Voters reject museum in referendum

Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout initiated the museum referendum, which showed a majority against the proposal. File photo.

Voters have strongly rejected the idea of a museum for Tauranga in the referendum held in conjunction with the 2018 by-election.

Provisional results show 40.6 per cent in favour and 59.4 per cent against.

Roughly the same number of people voted ’Yes’ to each proposed site (Cliff Road and Willow Street), with 7528 voting for Cliff Road and 7300 for Willow Street.

Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout says the result was closer than he had personally anticipated, ’particularly given the significant capital and operational budget associated with the museum’.

"I am pleased that the museum referendum created a greater level of interest in the by-election itself, and the voter turnout is greater than would have normally been expected for a by-election," he says.

"This was the first time in New Zealand’s history that a referendum was also available with an on-line voting option. I believe this is the way of the future and will enhance our local government democracy and public engagement."

He says although the referendum is non-binding, the results will be given ’serious consideration’ by elected members.

"Given the referendum result I wouldn’t propose the museum to be totally off the table, but I do believe there should be significant changes to the current museum proposal. It really needs to be more affordable both in terms of capital spend and ongoing operational expenditure.

"I believe it is vital that Tauranga has a number of places and amenities to recognise and celebrate our rich history and heritage. By better understanding our past we can move more confidently into our collective future.

"I sincerely thank every resident who has campaigned either for or against the museum, and exercised their democratic right to vote on this important issue."

The voter turnout rate in the referendum is 30.21 per cent, being 28,878. This excludes votes in transit to the processing centre and special votes. The progress update of the votes that have been received and processed today are as follows and available here.

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Posted on 30-05-2018 13:46 | By Tania Tala

Referenda are never representative - they are costly and play to the lowest common denominator - this one too is a sham. What it does represent are councillors, voted onto council to govern, who neither have the skill nor the guts to make a decision. Why not? There is a vocal wedge of ill informed curtain twitchers in this city who would stymie any forward thinking. Add to this the wannabe politicos, both internal and external, and you have misinformation, misdirection, character assassination and some outright lies by the naysayers. What a shameful waste of momentum on what could/will be a great asset to our city and our mana.

@ Bell

Posted on 23-05-2018 14:03 | By MISS ADVENTURE

You have said, "insults don’t work on me" you forgot to include in that, "truth/fact/science/reality don’t work on me". But of course everyone else already knows that.

Yes Missy

Posted on 17-05-2018 17:12 | By NZer

Both Dey and Bell think if they say it enought times it will become fact. They should both pull their heads in and realise that what you do for one race you need to do for all. Its called fairness. Something that Bell and Dey simply cannot understand...

@ NZer

Posted on 16-05-2018 15:00 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Your comment is perfectly correct, in fact it is how many to date have found it all as well, yet the perpetrator fails to see, learn, understand anything new!


Posted on 15-05-2018 08:16 | By NZer

You lost. The Democracy of NZ dont agree with your wants... you have lost.

I just luv to whinge, nzer,

Posted on 06-05-2018 11:35 | By R. Bell

particularly as it brings me closer to you and your mates. Get used to it,insults don’t work on me, it must have sunk in by now, surely. Robin Bell.

Told you so, you cannot border

Posted on 06-05-2018 10:44 | By R. Bell

on arrogance, you either are, or your not. My comments are no more disrespectful than many others. The thing about Sunlive is that equal rights apply. Anyone who unfairly attacks others, particularly from beneath the hood of pseudonyms is fair game don’t you think. Probably not, as for respect, how can I respect comments such as Children being more interested in sexting and inane videos, than museums. If there is any truth to that, it proves the point that we as a society need to break that habit. A museum in that context is a start. Robin Bell.

Whinging Bell

Posted on 04-05-2018 15:42 | By NZer

Omg Bell is on here now whinging again. This is all the man does is whinge about everything. Instead of getting like minded people together and privately fund their own dreams they would rather take the easy path and have a whinge. He doesnt seem to understand Sun lives rules that it is perfectly ok to use any user name you wish. Accept it Bell you are wrong and you have lost the museum referendum. Now stop your whinging.

@ Robin Bell

Posted on 04-05-2018 10:16 | By Told you

After reading your submissions on this subject Im disappointed you cant see other writers points of view without putting them down, this borders on arrogance

Boring people, love boredom,waiknot.

Posted on 04-05-2018 08:19 | By R. Bell

Sadly Tauranga has more than its fair share. When I use the term "we will" I refer to all those people opposed to boredom, definitely not you. It is not arrogant to include others nor is it any more opinionated to be for a museum, than it is to oppose a museum. If it was, then all who comment on here are as guilty as me, and that includes you. It was Gail McIntosh who said this matter should not be decided by referendum, particularly at by- election time. Listen to what jed just posted, he’s right on the button, but will also be told to fund his own dreams for Tauranga, by all those boring people. Robin Bell.

