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SmartGrowth Newsletters

The SmartGrowth newsletter is released quarterly to share updates and priorities for SmartGrowth. We want you be informed and to feel confident that we have a plan in place to manage growth, so we can all be proud of where we live.

Click here to see the Latest SmartGrowth newsletter - September 2023

You can view the previous newsletter below -

Newsletter May 2023

Tēnā koutou,

As a valued contributor to SmartGrowth, we are connecting with you to share some updates and priorities for 2023. A major focus for us this year is updating the SmartGrowth Strategy, which you can read more about below. We have also refreshed our website, making it a better tool for sharing information with you, and for you to share your valuable views with us on specific projects.      

Updating the SmartGrowth Strategy
We are well underway with updating our SmartGrowth Strategy. Our first strategy was created in 2004 and this was reviewed in 2013. A lot of progress has happened since then, and we want to incorporate this work into a refreshed strategy for our sub-region.

In 2021 a draft Joint Spatial Plan was prepared that incorporates the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) Connected Centres programme adopted by SmartGrowth in 2020. Many of our important stakeholders and partner forum members played a key role in helping us to develop this and it continues to be a valuable resource in our future planning. We are using this to form the basis of the updated SmartGrowth Strategy.

The strategy is being developed in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, tāngata whenua, Priority One, and central government.

What the updated strategy will do

The strategy will make sure that as our sub-region continues to grow, we’re prepared for how best to manage it. The strategy will consider how housing, infrastructure, transport, community development and the environment need to be looked at together to achieve sustainable growth. It will incorporate the requirements for a Future Development Strategy as set out in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

As a result of the resource management system reform, a Regional Spatial Strategy will be developed over the next several years for the entire Bay of Plenty region. The new SmartGrowth Strategy will form the basis of the western Bay of Plenty sub-region’s input into the Regional Spatial Strategy.
Status of the strategy

We’re currently working directly with stakeholders who are engaged in planning and delivery of community development, transport, infrastructure, housing and business land. We are also engaging with social, environmental and economic groups. This includes stakeholders who are identified as part of the Future Development Strategy engagement requirements. This will continue through the first half of 2023.

We want to be sure this strategy incorporates tāngata whenua values, aspirations and priorities, so the Combined Tāngata Whenua Forum is working on spatial planning that will also provide direction to the SmartGrowth Strategy. There will be opportunities for the wider community to feed into the strategy development process this year through the new SmartGrowth website as well as through some of our partner council channels.

A formal public consultation period will be held from September – October 2023 where the community can have their say through written submissions and hearings.

We intend for the strategy to be approved in early 2024 and it will be used going forward to inform planning and strategic documents by councils and other partners in the sub-region, including the future Regional Spatial Strategy.

A new SmartGrowth website

We have just launched our updated website. It’s designed so we can clearly share our vision for the western Bay of Plenty and put our key projects front and centre, starting with the SmartGrowth Strategy. We want the community to understand how we are contributing to the strategic growth of our sub-region and the website is a key part of this.

If you use our website to access resources and reports, these have also been put into a simple format that makes it easy to search for the information you need.

What’s next?

We’ll be keeping our website up to date with progress on the strategy and we’ll be in touch when we have key updates to share.

Nāku iti noa, nā

The SmartGrowth team