Waihi Gold Discovery Centre - Background
A $2.6 million gold discovery centre is being built in Waihi to attract additional visitors and become a hub for visitor activity for the Southern Coromandel region.
The project is being driven by the Vision Waihi Trust, a group formed to ensure the area sees long term benefits from the opportunities provided by gold mining.
The project also has the support of Hauraki District Council, Newmont Waihi Gold — which owns Waihi’s current gold mining operations — and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Waihi's Gold Discovery Centre is a 500m2, architecturally-designed and nationally significant visitor attraction housing an interactive gold discovery exhibition and iSITE. It is anticipated to attract around 37,000 visitors per annum, employ approximately nine FTE staff and generate around $1M per year in turnover.
The Gold Discovery Centre is located at the top of Waihi’s main street, only 75m from the rim of the Martha Mine open pit. It is ideally placed, directly adjacent to the relocated historic Cornish Pumphouse and just 300 metres from State Highway 2, the main arterial route between Auckland and Tauranga.
Since 2004, Waihi as a community has been thinking about its future. The Waihi Community Vision group has focused on ways Waihi might maintain its economic viability once gold mining ends. It’s called Waihi’s 20/20 vision. The Gold Discovery Centre is a high priority project within Waihi’s 20/20 vision.
- Vision Waihi Trust is leading the development of the Gold Discovery Centre project.
- The building owner is developing the building to be ready to accept the exhibition.
- A management company will be formed to operate the visitor experience, iSITE, retail area and mine tours.
- Hauraki District Council is providing funding towards the iSITE and visitor attraction fit out.
- Newmont Waihi Gold, which has provided significant financial and in-kind support to Vision Waihi Trust since its inception, is contributing additional funding for the visitor experience.
- The Government’s national economic development agency, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has provided $1.8 million in Major Regional Initiative funding to assist with the development and fit-out of the visitor attraction area of the centre.