Te Papa in Manukau

What Might This Mean


With the Unitary Plan now set for formal notification and the Special Housing Areas also now being prepared, attention can go back focus on other aspects of Auckland.

In the weekend it was announced that Te Papa (our National Museum) had entered a partnership with various groups and is to build an “outpost” in Manukau City Centre. I make mention of this here: Te Papa Coming to Manukau – Auckland and recommend reading it first to bring yourself up to speed if you have not already done so

For easier reference this is where the outpost is possibly going to be located:

Te Papa outpost site

As you can see it is on the west fringe of the Manukau (Super) Metropolitan Centre area and is easily accessible by road, bus and rail (relatively so). The facility will not more than 450 metres away is both the Westfield Mall and Rainbows End theme park. The MIT campus is right next door (as is the Manukau Train Station and Bus Interchange) with the AUT campus at the north-eastern end (Corner of Te Irirangi Drive and Great South Road). The airport is 15 mins away by road and we have the surrounding population which contributes to around 38% of Auckland’s total population.


Te Papa coming to Manukau rather than Wynyard Quarter is very good news not only for Auckland but also for Southern Auckland as well. Thus I am going to take a “high-level” look at Te Papa in Manukau – now that Mankau is well and truly OPEN FOR BUSINESS.


Te Papa North – The Benefits and Costs to Manukau

I was rattling off the benefits and costs to Rebekka the other day over Te Papa coming north to Manukau. At the time I saw the usual “me me me” conservatives pipe up on Social Media which earned a “reply” straight back. Unlike the White Water Rafting Facility which should have been borne by the private sector, Te Papa is a case where a virtual Public Private Partnership comes into effect.

Of course the two direct costs borne by the tax and rate payer for the Te Papa North (Manukau facility) is the cost of construction and cost of operating the facility. To silence the “me me me” brigade what has to be shown is that the benefits at all levels – so economic and social have to out pace the costs of the facility. This in my opinion can be easily done.

Lets start with economic benefits – in short form (I am not writing an essay here)

Direct Benefits

  • Employment in the facility whether it be the curator, the cafe owner or the  cleaner
  • Visitors spending their money inside the facility which has flow on effects

Indirect Benefits

  • Contractors contracted by the facility to carry out whatever task it maybe – this has the flow on effect of contractors hiring more people
  • Visitors spending money in other areas of Manukau – heck we need a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Westfield Mall to keep the visitors in the area as there is nothing worse than a fleeting visitor
  • Research committed by the facility
  • Urban Renewal projects carried out in the surrounding area owing to the facility being in THAT area
  • Investment attracted by both the liberal elite (the patrons of Te Papa Manukau) and by others either in support of the facility or through other investments like urban renewal
  • Get Auckland Transport to get a wriggle on and build the Manukau Rail South Link so that the south can very easily access Manukau and Te Papa


Social Benefits

Now this is an area I like catching the “me me me’s” on as it shows their absolute selfish nature to others. As a social liberal; believing in the common good and the wider collective of humanity, anything that has positive social benefit should be allowed even if monetary wise it does not make a “profit.”

Social Benefits

  • Education; equipping those with knowledge advances a society and reduces inequality amongst the population. Think of the knowledge this facility could part on to our population here in the South which (and I pull no punches here) is socially deprived compared to the Isthmus. Bekka and I loved the Te Papa facility in Wellington and learned a heck of a lot (and both of us are “educated”) at that place. Now we can and with others learn even more at the Manukau facility. Te Papa Manukau will also complement the MIT and AUT campus sites both in Manukau too
  • Education/Research: I would say research would occur at the Manukau Facility. Again like the education point above education and research carried out by scientists, geographers, historians and anthropologists at the facility has wider implications in advancing our society even further. This is not a utopian idea this a realist idea as we continue to gain further knowledge and (try) to better humanity
  • Morale: Jobs and education mean less inequality which means a better functioning society through higher morale. A population that has a higher morale is a population less likely to feel the ill-effects of deprivation and everything that goes with it (crime, disease, health, low life expectancy). While Te Papa Manukau is not the silver bullet to our ills I am pointing out a cog that will have more benefits than the white water rafting facility in lifting South Auckland up

Of course there are countless other benefits both economically and socially that I have not mentioned. But as I said earlier I am not writing an essay here.


I am personally excited with Te Papa coming to Manukau for both economic and social reasons. This could be the spark that starts a massive renewal project starting with Manukau and spreading to our South.

And yes I want to be part of the action as does most likely the rest of the South. Manukau is Open for Business and seems it will be starting off with some social investment first.

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