Tauranga City Council

Posted on 03-05-2018 15:03 | By Babs

need to shape up real fast or clear off. Too many failures with far too much drama!


Posted on 03-05-2018 11:18 | By jed

I wasn’t so much in favour of the museum but not too upset if it went ahead either. Tauranga is BORING!!! We moved here for Mt Maunganui and the beautiful beaches. Tauranga is a pit, awash with boring people.Leaders now and past have no vision except being great at wasting ratepayer cash with little to show. This is why cruise ship passengers first action is to escape the hell out of tauranga!!! Resurrect leisure island? No can’t do that. Gondola up the mount? Maori Spirits are against that. Where is the boardwalk running from the Mt to papamoa? Where is all the cool architecture? Tauranga is an example how to build an ugly town in a beautiful environment. ’Nuff said. Lets fix this place!!

Self serving waste? maildrop,

Posted on 03-05-2018 08:37 | By R. Bell

What are you raving on about? A museum is not "self serving"it is a facility, same as all publicly owned and patronized assets. A modern museum is both an attraction and an asset in educating our children. I don’t speak for them, I speak of them. One day you will understand the difference, or not. That you prefer your own particular brand of insulting ’political incorrectness" is as irrelevant as your continual penchant for inaccurate rants.I do however get a good chuckle from witnessing you and your mates inability to handle my political incorrectness. Keep it coming. Robin Bell.


Posted on 03-05-2018 07:47 | By maildrop

What’s with "the children" all the time? Who do you think you are speaking for them? From what I’ve seen they’re more interested in inane video clips and sexting, than museums. You know this, but it’s your only argument to try and justify this self serving waste, to prattle on about "the children" because, quite rightly, they are not voters so we don’t know which side they would come down on. So it’s a stupid argument that cannot be disproven. That’s intellectual. I highly doubt they will have more sense than me, but they’re all moot points because you lost, the majority have more brains, and the museum won’t be happening in my lifetime or yours. Pick up your toys and find another drum to bang.


Posted on 02-05-2018 21:48 | By Calm down

I had to re-read some of these comments because I thought people were joking about having children vote but I see you are serious. The reason children can’t vote is because their parents would influence their vote.

R Bell

Posted on 02-05-2018 18:54 | By waiknot

You say we will get our museum I find your comment arrogant. However when you identify your collective we have a whip around maybe a cake stall or 2 and fund what you and your we want.

waiknot, I'm not confused,

Posted on 02-05-2018 17:51 | By R. Bell

on the contrary I see things clearly, I believe. T.c.c currently spend over 60% of annual expenditure on transport infrastructure, the other 40% on water, waste and other essentials. The L.G.F. Trust sets a threshold of 175% debt to revenue. Tauranga currently runs at 151% well under the threshold. In 2007 the local body revue commission strongly recommended, local bodies borrow more. The reasons are simple, critical facility debt should be spread to encompass " Intergenerational facilities". I know you will argue that a modern museum is not critical, but it is one step toward a more attractive, vibrant city centre. Robin Bell.

There you go maildrop,

Posted on 02-05-2018 15:36 | By R. Bell

democracy from under the hood, nice.Bit of a contradiction but be patient we will get our museum.After the introduction of our own regional fuel tax, you can all have the best roads and clog them up, just like the ones we have now.Thankfully our children will grow up with more sense than you. Love the marxist bit by the "petty" officer, don’t you? By the way Jayleen, I never thought for a second that the referendum would deliver a yes, they rarely do. Lots more battles to look forward to. Great to see you have the strength to use your name, unlike the weak ones, come to think of it,I don’t recall any politicians or such using hoods to hide under, do you? Robin Bell.

@ NZer and 60% of others.

Posted on 02-05-2018 15:07 | By Brenda-cyclemax

Fancy that. You and so many others were right all along. Remember though - - - - this is Tauranga, a place where millions upon millions of ratepayer dollars are frittered away by council like leaves in the wind. All with no accountability or the slightest admission of any wrong doing or wastage.

Robin Bell

Posted on 02-05-2018 14:18 | By waiknot

You confuse your own views with facts. My view and its not a fact, but I believe there are no or very limited anti museum people. They just believe basic infrastructure and affordability come first.

I agree Rolly........

