Cultural Precinct Project


Last year Taupō District Council was required to vacate its former administration building at 72 Lake Terrace due to a number of health and safety issues including the detection of friable asbestos and the need to undertake earthquake strengthening.

During the development of the 2017/18 Annual Plan, we consulted with the community on a number of different options, from refurbishment to a new build, with the preferred option being to build a new building at the Lake Terrace site.  However, following feedback 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 sites in the Taupō CBD during the year, and 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, but all were discounted during the site selection process in October 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.  The other two options, in order of preference, were to build on the Tuwharetoa Street carpark or on the former site at 72 Lake Terrace.

It was hoped that the investigations would be complete in time to ask the community for feedback on options as part of the development of our 2018-28 Long-term Plan.  However, late last year we recognised an opportunity to take a good look at the wider picture and to ‘do it once and do it right’.

In February, we approved the development of a masterplan for the area by the Great Lake Centre to see what efficiencies can be made, what opportunities can be capitalised on, and to futureproof any development going forward.  We think there is a real opportunity to include new cultural, arts and heritage facilities to replace the existing Taupō Museum, but we want to gain a better understanding of the details, including costs, before we make the decision to seek the community’s feedback.  We also want to further investigate the potential to attract funding from outside sources as has been done in other centres.

In early June 2018, following a request for proposal process and presentations from the top two respondents, the council selected Warren and Mahoney/Boffa Miskell to deliver the masterplan.  They began consulting with key stakeholders in July.

Funding of $15.7 million has been included in the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan for a new building as a placeholder and it is likely the Long-term Plan will be amended following the development of the masterplan, community consultation and a decision on where our administration functions should be housed.

Consultation to date

As part of the first phase of the master planning process, we sought feedback from key stakeholders about what was important for the area going forward. Our master planners developed six insights to help get people thinking about the project, and guide input from our community. This feedback helped us define what was important so it could be captured in the planning process.

This defined list will be available on completion, and through the design phase there will be opportunities for community feedback to the design team to consider in the master plan.


Frequently asked questions

We have developed these frequently asked questions about the Cultural Precinct Project.  If there's a question we haven't answered, you can email project manager Philip King.

Frequently asked questions.pdf 

Project update from Philip Ki​n​​​g: August 2018

Cultural Precinct Project Manager Philip King talks about the project background, timelines and community involvement, and takes a look at various sites around Tongariro Domain.​

Page reviewed: 03 Sep 2018 12:21pm