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"Certainty, adaptability, sustainability"

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Settlement Pattern Implementation

We work from the long-term planning blueprint which incorporates planning for land use, transport and other infrastructure in an efficient and affordable way.

Development of a strategy for sustainable growth management requires leadership at many levels. Fundamental to this is providing the community with a clear signal for the long-term expectation of the scale and extent of urban development. The original 2004 Settlement Pattern was anchored by the identification of urban limits, development sequencing and target densities expected over time. This has been implemented through the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement (RPS), District Plans and the Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS). 

It is important the Strategy continues to provide certainty to the market, however it must be pragmatic enough to respond to changing circumstances in a timely manner. The Settlement Pattern Review brings everything into context and provides a robust plan for urban development for the next 30 years.

Committee signs off on settlement pattern recommendations

At its August 2016 meeting the SmartGrowth Implementation Committee signed off on a set of four integrated urban growth projects – Tauranga Compact City, Te Tumu, Keenan Road and Tauriko West. These align with the SmartGrowth corridors and have been approved by the three partner councils for progressing residential and business land development.

These aim to ensure timely development capacity in the next 10 to 30 years and meet government planning requirements. Ongoing population growth, the new National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity and continuing market pressures all combine to increase the need to stay on track and ahead of demand. The work shows strong support for transport investment business cases going to the NZ Transport Agency Board for approval in October this year.

Key components of the Settlement Pattern decisions:

  • SmartGrowth will support Tauranga City Council advancing a comprehensive project starting this year to deliver intensification within the current footprint of the city.
  • Structure planning and RMA processes will be started for a new Urban Growth Area in Tauriko West subject to the NZTA board decision later this year.
  • Structure planning and RMA processes will be commenced for the extension of the Tauriko Business Estate in lower Belk Road that is likely to be required in the next 5 to 10 years
  • The Keenan Road area (within Tauranga City) will be retained as an urban growth area with more work to be completed on timing; and ongoing planning and community engagement on rezoning for the remaining Keenan Road area (possibly including Merrick Road and the Joyce Road extension). For more information read here
  • Retain Te Tumu as an urban growth area

The 3 partner councils will now consider the recommendations for integrating into their work programmes


  • Implementing the sub-regional settlement pattern (development trends monitoring indicates that most of the sub-region’s growth is going into identified growth areas)
  • Supporting key developments which align with the settlement pattern and helping to ensure they are viable (eg the Rangiuru Business Park)

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