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Aquarium Expansion ProjectTe kaupapa whakawhānui i Te Whare Tangaroa o Aotearoa

A detailed business case for a revamped, expanded National Aquarium will be presented to central government in 2019. If all goes to plan, Napier could have a new $51 million aquarium in 2023.

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Plans to expand the National Aquarium of New Zealand are well underway.

The ultimate goal of the expansion is to create an unforgettable aquarium experience, as well as generating jobs, growing the local economy and making a major contribution to marine science research, education and conservation to protect New Zealand’s - and the planet’s - natural environment.

The expansion would put the aquarium on the map as a conservation centre of excellence and an eco-tourism destination of major significance.

Napier City Council is partnering with world leading aquariums and scientists. In addition, Weta Workshop will assist with design concepts to bring the wow factor to the exhibits and to tell stories in an innovative and spectacular way.

The Long Term Plan consultation and submission process has shown a high level of community support for the aquarium expansion project and what it will do for our community and region.

Central Government has confirmed joint funding with Napier City Council for preparation of the the Detailed Business Case, which is expected to take up to 12 months to prepare. It will then be submitted to Government for funding consideration.

Indicative timeline

2018 – 2019: Preparation of full business case, developed design and revenue generation strategy
2018 – 2019: Community consultation
2018 – 2019: Detailed design and funding secured
2020 – 2023: Construction
2023: Expanded aquarium opens


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