Posted on 02-05-2018 14:14 | By groutby

....seems to me it’s mainly about trust (of TCC) now, irrespective of the amount they want (and do) spend and on what. I don’t think the museum should be ’off the table’ forever, but maybe we (honestly have no confidence in the current incumbents achieving it in the main) can prioritise a seriously long term plan for absolute essentials we are dragging our heels on,( some may say a museum is...I don’t, my thoughts are more with necessary infrastructure/roading etc) stick to it (AND the agreed budget for it !) ...AND THEN... a museum...

The End

Posted on 02-05-2018 13:08 | By Told you

Please no more Museum talk get on to with running the City.


Posted on 02-05-2018 12:08 | By Captain Sensible

There are marxists commenting here that are intent on destroying NZ. He always signs his name.Ring any bells?


Posted on 02-05-2018 12:05 | By maildrop

You’re confused again. In a democracy expressing opinions and casting votes are anonymous. That’s the first principle which you fail to grasp magnificently. It’s why ballot boxes are screened and voting papers are anonymous. If we had to stand in a circle and vote by raising arms imagine what we would end up with. Time for the afternoon nap.

@ R Bell

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:56 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Exactly, so can you let us know when you are leaving next week?

Sorry Robin,

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:56 | By Jayleen Wood

Looks like our wager is off. Pity, I was looking forward to you shouting me a good meal with some red wine ha-ha. Although I did not want a museum at this stage, you should cheer up, perhaps down the line Mark Wassung will have his chance and plan something better near the water. We will debate again soon, as we both know the next upcoming TCC tale of woe will be just around the corner.

@ Rolly

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:56 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That list is massive but sadly for teh rodgered ratepayer its the tip of the iceberg


Posted on 02-05-2018 11:42 | By Capt_Kaveman

you people vote in an idiot form the past, people need to learn how to pick the right people and stop voting because they know how to dribble words that really mean nothing once they voted in

They came from near and far…

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:38 | By Angela (Mt Maunganui)

talking, bleeting, singing and praising. they were experts, celebrities, councillors, business leaders, developers and historians, all a part Tauranga’s pro museum legacy brigade. But alas, it was not to be. so let us not forget the little people. all those smiling children. What ever will we do now? Maybe, just maybe, they could ask their parents to vote for a more competant and capable council to run the beautiful city they live in. Then next time, the answer might just be a ’Yes’, let’s do it.


Posted on 02-05-2018 11:37 | By maildrop

You haven’t grasped it yet. Children are represented by their parents. And then they grow up and become old too. They get responsibilities and bills. So they make sensible choices. If we just pandered to children and people who sulk like babies, we’d be bankrupt. Grow up.

Bell & Sonnyjim

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:33 | By maildrop

As we can see from this result there are plenty of adults who are daft. Maybe we should give children the vote and then we can Crusty the Clown as Mayor.

Bell & Sonnyjim

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:25 | By maildrop

Yes, let’s ask the children. But let’s give them choices. A free PlayStation each and a years supply of chips OR a Museum. I wonder which way it would go. I can see why you voted "yes".

Tauranga City Council....

Posted on 02-05-2018 11:07 | By Rolly

goes over budget, wastes ratepayers money or messes up damn near everything they touch! recycling - sewerage - parking - tourism info sites - rubbish collection - the road infrastructure - housing consents - managing street food vendors - the failed downtown CBD - dealing with beggars on our streets - its own building maintenance. the list goes on and on and on. How was a museum ever going to be any different? The evidence and trail of failures suggests that most, if not all of these councillors are just small town folk that do not have suitable experience in planning and managing a modern, growing city. What will be the next upcoming folly from TCC?

Sorry kids, you just don't count,

Posted on 02-05-2018 10:29 | By R. Bell

but don’t give up hope. One day we will be rid of mean spirited old people, who see no value in a vibrant city, who only consider their own miserable lives and their own convenience. We may also get a council that stands for ALL of the citizens of Tauranga as they are mandated to do. As for "democracy"what a joke, most posting on here fail the first principle, stand before your peers ( identify yourself) and voice your opinion, but then, who wants to be seen as selfish, miserable, tightfisted and road obsessed. Time for a regional fuel tax, that will set ’em all off again. Robin Bell.

Larry Baldock....

Posted on 02-05-2018 10:24 | By TMcDonald

Press HERE to ’Restart’, or HERE to ’Shutdown’.

Step back or down, Kelvin

Posted on 02-05-2018 09:33 | By nerak

It’s very clear you are hell bent on listening to yourself, NOT the people who pay you to warm a seat. Let the museum go for the foreseeable future, there are far more important things you should be attending to. Think carefully. If you continue in this vein you risk losing your seat. We the ratepayers want Councillors who will work with us, not against us.

Move on

Posted on 02-05-2018 08:56 | By Brian Porter

Enough time and money has been wasted on this ongoing saga. A binding referendum or not, the ones who where interested enough in this subject have vote a sounding NO. Move on we don’t want a museum.


