Tauranga City Council has launched its Accessible Hotspots project, which aims to make facilities and attractions in a specific location more accessible to people with disabilities.
An accessible hotspot is a geographic area with a concentrated number of accessibility features and facilities.
The work is being done in collaboration with the council's Disability Advocacy Group.
The northern area of Mount Maunganui will become the first Accessible Hotspot.
"It's a game-changer for disabled people's lives," Disability Advocacy Group member Amanda Lowry said.
"When councils engage with what the population needs, it makes it so much easier for everybody.
"We get to have big, bad, full lives just like everyone else, without having to constantly weigh up the logistics of where you go and how you go."
Lowry said that easy access to facilities such as picnic benches, the beach and even playgrounds was the focus of many decisions made by the group.
"It makes perfect sense to have areas where there's high-intensity, accessible facilities available because it makes it easier for us.
"You park in one spot then it's really easy to access all of those fabulous places."
Tauranga City Council said it has allocated $4 million to the project, which will be spent over the next 10 years.
"That's a significant investment and we're going to be delivered in a way no other region is doing," Tauranga City Council Sport, Recreation and Community Facilities team leader Kieran Wall said.
"You go back a few years and look at access to the beaches, water, our natural environment - and you've seen the Trail Rider be implemented to support people to access Mauao."
The hotspots programme also focused on making playgrounds more accessible, not just for disabled children, but disabled parents or caregivers as well.
"At one of the other parks in town, I'm able to roll onto a merry-go-round with the kids and be on it with them," Lowry said.
"I'm able to engage with them in all parts of the playground rather than watching from a distance."
By focusing on playgrounds and everyone who uses them, Wall said the council wanted to drive a widespread change in attitudes.
"If you grow up around kids from all walks of life you're going to be more open to those ideas and more considerate as you grow."
Lowry said many little things, invisible to most able-bodied people, had a big impact on disabled people.
"Some of the simple stuff that you don't even think about when you're able-bodied is level crossings.
"The fact that it doesn't drop down from the footpath, to the crossing and then rise up again, the fact that it's level all the way across - I can be with my kids and not get them to push me.
"I want to be as independent as possible so little things like that allow me to be independent.