A plan to develop Tauriko West for new housing and related infrastructure is underway.
SmartGrowth's council partners and the New Zealand Transport Agency are working together on a long-term plan for the new suburb aiming to improve transport links and open up the area for urban development.
The vision for Tauriko West involved creating a new community and ensuring it would have access to amenities such as schooling, parks, cycle and walkways, the Wairoa River, shopping at nearby areas and transport options and infrastructure.
The plan is in its early stages and the organisations are investigating the processes, infrastructure requirements and funding commitments required.
The project group said its goal was to stay ahead of growth by making sure residential and economic development and proposed transport projects were aligned over the next 30 to 50 years.
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said the long term vision for Tauriko West was to create a "thriving community that allows people to live, work, learn and play locally".
"We are paving the way for amenities such as schools, parks, cycle and walkways, connections to shopping and future community centres along with new roading," Mr Brownless said.
"This is a 30-year vision. We are getting in front of this challenge early by planning well in advance to cater for growth, and looking at how we can create a new community," Mr Brownless said.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber said getting the right mix between economic success and liveability was vital.
He said Tauriko was the gateway for visitors from the Waikato and was on a key freight route connecting the region with Hamilton, Auckland and the north.
"This route supports the economic success of the Western Bay, so is vital that growth and liveability, and traffic safety and efficiency go hand in hand.
"By taking the time to plan now we can make sure that people can safely and easily get to work, school or places of play and allow freight and other traffic that supports our economy to get to where it needs to go."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chairman Doug Leeder said while the group was working together to future-proof the region, it was also drawing on the past.
"Tauriko is an area steeped in history and, for over 800 years, the Wairoa River has been a source of food, water, and enterprise.
"We want to work together with our communities, to embrace the area's history and build and protect the environment, while creating the region's newest community."
Building a community at Tauriko West would require a change to the District Plan as part of the Resource Management process. It would also involve a boundary change, and discussions between Tauranga City and Western Bay were underway.
Information open days will be held on May 26 and 27 from 11am until 3pm at Shop 9, Tauranga Crossing.
About the Tauriko for Tomorrow project
- Tauriko for Tomorrow is a collaborative project by Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, and the NZ Transport Agency, focusing on development in the Tauriko West area.
- Tauriko for Tomorrow is one of seven urban projects that will deliver new housing capacity in the next 10 years as part of a long-term SmartGrowth Strategy. Other project areas include Te Tumu in Papamoa East, building a more compact city for Tauranga and planning for future growth within the Keenan Rd area south of The Lakes, Omokoroa, Katikati, and Te Puke.
- Building a community at Tauriko West will require changes to the Regional Policy Statement, state highway realignment and designation, and City Plan. Discussions between Western Bay and Tauranga City councils about the proposed boundary change are also underway. All these changes will need to be implemented in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991.