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We're committed to transforming our city centre

Our community has told us loud and clear that they want a vibrant, well-planned city centre that is inclusive, accessible and diverse, with more activities and events for all to enjoy.

Together with our city partners, we’re on our way to making this a reality, with significant investment and projects committed over the next 10 years.

This is our plan for our city centre’s future, our plan to create a city centre with people at its heart: Te Rapunga Ora ki Te Papa, a great place to live, work, learn and play.

City Centre Action and Investment Plan 2022-2032 (11mb pdf)

We have worked closely with our partners, including mana whenua and economic development agency Priority One, to develop the City Centre Action and Investment Plan, building on previous strategies and extensive prior planning for the city centre.

The action plan reaffirms the long-term vision for this key area of our city and identifies a concrete plan for its implementation over the next 10 years. The plan supports exciting catalyst developments confirmed for the city centre in the next decade, including the redevelopment of the Civic Precinct – Te Manawataki o Te Papa, upgrading the waterfront, the growing University of Waikato city campus, the proposed new District Court and more than $1.5b of investment in the city centre as identified in Priority One’s CBD Blueprint.

City Centre vision for waterfront

Indicative vision for the waterfront

Bold actions to support transformation

The City Centre Action and Investment Plan puts forward bold directions and actions that will underpin the transformation of the city centre. These actions will help achieve the vision for our city centre to be a great place to live, work, learn and play, and deliver tangible outcomes for our community.

While some changes included in the plan are already funded and underway, others will be considered as part of future Long-term Plan processes, in partnership with project delivery partners and in consultation with the community.

Here’s what our city centre could look like in 10 years

Snapshot of our future city centre – the key changes

The city centre will be structured into eight precincts, distinct areas where redevelopment is currently underway, with more investment planned in the next 10 years. Each precinct will have its own sense of identity based on its use, and the type of developments, services and activities it hosts – like the Knowledge Precinct centred around the University of Waikato, the Cultural and Historical Precinct in the north encompassing the Elms and Otamataha Pā, or the Retail and Commercial Precinct Retail clustered along Devonport Road, Grey Street and Elizabeth Street.

Map - the city centre precincts

The city centre will be a place for people. It will have a focus on pedestrians, providing safer, more attractive streets and open spaces. This will involve, in time, pedestrianising some streets in and around Te Manawataki o Te Papa and the waterfront, once these areas are redeveloped.

Te Manawa Huanui, a central walking route, will connect these areas with precincts to the north and south, while vibrant laneways will provide east-west connections and places of interest between the Retail, Knowledge and other precincts.

With a focus on universal access, people of all abilities will be able to move around safely and easily. Proposed public transport enhancements will improve access to key areas of the city centre, including the Knowledge Precinct, Te Manawataki o Te Papa and the waterfront.

City Centre vision for strand

Indicative vision for The Strand

The waterfront will become a destination for all to enjoy, connecting people with the moana, providing day to day attractions and year-round events for the wider community. We are working with our partners, including mana whenua and Otamataha Trust, to increase open space and improve connections with the water. Over time, the amenities will continue to grow, along with better access, such as cycleways connecting with other destinations and potential for ferry connections.

Read more about our plans to transform the waterfront.

The city will transition from a business district to the social and economic hub of the region, with a growing population living in and around the city centre, and a range of facilities that will support locals and visitors alike – such as a new library, museum, performing arts centre and a community stadium (conditional on business case and community consultation).

As changes occur, we will work with mana whenua and our community to enhance the identity and culture of the city – through cultural facilities, art, storytelling, wayfinding, events and activation of our spaces. The story of our city centre and its people will be embedded in its fabric – told through the design of open spaces, of the waterfront, our streets, laneways and other places.

Map - the key changes

Read the full City Centre Action and Investment Plan 2022-2032 (5mb pdf)

Delivering in partnership

To achieve the outcomes in this action plan will require contributions from a wide range of businesses, organisations and individuals. Partnerships with mana whenua and the community will be essential to achieve a successful revitalisation.

We will continue to work with partners and stakeholders on many aspects of the plan, such as plans for the waterfront, other public spaces, and how we deliver on the proposed movement framework. This will include developing and engaging on projects prior to changes being made.

We look forward to working with the city centre community over the coming years to build a vibrant city centre we can all be proud of.

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  • Analysis of existing information

    November 2021
  • Hui and stakeholder workshop to confirm the vision and outcomes

    December 2021
  • Focused sessions to gather technical information

    January-May 2022
  • Draft action and investment plan

    June-July 2022
  • Release action and investment plan

    August 2022

Committed investment in and around the city centre

In the past five years we have invested close to $36m in upgrading our waterfront and streetscapes, to create quality urban spaces for the community to enjoy, and support private developments like the University of Waikato or the 38 Elizabeth mixed-use development.

Looking forward, we have committed $370m over the next 10 years to deliver walking, cycling and public transport improvements in the city centre (including a transport hub and parking management); improve public spaces, open space and safety; and deliver places for gathering, learning, exploring, debating, entertaining and remembering the past as part of the civic redevelopment project.

We have $94.8 million allocated for the development of the city centre waterfront, with many projects earmarked for completion before the end of June 2024.

The city centre is also seeing significant development by the private sector, with over $1.5 billion confirmed investment relating to large-scale projects within Tauranga City Centre by 2030, as assessed by economic development organisation Priority One.

In addition to the funding we have confirmed for city centre projects, we have also committed to invest $440m by 2031 to support residential growth within the Te Papa peninsula, which runs from Greerton to the Harbour Bridge and includes the city centre. This will include investment to support growth, including public spaces, safety, parks and reserves, three-waters and transport.

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