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Tuwharetoa St chosen as preferred site for council building in Taupo

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Taupō District Council today chose a council-owned building on the Tūwharetoa Street carpark behind Burger King as the preferred site for its administration building.

However, leasing a building has not been discounted and when consultation takes place with the community in April and May, there will also be an invitation for developers to submit proposals for consideration.

The decisions were made at an extraordinary council meeting at Suncourt Hotel, and were met with applause by a packed public gallery.

During the meeting the council confirmed the four potential options to house its administration functions were:

- A long-term lease of a civic administration building in Taupō town centre;

- Construction of a new stand-alone civic administration building on the site at 72 Lake Terrace;

- Construction of a new stand-alone civic administration building on the site between 61 and 67 TÅ«wharetoa Street, or;

- Construction of a new civic administration building (including a café, new iSite and 657m2 of community space) on the Tongariro Domain adjacent to a new museum, as part of the implementation of the Taupō Cultural Precinct masterplan.

The council had initially chosen an area by the Great Lake Centre fronting Story Place as its preferred site and had a masterplan developed for the area, which included a new museum. However, when put to the vote a building on Tuwharetoa Street was the preferred option by eight votes to three. The proposal will include approximately 300m2 of ground floor space for alternative uses such as a café or bus facilities, and construction of 80 in-berm car parks near the site. At this stage, two levels of underground car parking as shown in the TÅ«wharetoa Street Feasibility Report will be excluded due to cost.

Deputy Mayor Rosie Harvey, who chaired today’s meeting, said the council was required under legislation to indicate its preferred site to the community. It did not mean any of the sites had been completely discounted, it just allowed for the community to better engage in the consultation process, she said.

"It will be absolutely critical that we hear from all parts of the community when we ask people for feedback in April," she said. A consultation document was being prepared that would outline each of the options, their cost and impact on rates for the community to consider.

Following that, people would be given an opportunity to be heard by the council before a decision was made and the Long-term Plan amended.

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