Posted on 02-05-2018 08:50 | By tabatha

EM’s need to listen with two ears and as for Sonny Jim, yes I agree about children but this I believe was about a flawed idea of placement. The reason the vote went to no museum decision I believe was the choices were wrong, there should have been a fourth yes for a museum but not where council pushers suggested.

sonny jim

Posted on 02-05-2018 08:27 | By dumbkof2

so you say lots of people wern’t asked are those people ratepayers. don;t think so and how many of those non ratepayers will still be in tauranga in 5 or 10 years time


Posted on 02-05-2018 08:11 | By fletch

Please listen to residents of Tauranga this time. I know it wasn’t a binding referendum but we were asked and said NO so please listen

Thank heavens for democracy

Posted on 02-05-2018 07:49 | By Angels

For years this has gone on. The previous council voted not to go forward with the museum. The new council didnt,t listen and tried to push one of their many grandiose projects through. They forget everyone is not rich, we want responsible spending not trying to get their name out their , I did this. Mr Badlock if the shoe fits wear it !!??Thank heavens for democracy and common sense . Now hopefully we can tackle other outlandish schemes they have planned.

A flawed result ?

Posted on 02-05-2018 01:22 | By SonnyJim

OK, so the ’voters’ have spoken, but was it truly democratic? No, because many thousands of Tauranga residents were discriminated against in this referendum because of their age. What sort of society is it that disenfranchises and muzzles so many citizens of Tauranga City who may have yearned to be heard yet were denied the opportunity to vote solely because they were considered by the ’system’ as ’not qualified to vote’. How do we apologize to them for this discrimination and explain the anomaly? What a sorry and mean spirited lot we are when we have denied the school children and teenagers of Tauranga City a voice in this referendum.

Not the result kelv wanted right?

Posted on 01-05-2018 23:31 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Oh so lets ignore tha because we dont like it and just rehash it (new label and a bit of window dressing and relaunch then just do it anyway... is that what he is really saying?

Yet another TCC train wreck!

Posted on 01-05-2018 21:13 | By GrahamTGA

Will those pro-museum councillors be picking up the bill for all the wasted ratepayers money for this more than year long debacle? It’s a travesty how all this wastage continues from one council to the next. They really have no idea of what they are doing.


Posted on 01-05-2018 20:16 | By Tgaboy

Is the point of a referendum if its result is non binding? Youve been voted in to represent us TCC. The people have spoken, god damnit.

Money better spent

Posted on 01-05-2018 20:15 | By About that

A museum would be a waste of money. History and heritage is everywhere and the money could be used toward better roading to help relieve congestion and improve dangerous roads, ie, maungatapu bridge, the joke of a road called welcome bay road. Maybe remove welcome bay roundbout and build flyover with off ramps as the new road layout wont work. Adding another intersection and round about is only going add congestion to the already badly congested area.


Posted on 01-05-2018 18:44 | By AndyCap

for this seasons Tauranga City Council museum roadshow. Do tune in again next week for a new season packed with more thrills, spills and drama filled episodes. Anything to say Larry Baldock?

A good result

Posted on 01-05-2018 18:34 | By waiknot

A bad day for Larry Baldock, John back on council bring sanity and a clear stop spending our money with the museum vote.

Binding/ not binding

Posted on 01-05-2018 17:37 | By hapukafin

Why are we wasting rate payers money holding a referendum that is not binding

A Big NO to museum

Posted on 01-05-2018 17:23 | By NZer

Tauranga council take note. As i said before my views are represented by the majority of people.

Bigger majority than you realise

Posted on 01-05-2018 16:55 | By maildrop

Those in favour are passionate. We’ve seen that on here. So they all came out and voted. Of the 70% who couldn’t be bothered to vote I wonder how many are not actual ratepayers? I suspect the vast majority would be against it if they were ratepayers and had to pay for it. Another good chunk of the non voters will be ratepayers who don’t want it but just think it’s either done deal or they just can’t be bothered to vote. If the were forced, most would be against it. So the real majority of those against, given the numbers who voted "yes", is probably at least 80/20 against. The losers should creep off and shut up.


Posted on 01-05-2018 16:43 | By maildrop

60/40 is a long way from close Kevin. And the double whammy is the return of Robson. Other museum naysayers also polled well. Stop kidding and dump the useless idea so we, and the Council, can move on. I would have thought Council had enough on their hands with the Bella Vista debacle without spoiling for further fights.


Posted on 01-05-2018 16:22 | By The Sage

Best news I have had all day. I wonder if the TCC will take any notice of the Referendum?