Tauranga is "bursting at the seams" as developers say the city is running out of land.

However, Mayor Greg Brownless said the city's roading network needs to be addressed before more land is freed up for development.

Earlier this week Tauriko West's urban limit was amended to allow the development of 3000 houses.

However, Mayor Greg Brownless said issues with the city's roading and transport networks could stall development.


''We are actually bursting at the seams so the next logical step, I think, before anything happens, is I want to make sure the Government or NZTA will do the necessary improvements to the roading network.

"We have to get the roading and transport right before these things happen ... or it won't be a success.''

Brownless said he was not in favour of any development without transport infrastructure in place first.

''People have had enough. They want the transport networks in place or we just create gridlock on gridlock.''

Developer Peter Cooney, who co-owns the second-largest home building company in New Zealand, Classic Builders, said land zoned for development in Tauranga could run out next year.

The company had $50 million invested in the 350ha Tauriko West development and while the Government wanted to provide affordable housing, Cooney said it was "ironic they are holding it up" by not confirming its investment in roading.

''The reality is you have to get some runs on the board.''

He said councils were also not freeing up land for development quickly enough and new developments were being deluged with requests for information by council planners.


''If there is no more land for development, new house building stops. That means electricians, plumbers, bricklayers will all have to stop.

"It will impact carpet sales, furniture sales, lighting, drapes, paint, paving and anything else that is part of putting together a new home. The multiplier effects of development and construction are woven into our local economies and employment."

If everything went well, it would take four to five years to get a proposed development through council processes, he said.

Scott Adams, general manager of development group Carrus, said the company had been in a joint venture with the Hickson family since 2004 and had been ready for 15 years to start development in Te Tumu.

The joint venture was one of three large landowners in Te Tumu and about 7700 homes were planned on the 760ha site, which was yet to be rezoned.

Carrus was also seven years ahead of its construction programme at The Lakes and only had 160 sections left to sell, which Adams estimated would be sold down by 2020.

The first houses could be built at Te Tumu in 2021 if there were no further delays. If Carrus did not have other projects in other parts of New Zealand it would run out of work in Tauranga, he said.

Tauranga Council Growth and Infrastructure general manager Christine Jones said there was shared recognition and concern around the need to provide sufficient land for growth.

''This is a complex topic that we are working on with our SmartGrowth partners and the development community."

Jones said the council was working to address the short and medium-term need for developable land, including planning for Tauriko West and Te Tumu, special housing areas and starting planning work for the Tauranga Urban Strategy.

Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the Government had increased the amount of funding available to the NZ Transport Agency to build new roads.

He said decisions about specific roading routes were for the transport agency and councils, not central government.

''It is important that councils in high-growth areas like those in the Bay of Plenty join up their transport and housing plans, and our Government is committed to working with them to achieve this.''

He said the $158 million of 10-year interest-free loans to Tauranga City Council would provide water and wastewater capacity for 35,000 more houses.

Environment Minister David Parker said the urban limit amendment for Tauriko West was the first step towards addressing housing demand in Tauranga. However, further policy changes were required.

A spokesman for the NZ Transport Agency said the agency would be investing $665 million in transport in the Bay of Plenty through the 2018/21 National Land Transport Programme.

The agency was working with SmartGrowth partners to integrate land use, transport planning and delivery to support the urbanisation of Tauriko West, the spokesman said.

''This work is focused on understanding how a multi-modal transport system can support the communities planned for Te Tumu and how those communities will connect to the wider Tauranga area.''

State Highway 29 was a key freight route that connected the region with Waikato, Auckland and the wider North Island.

''This route supports the economic success of the Western Bay of Plenty and the NZ Transport Agency is leading the transport plan to ensure that the transport system for Tauriko is safe, supports local growth, and provides alternative travel choices for the community.''

Major greenfield developments

te Tumu in Papamoa East

- Total site size 760ha

- 340ha developable land

- 7700 dwellings

- Housing for 15,500 people

- Building to start in 2021

Tauriko West
- Total size 350ha
- 210ha developable land
- 3000 dwellings
- Housing for 7200 people