Growing pains?

We’ve got a plan for that.

Check it out.

From Waihī Beach to Ōtamarākau, and everywhere in between, we’re one of the fastest growing areas of Aotearoa New Zealand. We’ve experienced a sustained period of growth due to our sought-after lifestyle, natural environment, and economic opportunities.

But, we know that things are hard at the moment and we are not always experiencing the best of the Bay of Plenty lifestyle. There are frustrations. Being stuck in traffic, and the uncertainty of housing – whether being able to find a suitable rental, or afford to buy or build a home for your whānau.

The SmartGrowth Strategy is our plan to manage growth in the western Bay of Plenty sub-region.  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.

We want you to feel confident that we have a plan in place to manage growth, so we can all be proud of where we live.

Here you’ll find a few different ways to read the draft SmartGrowth Strategy. You can read the whole document or take a look at the Strategy Story, which offers a brief overview of the strategy.  Or you can read a short summary of a particular chapter.

There is a large amount of background information that has informed the SmartGrowth Strategy. You can can find out more and read the background papers here.

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, 19 March (reconvened) and 13 May (additional) 2024. Endorsement of the strategy, by the SmartGrowth partners is currently underway.
Click here for further information.

Key dates

Public Consultation
18 September 2023 – 20 October 2023
Hearings – face to face, kanohi ki te kanohi
4 December 2023 – 5 December 2023 COMPLETED
Strategy finalised
Endorsement by Partners Underway

Consultation documents

Documents and links


Areas to be protected and developed carefully
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Tāngata Whenua
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Climate Resilience
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Te Taiao Our Environment
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Urban Form and Centres
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Three Waters and Other Infrastructure
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Economic Wellbeing
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Future Development Strategy
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Social Infrastructure and Wellbeing
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Here you will find some frequently asked questions on the SmartGrowth Strategy 2023. You might find the answer you’re looking for.

What is SmartGrowth?
  • SmartGrowth is a collaboration between Bay of Plenty Regional, Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District councils, tāngata whenua and central government that sets the strategic vision and direction for the growth and development of the sub-region.
  • We provide a framework to manage growth in an integrated and collaborative way and address complex planning issues, especially matters that cross over council boundaries.
  • Together we’re committed to the idea that we can’t go on as we have been, we need to do things differently so that as we continue to grow, we’re ready to manage it.
What is the SmartGrowth Strategy and what does it do?
  • The SmartGrowth Strategy considers how housing, infrastructure, transport, community development, tāngata whenua values and aspirations, and the environment need to be looked at together to achieve effective long-term growth.
  • The Strategy considers some of the key challenges that we face and plans for them. For example, we know that having choice when it comes to housing and transport is important for the community, so we are making plans with this in mind.
  • It’s about shaping what we want our city, towns, and local neighbourhoods to look and feel like – connecting people with, and protecting, the places they live, work, learn, and play.
  • An Implementation and Funding Plan will be developed that prioritises key actions out of the SmartGrowth Strategy.
Why is it needed?
  • Managing future growth is one of the biggest issuesthat our people have said is important to them. We need to look ahead now andplan and invest in sustainable development to support existing and futurepopulations.
  • From Waihī Beach to Otamarakau, and everywhere in between, we’re one of the fastest growing areas of Aotearoa New Zealand. In fact, to accommodate the roughly 300,000 people who will call this place home by 2050, we’re going to need up to 43,000 new homes.
  • We can’t stop this growth, so it’s essential we work together to think of smart and sustainable ways to manage the impact this has on our transport, housing and climate.
  • The existing SmartGrowth Strategy 2013 is nearly 10 years old, and it is time to review and update our approach.
What are the key things proposed in the SmartGrowth Strategy?
  • The Strategy aims to support a series of transformational changes: including providing housing for everyone, reducing emissions through transport choice, connecting the city and Port of Tauranga, supporting marae to create opportunities for Māori, restoring ecosystem values, and developing new funding approaches to support the growth.
  • A detailed Implementation and Funding Plan will be developed, prioritising actions out of the Strategy.
What can I give feedback on?
  • We want you to feel confident that we have a plan in place to manage growth, so we can all be proud of where we live.
  • While a draft strategy, we’d love to know what you think. To make things easy, we’ve broken the strategy into chapters so you can read up on topics you’re most interested in – i.e., transport, climate change and resilience, or economic wellbeing – and let us know if you think we’re focusing on the right things.
The Strategy identifies six Transformational Shifts for change,  that will guide the priorities for implementation.
To find out more about these -click here


The strategy has been developed in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, tāngata whenua, and central government.  

In developing the SmartGrowth Strategy, we’ve worked directly with stakeholders who are engaged in planning and delivery of community development, transport, infrastructure, housing and business land.

There is a large amount of background information that has informed the SmartGrowth Strategy 2023, including the chapters.

To find out more and read the background – click here

To view a video about The SmartGrowth Strategy 2023 - click here