Tauranga City Council proposes to spend $2.4 billion on new city assets and people are encouraged to have their say about it.

Elected members yestrday adopted the consultation document for the Long Term Plan, which outlines the council's plans and key proposals for the next 10 years.

Consultation on the plan opens today and closes at 4pm on April 16.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said the plan proposed $2.4b investment in new city assets, as well as an expenditure that focused on meeting new environmental standards, investigating and responding to the increased threats of natural hazards, and facilities that make Tauranga a great place to live.

"Our priority as we develop the plan is responding to rapid growth and funding it in the most affordable and streamlined way," Mr Brownless said.

"We also need to meet community needs and expectations and be open to opportunities that deliver economic and social prosperity.

"Trying to balance these needs means we need to increase rates, in order to deliver crucial infrastructure and services."

Brownless said the plan affected all ratepayers and residents across the city, so it was important everyone gave their feedback.

"This is your chance to influence the long-term direction and priorities of the council, so I encourage you all to have a say."

Brownless acknowledged the plan currently proposed a significant rates increase of an average of 8.8 per cent per year.

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"We are expecting to receive a lot of feedback about that before we make a decision."


Significant areas of expenditure included:
•underground infrastructure to support both new and existing residential and commercial areas;
•a new water treatment plant;
•upgraded wastewater systems;
•new and improved roads and cycleways; and
•parks, urban enhancement and community facilities such as a library and playgrounds.

Other issues the council is seeking feedback on for its Long Term Plan are:
•rating structure changes;
•finding the right level of investment in public transport and roading;
•waste and recycling options;
•museum and library proposals;
•elder housing provision;
•funding for tourism, arts and culture; and
•tsunami alerts and resilience.

The consultation document outlines all these topics, as well as other items the council is consulting on and other issues that may affect the plan over the next 10 years.

More information, including the consultation document, submission forms and a rates calculator, is on council's LTP webpage: www.goodquestion.nz

Customers can also pick up a copy of the consultation document in the Customer Service Centre or any library, or request a copy by calling 07 577 7000.