Visit CBD construction zone on Children's Day

Children's Day on the Tauranga waterfront will be a good opportunity to also visit the Te Manawataki o Te Papa construction site on Willow Street. Photo: Supplied.

Want to be part of history in the making? This Children’s Day on Sunday, March 3 the construction gates at Te Manawataki o Te Papa on Willow Street will be swinging open for the first time. 

Organised by Tauranga City Council, in collaboration with construction partners LT McGuinness, the construction zone will be a buzz of activity and a unique behind the scenes opportunity for all little - or not so little) - builders and engineers to get up close to some of the machines helping build the future library and community hub. 

There will also be a chance to add a handprint to the community art board going up on display, snap a picture in the photobooth, get an inside look at the groundwork underway, and learn more about how Te Manawataki o Te Papa will transform the heart of the city into a vibrant community space.

Children's Day on the Tauranga waterfront will be a good opportunity to also visit the Te Manawataki o Te Papa construction site on Willow Street. Photo: SunLive.

Work to clear the site began late last year with ground works now underway to prepare the site for the new library and community hub.

Over the next few weeks people may start noticing more activity around this site including the installation of a tower crane in mid-March.

This important preparation work is expected to be complete later this year when the building itself will begin to take shape. As well as the new library, Te Manawataki o Te Papa will include a museum, a civic whare - public meeting house, and an exhibition gallery.

Artist's view of future city centre. Image: Supplied.

City Development and Partnerships General Manager Gareth Wallis says it’s a unique opportunity to open up a construction site to the community, but as the future heart of the city centre, we want people to feel part of this exciting development and understand its significance for Tauranga.

“Our tamariki are the future of our city and giving them the opportunity to step inside the Te Manawataki o Te Papa construction zone and see some of the machinery up close, will be an exciting experience we hope many whānau will come and enjoy, and remember for years to come.

“As the library and community hub is the first building getting underway on the site, it’s an important progress milestone for us to recognise with the community as it will in-turn be a place for people to spend time together, relax and learn – a place the community can thrive in.” 

LT McGuinness Project Manager for the library and community hub, Matt Campbell, says it’s an honour to be involved in such a significant project for Tauranga city centre and open the site to the community for the first time.  

“We know some children are as excited by construction as we are, and with the ground works well underway for the future library and community hub, we can safely open up the site for the day to create a unique experience for the children of Tauranga to enjoy.” 

Children’s Day 2023 on Tauranga waterfront. Photo: Supplied.

Children’s Day 2024 will include six activity zones, with the Te Manawataki o Te Papa construction zone on Willow Street set to be a key highlight.  

Children’s Day in the city centre will run from 10am - 3pm on Sunday, 3 March from 10am-3pm and will be bigger and better than ever before! Organised in celebration of National Children’s Day, this free family event will be a hive of activity with something for everyone to enjoy.

Tauranga city centre will come alive with performances, face painting, arts and crafts, superheroes and more - spanning across six different activity zones including The Strand, the waterfront, the Cargo Shed, Willow Street and He Puna Manawa.

Event information will be updated leading up to the day, so check back here or join the Facebook event to stay informed.

Getting there

All parking in the city centre is free on weekends. The closest locations to park for this event are Dive Crescent car park (great for accessing the Arts and Crafts Zone), Spring Street and Elizabeth Street parking buildings (close to the Event Zone on The Strand, and the Construction Zone). On-street parking throughout the city is also free (note: time restrictions still apply). Find out more on the Council website.

Mobility parking
Along with existing mobility parks, there will be additional mobility parking located at the northern end of Devonport Road, and the eastern end of Hamilton Street. For mobility parking options, check out the Tauranga City Council  website.

Children aged 5-18 years travel free with a registered Bee Card. Kids under 5 also travel for free, no Bee Card required. Find out more: What concession and discounts are available? – Baybus.

What to bring

  • Your tamariki!
  • Refillable water bottle filled with water – there will be limited water available at drinking stations on the waterfront, from the information tent on The Strand, and from the City Centre stall in the Construction Zone.
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen (also available from the information tent)
  • Snacks and/or lunch – there will be some quick snack food options and an ice cream truck on the waterfront. Cafes and restaurants will be open on The Strand and throughout the city.

What/where to eat

  • Cafes and restaurants will be open throughout The Strand and the city centre
  • The Sweetest Thing Kiosk will be open 8am – 3pm (located at the waterfront)
  • Oshie and G’s food truck will be onsite at the waterfront, offering kid-friendly, quick snacks like pita pizzas and sliders
  • Mr Whippy will be on the waterfront for your classic summer ice cream
  • Or BYO picnic lunch and enjoy it on the waterfront

What's on

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s Children’s Day event. Check out the event map and see what’s on in each zone below

For more information about Children’s Day and the other activity zones happening across the city centre on Sunday,  March 3 head to    For more information about Te Manawataki o Te Papa and the transformation of our city centre visit:  

1 comment

Come see the disaster

Posted on 28-02-2024 10:15 | By an_alias

Come and look at our extreme plans for spending your money and bring the next generation as they will be paying for it as well.

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