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Transformational Shifts

Transformational shifts

The SmartGrowth Strategy2023 identifies six Transformational Shifts that will lead to the greatest improvement in community wellbeing outcomes, while achieving Strategy Objectives.

Homes for everyone

Rent and housing prices are amongst the highest in the country and are escalating faster than other areas. Housing cost increases are creating financial stress for many households.

The challenge to address housing gaps is one of the most critical issues we’re facing. Everyone deserves to live in a safe, warm, dry home that they can afford.

Targeting actions across all agencies that will strengthen the segments of the housing system that are facing the most significant challenges.

Growth directives:
  • A range of housing types, tenures and price points is provided within all growth areas and Māori land.
  • Public housing supply is increased and aligns the typologies of new and existing housing stock to match the needs of the community.
  • Proactively support the delivery of public and affordable housing in existing urban areas and growth areas.    
  • Provide land and infrastructure sufficient to address identified short, medium and long-term shortfalls in housing and business development capacity.

Marae as centres and opportunities for whenua Māori

Marae as cultural, social, and economic centres, activating the affordable development of housing on whenua Māori and opportunities for papakāinga (housing, education, social, hauora facilities).

This approach supports mana whenua practice and exercise of “ahi ka / ahikāroa” being the occupation of the whenua in a new and evolving context, strengthening communities in the face of change.

Growth Directives:
  • Support and realise tāngata whenua aspirations for Māori land and papakāinga development in urban areas and in the rural environment.
  • Improve access to collectively owned Māori assets in the region for benefit of iwi, hapū and whanau.

Emissions reduction through Connected Centres

A substantial shift towards reducing our emissions through Connected Centres including:

Accessing local social and economic opportunities within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. This encourages strong local centres and connected neighbourhoods while reducing vehicle emissions.

Increasing the number of dwellings by intensifying our existing urban and new growth areas. This is to maximise the land available for development and support a well-functioning multimodal transport system – i.e., walk, bike, drive or public transport.

Provide frequent and reliable public transport and safe, connected cycle facilities within and between centres, supporting intensification areas and higher densities.

Growth Directives:
  • Transport and land use planning are integrated to achieve the SmartGrowth live, learn, work and play vision and ‘15 minute’ neighbourhoods (local social and economic opportunities within a 15-minute walk or bike ride).
  • The number of houses in existing urban areas is increased to a minimum of 30-50 dwellings per hectare over time, and new growth areas have a minimum of 30 dwellings per hectare over time.
  • Frequent and reliable public transport and safe, connected cycle facilities is provided within and between centres.

Strong economic corridors linking the East and West to the city and the Port

A strong and productive economic, land use and multimodal transport corridor that links the western and eastern growth areas with the Tauranga City Centre and the Port of Tauranga. This includes the employment areas of the Port, City Centre, Tauriko and Rangiuru. The economic corridors should link with key growth areas so that jobs are provided close to where people live. This integrated corridor approach supports emissions reduction.

These economic corridors also provide important intra and inter-regional linkages into the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and the Waikato. International connections for freight and tourism are provided through the Port and Airport.

Growth Directives:
  • An efficient freight network is enabled to support movement to Port of Tauranga and contribute to local and wider economic wellbeing.
  • Transport solutions are future proofed, adaptable, resilient and integrated with the system view.  
Economic growth:
  • Is integrated within sub-regional spatial planning.
  • Supports the UFTI connected centres approach.
  • Supports environmental protection and enhancement.
  • Takes account of wider regional and Upper North Island economic plan

Restore and enhance eco-systems for future generations

Ensuring what’s special about the western Bay of Plenty environment is restored and enhanced – the beaches, harbour, open spaces, native bush, wetlands and air. Development has placed unsustainable pressure on ecosystems, and we are seeing the negative impacts from this. Natural hazard resilience is needed along with understanding the impacts of climate change, including consideration of climate change adaptation.

Growth Directives:
  • A full range of ecosystems in the western Bay of Plenty are maintained or restored to a healthy functioning state.
  • Development avoids areas with important environmental, cultural and heritage values; or that are at risk from coastal erosion (including inner harbour erosion).
  • Take a precautionary approach to development in areas identified as ‘go carefully’, consistent with national policy statements and the Regional Policy Statement.
  • Coastal, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems are enhanced to improve carbon storage and resilience to climate change.
  • Nature-based solutions and water sensitive urban design are prioritised and used in urban areas.

Radical change to the delivery, funding and financing model for growth

New ways of funding, financing and delivering development including growth-related infrastructure are urgently needed. Tauranga and the Western Bay have a significant infrastructure deficit and SmartGrowth cannot deliver on this Strategy without this. A coordinated and aligned approach for enabling housing, business and infrastructure to better meet the needs of the community is required.

Growth Directives:
  • Funding and financing models, including public and private sector partnerships where appropriate, are established to support agreed priority infrastructure for urban growth.
  • New and enhanced streamlined planning processes are provided to address regulatory barriers for infrastructure and development.
  • Shared service models for social and community infrastructure capital and operation costs are explored.