want a museum let them campaign on it for re election. They will soon be ex councillors again !

Fairy dust

Posted on 30-11-2017 12:52 | By Angels

This council believe spend as much as possible every where and the money will fall from the sky.Wake up and smell the coffee. The ratepayers have to pay for your crazy spending dreams. Get real how are so few to pay for all the councils crazy spending ideas.They are not old enough or mature enough, this must be paid back by a small amount of ratepayer. We are all not rich councillors or rich friends. The other 95% of the ratepayer are on the hook.This council are out of control spending idiots!!!!!!

Waste of money

Posted on 30-11-2017 12:47 | By Dino

What a total waste of money - our ratepayers money would be better spent on roading upgrades, and sorting out the essentials of a growing city rather than squandering millions on something only a few would visit - plus putting it in Cliff Road - NO WAY - this means more car parks for workers will be taken away - NO WAY SHOULD THIS GO AHEAD - Council please think this through very carefully and put yourself in the "Joe Bloggs" in the street’s shoes for a change


Posted on 30-11-2017 12:22 | By rastus

What has happened to democracy in our City - despite a majority saying they do not want a museum and new library the arrogant administration is still spending thousands on so called experts - how do normal justice wanting people change this madness?

Referendum a MUST

Posted on 30-11-2017 12:16 | By Maryfaith

We can’t let this unwanted museum rubbish continue! Glass floor - dreamers! There is NO WAY that council can commit ratepayers to this ridiculous project. They must surely realise that we can’t afford it!? A referendum is the only way to settle the matter. Those who might have once liked the idea of a museum, would I bet, have changed their mind when they see what rate rises would be forced upon them! This is scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

History repeats?

Posted on 30-11-2017 11:31 | By MISS ADVENTURE

10 years ago there was a plan for a "Museum on the water" at a cost of some $60 million odd, so they have obviously simply just moved it on land (same piles most likely). Wonder what it cost TCC ratepayers to blow away a bit of dust off that historicially done and regurgatated mess?

Huge debt already?

Posted on 30-11-2017 11:19 | By MISS ADVENTURE

This isnt going to help at all, how possible can anything important happen like the Turret Road widening? I am sure that the massive and huge debt already there will kill off all ... then again just increase rates eh buddies!

Numbers are more?

Posted on 30-11-2017 11:17 | By MISS ADVENTURE

$120 million, that is therefigures, would think that more like $150m is getting nearer to it. Dont forget that the land isnt included as already there.

The mountain of debt ...

Posted on 30-11-2017 11:16 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Will it be huge, or worse than that? It is standard TCC operational processes to fail massively at anything that they do, so the costs guesses will be miles less than actual. That much we can be sure of. One can be assured that the numbers presented will be exceeded:- cost to build, debt, shortfall net left after Government, impact on rates, losses to oeprate annually. The one thing you can be sure of that TCC will underestimate is the Government contribution. so the gap widens for ratepayers.

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