19 February 2018

  Waikato University Marine Research & Educational Facility Proposal

Update 19 February

It was really great to see such a good turnout at the Marina on Saturday morning to look at the proposal to site a university campus next to the Game Fishing Club.
From my observation there was no one present (aside of university and council staff) who was in favour of the proposal to locate it there.
There was universal agreement that this valuable piece of land should not be used for the Commercial purposes, but many at Council don’t appreciate its value.
There was a lot of anger at the meeting which was directed at Council staff who, it was felt, were representing the University rather that the ratepayers.
It is easy to understand why the university want this piece of Council land and it has nothing to do with proximity to good sea water, boat ramps or the like.
The “beauty” of this site is that they will, in all probabilities, be able to negotiate a peppercorn rent with Council which will save them a fortune. There are numerous other sites that have been suggested to them including an area at a redeveloped Dive Crescent which would be the best place for this facility – but that would have to be a commercial lease, so not attractive.
Meanwhile you can bet your last $ that that Tauranga students will be paying full fees while their parents subsidise the operation of this University and its corporate arm. Something doesn’t seem right here.
In addition to this there was plenty of discussion about parking (“All parking will be on the Uni campus.”  Really?), need for new sewer water, power, wider road, pavement, street lighting etc. Plenty of comment about probable additional traffic congestion too.
There is no doubt that the University does and will continue to do some great work and everyone at the meeting was supportive of a campus in Tauranga. But the overriding message to come out of the meeting was that this is not the right place and no-one wants to be asked in years to come by their grandchildren “However did you let that happen?”
However it was good to see Cr Kelvin Clout, Cr Larry Baldock and Mayor Greg Brownless at the meeting and for Kelvin to go on the record as saying he would fully support a fully notified consent process.

There are two more meetings of this kind on Tuesday (20th). Firstly in the Red Square from 10am – 1pm, and then at the Edgewater Fan from 3-5pm.
It is vital that we get Club members to these meetings, so if you are in town please go and make your opinions heard.
There is a form asking you your opinion so please go and complete one, and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, such “why are you turning our green spaces into commercial zones?”
We don’t want this to be the thin edge of the wedge for the green recreational areas of Sulphur Point

Nick Wrinch

( http://www.tauranga.govt.nz/our-future/projects/university-of-waikato-marine-facility ).

Please see the email addresses of your councillors listed below:
Mayor Greg Brownless     greg.brownless@tauranga.govt.nz   
Cr. Kelvin Clout (Dep Mayor) kelvin.clout@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Max Mason max.mason@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Rick Curach rick.curach@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr Steve Morris steve.morris@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Leanne Brown leanne.brown@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Larry Baldock larry.baldock@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Catherine Stewart catherine.stewart@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Bill Grainger bill.grainger@tauranga.govt.nz
Cr. Terry Molloy terry.molloy@tauranga.govt.nz