Update November 2023
Commissioners considered just over 300 submissions and following deliberations, Council approved Option 1 for the funding of the ratepayer share of Te Manawataki o Te Papa (Civic Precinct) through the use of an Infrastructure Funding and Financing levy, subject to future approval of the detail of the transaction.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Council’s advisors will work with Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and the relevant government ministries to continue with the development of an IFF Levy Proposal. The outcome of this process will be reported back to Council to decide whether to proceed with an IFF Levy for Te Manawataki o Te Papa to be included the 2024-34 Long Term Plan.
The meeting agenda, minutes, and audio recording for the deliberations and the approval to proceed with Option 1 can be found on our Council meetings page under their respective dates.
The meeting was streamed online and can be viewed on our YouTube channel.
The new civic precinct in the city centre will see the development of a library and community hub, civic whare (community meeting house), museum and exhibition gallery on the central city block bounded by Wharf, Willow, Harington and Durham streets. Upgrades to Baycourt and Tauranga Art Gallery, along with associated landscape and waterfront improvements, will also add to a greatly enhanced city centre environment.
Set to be developed over the next five years, the civic precinct will help revitalise the area and make it the economic, cultural and heritage heart of the region.
In July this year, the Commission gave the green light to move ahead with the development and reaffirmed its commitment to cap community rates-funded debt for the project at a maximum of $151.5 million. The additional funds to pay for this $306.3 million project will come from external funding sources, such as TECT’s recently approved $21 million grant and the $12.1 million already received from central Government.
Rather than paying for this through a rate funded loan, Council is proposing to use the Infrastructure Funding and Financing (IFF) Act as an alternative way to help pay for the community-funded portion of the development.
Financing through IFF puts less pressure on Council’s balance sheet and having to potentially re-prioritise and reduce capital investment in infrastructure. It means we can provide certainty that the civic precinct - Te Manawataki o Te Papa has the financial backing it needs to be delivered without risking delays due to financing. The total cost of borrowing would be fixed for 30 years.
The IFF levy also spreads the cost across current and future city ratepayers – ensuring that everyone benefiting from Te Manawataki o Te Papa contributes towards the cost.
There will be no change to the programme of works for Te Manawataki o Te Papa. Council has approved these projects and if the IFF funding is not in place, they would still go ahead, but would be paid for through rates.
As the draft 2024-34 Long-term Plan assumes the levy will be in place, if it is not approved, debt levels and rates would increase above those to be presented in the draft 2024-34 Long-term Plan, and other infrastructure projects may need to be put on hold. The IFF funding would be subject to Government approval and achieving competitive borrowing terms.