New Taupo District Council building
Progress on civic administration building
17 DECEMBER 2021
Taupō District Council and Te Whare Hono o Tūwharetoa Limited Partnership have announced they are working together on a new civic administration building in the Taupō town centre.
Te Whare Hono o Tūwharetoa Limited Partnership is a body representing various Ngāti Tūwharetoa trusts and companies.
Both it and the council are hailing the building project as symbolic of their shared aspiration to seek a closer and enduring partnership, as well as create a taonga of significance to the Taupō District.
Council confirms decision to lease building
Following feedback from our community as part of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan consultation process, Council is currently working with a preferred party who is prepared to develop a building for Council to lease.
We are on track to have completed negotiations later this year at which time we’re looking forward to announcing where the building will be located and share designs and timeline.
The advantages of leasing a building include:
- Flexibility if council structure changes in the future.
- Adds vibrancy to the town centre.
- It would mean Council can use 61 and 67 Tūwharetoa Street for carparking or other purposes in the future if needed.
- Development risk (time and cost overruns) sits with the landlord, not council.
- Can provide certainty of annual leasing costs for the period of the lease agreement.
- No maintenance cost for Council.
- No increase in external borrowing
With regard to costs:
- The annual lease cost for a Council administration building would be about $850,000.
- Lease cost will be about four to five per cent of the cost of the construction to the developer.
- The annual lease cost would be funded through rates.
The journey so far
Council confirms building on Tuwharetoa Street
Taupō District Council has confirmed its preferred option to build its new administration building at 61-67 Tuwharetoa Street.
Council building background
In 2017, we were required to vacate our former administration building at 72 Lake Terrace due to a number of health and safety issues.
During the development of the Annual Plan 2017/18, we consulted with the community on a number of different options, from refurbishment to a new build, with the preferred option at that time being to build a new building at the Lake Terrace site. However, following feedback from the community, the decision was made to build a new building on a site to be determined. It was also decided to investigate lease options as an alternative to self-funding a new building.
The majority of staff relocated to five leased sites in the Taupō town centre. Investigations continued into potential sites and funding options. Calls for expressions of interest from parties who may have been interested in leasing a building, site - or both - were made and there were five responses. All were discounted during a site selection process for various reasons.
Instead, the council decided to investigate the development of the area fronting on to Story Place near the Great Lake Centre and the library for the new building as its preferred option at that time. The other options were to build on the Tūwharetoa Street car park (61 and 67) or build on the former site at 72 Lake Terrace. The Lake Terrace building has been demolished.
In February 2018, we approved the development of a masterplan for the area by the Great Lake Centre. A sum of $15.7 million for a new council administration building was included in the Long-term Plan 2018-2028 as a placeholder while investigations took place. The masterplan was developed for Tongariro Domain as the council could see a real opportunity to create a focal point for the community by including new cultural, arts and heritage facilities to replace Taupō Museum. There were four different options of the masterplan developed. Following community consultation, one of those options was chosen for further refinement.
The final masterplan was presented to the council in December 2018. Feasibility studies were undertaken on the Tūwharetoa Street and Lake Terrace sites and a business case developed to compare the options. Following consideration of the options, the council did not choose the Tongariro Domain. And instead chose to construct a building on the Tūwharetoa Street site as its preferred option.
In April 2019 community feedback was sought on four options for a new council administration building (the options being the Tūwharetoa Street site, the former site at 72 Lake Terrace, on Tongariro Domain as part of a cultural precinct, or to lease), as well as two options on the future of the museum, as part of a proposed amendment to the council’s 2018-28 Long-term Plan. More than 600 written submissions were received during the consultation period.
In June 2019, council confirmed its preferred option to build its new administration building at 61-67 Tuwharetoa Street and confirmed a Taupō Museum and Art Gallery will be built on Tongariro Domain to create a ‘cultural heart’.
- 72 Lake Terrace Concept Estimate (PDF, 150.8KB)
- 72 Lake Terrace Feasibility Study (PDF, 18.1MB)
- Business case completed by Habilis (PDF, 11.9MB)
- Civic Administration Building - High-level requirements (PDF, 3.4MB)
- LTP Amendment Consultation Document (PDF, 2MB)
- LTP Amendment hearing schedule (PDF, 72.6KB)
- Proposed amendments to the Long-term Plan 2018-28 (PDF, 1.9MB)
- Taupo Cultural Precinct Civic Administration Community Centre and Museum Concept Estimate (PDF, 177KB)
- Tongariro Domain Master Plan (PDF, 17.9MB)
- Tuwharetoa Street Concept Estimate (PDF, 557.2KB)
- Tuwharetoa Street Feasibility Study (PDF, 27.4MB)