Priority Development Areas (PDAs)

The Connected Centres approach is all about delivering greater housing and transport choices. More houses and apartment blocks will be built in existing suburbs along the Te Papa Peninsula (from Greerton to the CBD), Otūmoetai/Matua and Mount Maunganui. New neighbourhoods will be created or expanded in the east (Wairakei, Te Tumu), west (Pyes Pa, Tauriko West) and north (Ōmokoroa). Achieving a balance between greenfield development and intensification is the best way to house our growing population.

Public transport, walkways and cycleways will connect existing and new urban centres so people can easily move around to work, learn and play.

The six agreed PDAs were selected because they provide a focus on achieving pace and scale to unlock housing. These are all areas that require intervention. All of our other growth areas remain important and will continue to be progressed.


As the population has increased, the demand for housing has exceeded supply, pushing up property prices and increasing the need for new urban development areas.

In more and more areas of the sub-region, housing is unaffordable for many people.  Land available for future housing supply is constrained. We’re short of homes, and there’s little choice in the type and size of dwellings we can live in. To help address these issues, we need to grow up as well as out.

Transport System Plan

The western Bay of Plenty is expanding faster than anywhere in New Zealand. By 2050 it is projected to be home to 258,000 residents which could create one million transport movements per day on the transport network.  

Our roads are already significantly congested in places, our roading infrastructure is ageing in some areas and our city is built on narrow peninsulas and a diverse geography – we don’t have room for more roads, and congestion, freight times and traffic pollution will get worse if we don’t adapt.  

The Transport System Plan ‘TSP’ is a long-term partnership between Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Waka Kotahi, tāngata whenua, PriorityOne, KiwiRail and Port of Tauranga, tasked with delivering a transport system aligned with regional growth and urban development.

TSP partners have identified more than 80  transport projects with community development, safety, a strong economy and a healthy environment in mind, for now and for future generations. Projects are in different stages of planning and delivery, including major projects to give people more choice about the ways they can get to where they need to. See TSP Projects here.

Tāngata Whenua

The history, culture, and values of tāngata whenua are part of what makes the western Bay of Plenty a special part of New Zealand. The enduring ancestral relationship that tāngata whenua have with their whenua, wai, and taonga is central to their identity as mana whenua and key to their roles and responsibilities as kaitiaki over their respective rohe (areas of interest). Tāngata whenua have been a partner in SmartGrowth since its inception in 2000. This partnership has been exercised through membership on the governance group and the creation of the Combined Tāngata Whenua Forum.

However, progress with Treaty settlements, the emergence of new approaches to spatial planning, and increased expectations from government and tāngata whenua regarding co-management of natural and physical resources, means SmartGrowth needs to proactively work in partnership with tāngata whenua to continue to achieve social, cultural, environmental, and economic objectives, alongside those of other partners. Today, tāngata whenua are one of the four key foundation partners to the SmartGrowth partnership at a governance level, and management level through the Combined Tāngata Whenua Forum (CTWF) and Tū Pakari Advisors.  

Climate Change

Our climate is changing and we need to act now. As the region grows, we need to better understand the increasing influence climate change will have. Work is well underway to understand the challenges our region faces and work with our communities to reduce emissions while preparing for the effects of climate change.

Climate change will have an effect on sea levels, weather patterns and rainfall intensity. These changes in turn will increase natural hazard risks such as flooding from extreme rainfall, inundation (flooding from the harbour/sea), erosion (coastal and inner harbour), tsunami and liquefaction.

SmartGrowth and its partners recognise that climate change is a hugely significant challenge for the western Bay of Plenty sub region. Climate change needs to be addressed by the whole community, all the way from government through to individuals – with business, science, research, and communities all playing a part.

For more information


Te pai me te whai rawa o Tauranga Moana ki te ao
The prosperity and splendour of Tauranga Moana to the world. Priority One is a SmartGrowth partner.
Our role is to grow a sustainable economy that improves productivity and delivers prosperity to local people and communities.

Priority One