A unified vision, direction and voice for the
future of the Western Bay

A unified vision, direction and voice for the future of the Western Bay

Our Vision

Western Bay - a great place to live, learn, work and play


The western Bay of Plenty sub-region is one of the fastest growing areas in New Zealand. The sub-region has grown significantly over the past 60 years and has experienced a sustained period of growth due to its sought-after lifestyle and economic opportunities. In 1945, the western Bay of Plenty had a population of just 18,700 people – today the population for the sub-region is over 200,000.


The SmartGrowth partnership is made up of Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, tāngata whenua and central government. SmartGrowth engages with groups, businesses, and organisations to help us build a framework for future planning and growth. We’ve partnered together to achieve better shared outcomes for our sub-region.


SmartGrowth covers the western Bay sub-region. The area that lies within the administrative boundaries of Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty District.

Building our Future

The SmartGrowth Strategy 2023

The SmartGrowth Strategy is our plan to manage growth.  It considers how housing, land, infrastructure, transport, community development, tāngata whenua aspirations, and the natural environment need to be looked at together to achieve effective long-term growth.

The SmartGrowth Strategy will make sure that as our sub-region continues to grow, we’re ready to manage it. Being proactive with our planning means we will reduce the impact on how we get around, shape the options for where we can live, how we connect with our community, and ensure we can protect and enhance our natural and cultural landscape. We want to build strong and resilient communities that are well connected.

The Draft SmartGrowth Strategy 2023 (SGS23) is now available. You can read the whole document or take a look at the Strategy Story, which offers a brief overview of the strategy.

Consultation on the SmartGrowth Strategy concluded on 20 October 2023. The hearings, took place on 4 and 5 December and the hearing panel deliberations were conducted on 29 February, 1 March and 19 March (reconvened). Click here for more information.

Our Sub-Region is Growing

Our Focus