Name of Tauranga’s future civic precinct revealed

14 December 2021

News

Tauranga’s future civic precinct is to be called ‘Te Manawataki o Te Papa’ – the heartbeat of Te Papa – when plans for the central city site are brought to life.

The name has been gifted to Council by mana whenua representatives from Otamataha Trust. The Trust worked with Council’s development partners, Willis Bond, on the refreshed Civic Precinct masterplan, which was formally adopted by the Commission last week.

Translated literally, Te Manawataki o Te Papa means ‘the heartbeat of Te Papa’ – intended to reflect the civic precinct’s location in the heart of Tauranga, and how the site’s history and future can be symbolised by a heartbeat or active pulse for the city. 


The name was formally endorsed by Tauranga City Council’s Commission at a Council meeting yesterday.

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says Te Manawataki o Te Papa fittingly describes what the future civic precinct will mean for communities within the city and wider area in years to come.

“The facilities and activities planned for the civic precinct will draw people in from near and far, helping to add vibrancy and breathe life into the city,” says Anne.

“The benefits of this will be felt by communities right across Tauranga, and those who choose to visit, work, invest and live in the city centre in decades to come.”

Commissioner Shadrach Rolleston says the name also appropriately reflects the history of the site, with the area on and around the civic precinct known as Te Papa by both Māori and early settlers.

“Prior to European contact, the area was a site of strategic settlement with access to marine resources and the development of gardens,” says Shadrach.

“In the 1800s it was a hive of activity, attracting people for trade, commerce, education, learning, hospitality, and entertainment. This central hub of activity eventually grew into what we know as Tauranga today.

“It has been the heartbeat of this area in the past, and soon this heartbeat will be restored.

“On behalf of the Commission, I would like to thank Otamataha Trust for gifting us the name Te Manawataki o Te Papa to reflect the mauri (life force) of the whenua (land), both historically and into the future.” 

About the civic precinct redevelopment project

The refreshed masterplan for the civic precinct was formally adopted by the Commission on Monday, 6 December 2021.

The refresh is an updated version of the Civic Masterplan developed in 2018 and includes facilities such as a civic whare (public meeting house), museum, library, hotel and a performing arts and conference centre. It also includes the waterfront reserve, between Hamilton and Wharf Streets, linking the water with the civic precinct via Masonic Park.

The layout of the refreshed masterplan and the proposed facilities within it will promote opportunities for welcoming and expression, learning and discovery, appreciating our past and shaping our future, and places for entertaining and enjoyment.

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