Long-term plan deliberations – some big decisions ahead

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Tauranga City Council’s commissioners have a big job ahead as they deliberate on the 1,818 submissions received on the city’s 2021-31 long term plan (LTP).

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says that after a month of intensive engagement, 34 community meetings and 50 hours of oral submissions, the commissioners are now looking forward to considering the submissions in detail and making the key decisions which will shape the city’s future for the next 10 years and beyond.

“Last week’s hearings really did emphasise the passion and commitment Tauranga people have for their city, and the diversity of thinking in terms of priorities for investment,” she says. “Bringing all of those things together into a cohesive long-term plan is a significant task. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to grant all requests, but I know I speak for all commissioners when I say that every submission was appreciated, and will be acknowledged with a formal response.”

The LTP deliberations will begin on Thursday (24 June) and continue on 25 and 29 June. Following deliberations, the LTP will be subject to an independent audit process and Council will adopt the final plan on 26 July. All submitters will receive written responses to their submissions by the end of August.

As part of the deliberations process, the Commission will consider issues and options reports on all of the substantive matters raised through submissions. Key matters to be decided include:

  • Rating structure proposals – ‘ring-fencing’ targeted rates to specific investments; commercial differential rates; funding work on potential rating categories which would take affordability and benefits into account; and, over the next 12 months, investigating an updated rates postponement policy
  • Options for levels of investment and their impacts on rates and debt
  • Changes to the proposed Development Contributions Policy, including consideration of a transition period for the introduction of increases
  • Economic Development and growth management issues and options – Lakes Community Association; Wairakei Community Centre; Pukehinahina/Gate Pa Community Centre; Tauriko and Mount Maunganui Playcentres
  • Separation of the Pitau Road and Hinau Street villages from the council’s elder housing portfolio and the sale of those villages for private development (with net proceeds of the sale to be retained, along with the proceeds of the sale of the remainder of the portfolio to a community housing provider, in an elder housing and social/public housing reserve fund)
  • Options for accelerating the Papamoa East Interchange
  • The location of the Civic administration building, and
  • Implementation of a community funding policy and community grants fund.

Issues and options reports will also be considered on a wide range of other proposals. These include: community partnerships (Sydenham Park, Age Concern - assisted community shopping and Tauranga Wellness Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, Water Safety Bay of Plenty, Kāinga Tupu and He Kaupapa Kotahitanga Trust); sports proposals (BoP Sport Climbing Association, Memorial Park aquatics and recreation hub, Arataki Park sports, cultural and wellbeing facility, Blake Park, Gordon Spratt Reserve, Welcome Bay Reserve, roller sports facilities, and Tauranga City basketball); Spaces and Places proposals (Predator-Free BoP, neighbourhood reserve at The Lakes, shade provision in open spaces, Te Ranga Reserve, Waiariki Region Park, Welcome Bay estuary/Forrester Drive, a natural burial cemetery, public amenity in reserves and Ngā Tamapahore Trust); other issues (NZ War Memorial Museum Trust, Western Bay Museum, Activate Vacant Spaces programme, Mount Maunganui Business Association, Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association, Tsunami sirens, CBD 2-hour free parking, Envirohub, a Tauranga Marine Strategy, Taonga Tu and The Incubator Trust).

Also reported will be road resurfacing levels of service options, Council user fees and charges options and the proposed Revenue and Financing Policy.

The agenda for the deliberations meetings is available on the Council website. Submitters and interested community members are invited to attend the meetings, or watch the proceedings via the livestreaming facility also available on the website.