Seeking feedback on marine facility

Submissions are open from today until Friday, 9 March 2018. File photo.

Tauranga City Council is seeking feedback on its proposal to long-term lease land at Northern Sulphur Point to enable the University of Waikato to establish a purpose-built Marine Research and Educational Facility.

The vision is to create an interdisciplinary research and teaching facility including specialist marine laboratories, engineering design workshops and a large public engagement space to showcase the Bay of Plenty marine environment to the public.

Council agreed to progress with public consultation on the proposal at the December 19 council meeting and would like to know what the community thinks. Submissions are open from today until Friday, March 9 2018.

Open days with elected members and council staff will be held at Northern Sulphur Point on Saturday, February 17, 9am to 12noon and in the CBD on Tuesday, February 20, 10am to 1pm at Red Square and from 3pm to 5pm at the Edgewater Fan.

Tauranga Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout says the open days are a great chance for community members to learn more about the proposed marine facility and to have their say.

“I encourage everyone to come along, have a chat and find out everything you need to know about the University’s as well as Council’s proposal.

“The proposed facility aims to expand the capability to protect our city and New Zealand’s marine environment by providing opportunities and solutions to key issues for the Bay of Plenty coastal and marine environments.

“It also includes the provision of tertiary education opportunities unique to New Zealand which would support in keeping young people here by enabling them to study courses unique to New Zealand.

“If you can’t make it to any of the open days, there are lots of other ways to tell us what you think: you can send us an email, give us a call, fill out one of our online feedback forms or drop into the customer service centre or any of our libraries to complete the feedback form.”

The 5,600m2 site is located at the entrance to the marina at Sulphur Point. It is mainly undeveloped green space, which is used for marine activities, occasionally events and overflow car parking and is available for the public to access and use.

The proposed research centre would be distinctive to New Zealand and create the capacity to attract and host national and international collaborations and research programmes.

Significant direct economic benefits to the city are expected through growth in student, researcher and administrative staff numbers; new local and international research; development partnerships and conferences as well as the development of marine products and technologies.

The facility would put Tauranga on the map as a home of world-class research specialised in marine research, biotech and engineering and tertiary education.

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Leave alone

Posted on 14-02-2018 17:25 | By Told you

There is not much green belt in the city so dont lose this piece to a building, hands off Council.

Blue outline?

Posted on 13-02-2018 02:34 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The map shows the entire area as marked, so what part exactly is going to taken away from all the public? Presume they want to hand over the land (at the bottom left corner - green space) for nothing. This of course will be another one of those wonder decisions of "give-away" proportions of immeasurable proportions, the loss of use of publically available lands to house a few meaning-well officials in nice to have facilities in beyond a prime spot with the usual inflated cranial cavity creativeness to self justify all that could possibly be. yet little meaningful will eventuate.... they will do it anyway.

been in for a visit NOT impressed

Posted on 12-02-2018 20:19 | By 2keepour parks

after last stories about this we went for a visit , saw a nice colorful coral tank every thing looked very home made and not professional at all so thought i would go for a 2nd visit after sun live stories had died down ,after trying many times finally got to have another look i felt sorry for the fish , a lot of the corals where dead or covered in brown sludge and only a third of fish i saw where still there , its not an aquarium for the public so why use land that the public and many familys use now , the owner of the tanks for public viewing stated he used to store 30,000 of sea water at his last place ( Pyes Pa area ) so anywhere is exceptable for them to build

The new council owned marine precinct...

Posted on 12-02-2018 18:36 | By Border Patrol the most viable alternative for this facility. Whilst not against the idea of he facility, why use up more green space for a commercial facility at the marina? Poor vehicular access, poor parking facilities, port traffic, no deep water channel. If I was a Tauranga ratepayer I would be very concerned about the "mates rates" lease that the council most likely will give the university, as it has in the Tauranga CBD. There are other alternatives for this, why does the council have to be involved at all- oh thats right, the council "were approached" by the university. So Ratepayers of Tauranga, be very concerned about this, because the university will expect "special treatment" for this facility, which equates to more dollars they will forego in the knowledge that Tauranga will be "internationally renowned" ...think I’ve seen that before regarding the museum.


Posted on 12-02-2018 15:09 | By Taniwha0

Why build the complex at Sulfur point where there is great open area parking ,boat ramps ,walking biking area build it in town there is nothing happening.

No No No

Posted on 12-02-2018 14:21 | By Kaimai

"Significant direct economic benefits to the city are expected through growth in student, researcher and administrative staff numbers" - the benefits are dubious I suggest - more competition for housing, mayhem on congested roads....If Vela Fishing can be run from Hamilton, so can marine research!

100% Wrong

Posted on 12-02-2018 12:49 | By backofthequeue

What is it with this council where any land zoned "Active Open Space" is invariably viewed as just waiting for commercial development. Two recent examples of this are the preferred option for an i-site in Coronation Park and green space being lost to Zespri office expansion. Existing operators at Sulphur Point are unanimously opposed to this proposal with lack of parking once again being the elephant in the room. Those who attended a recent presentation by council to the Yacht Club were dumbfounded when it was suggested they could overcome parking issues by running a shuttle service from the Bongard Centre (really). Yes to a Marine Education facility, No to putting it at Sulphur Point and absolutely No to using existing open space!