Shaping homes and neighbourhoods of the future
Te Papa Plan and Housing Choice plan change promotion
Tauranga is growing rapidly, so we need to plan ahead now
to ensure we have an awesome city in the future. Here’s the
chance to have your say.
Tauranga is New Zealand’s fifth largest city and is continuing to grow. It’s at a turning point
– on the cusp of becoming a ‘real city’, but needing to make big changes for this to happen.
The challenge of the city’s growth, and the growth of the other main centres in our country, is recognised at a national level, with central government providing very clear direction to councils
on the need to provide for more housing and transport options.
Locally, despite a lot of work going into planning for growth over the years, the city is facing a growing housing shortage and higher housing and infrastructure costs.
So we need to change our approach. Instead of solely relying on expanding the city outwards,
we need to put greater focus on planning for growth in our existing urban area. We need to work
on placemaking in and around our town centres (including local shopping centres) and enable
more people to live in those areas, with more compact forms of housing, community spaces, retail and other businesses.
Tauranga City Council is working on making this happen, starting in the Te Papa peninsula — the area between Greerton and the city centre. Together with stakeholders from across the board,
it’s pulling together a 30-year plan for the area that aims to provide greater housing choices,
safe and efficient transport options, local amenities and infrastructure needed to support healthy, connected neighbourhoods and communities. There are lots of community benefits to be gained from growth and change, if it’s well planned and supported by the right investment at the right time; for example, better access to social and economic opportunities, improved environmental quality, and neighbourhoods with a stronger sense of culture and identity. Understanding what to invest
in and when is what council is working on right now.
In parallel, to allow Tauranga to grow up as well as out, council is working to make the city plan
more enabling of different types of housing. At this stage, the rules make it hard for people to
build anything other than standard standalone houses. This means we’re not using land as
effectively as possible to accommodate our growth, and the homes available on the market may
not suit some people’s needs — such as some of our ageing community or the increasing number
of smaller households. Council is working to change the city plan to give people the option to
build duplexes and townhouses/terraced housing in suburban areas across the city, as well as apartments in more central areas, such as Te Papa. This make sense but it’s vital to ensure new
builds are embraced by the community. Would you be happy to live next door? Do you think they would enhance the neighbourhood? This is where the city plan rules come in, as well as new urban design guidelines that council is proposing.
Council is now asking for the community’s feedback on their city plan proposals and their ideas
for Te Papa.
This could seem like a strange time to be talking about city planning, and thinking so far into the future, when tomorrow is uncertain. Yet maybe there’s no better time for this. Tauranga will likely continue to grow, people will continue to move here. We need to act now to ensure that growth is
well managed and that it creates opportunities for better homes, better neighbourhoods and a
better city for us, our children, and our grandchildren.