We’re looking at how we can best prioritise and invest in Tauranga’s current and future community centres.
During our recent long-term plan, our community told us Tauranga needs different types of community centres and other local bookable spaces to better meet the needs of our residents.
There are lots of things that can make our community centres better – new and improved facilities, different types of services and activities on offer (such as arts, social services or sports and recreation) or introducing specialist centres (such as a youth-focus or cultural hubs).
To help us decide what the future of community centres could look like, we want to know what’s currently working well, what could work better or what’s missing to meet the needs of our growing city.
When we say community centres we are mainly interested in hearing about neighbourhood community centres and halls such as Arataki Community Centre, Welcome Bay Community Centre, Greerton Hall or Pāpāmoa Sport and Recreation Centre.
We’re also interested in hearing about the use of larger city-wide facilities such as Trustpower Baypark and Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre (QEYC) for uses other than sport.
Tell us what a community centre means to you
We want to hear from a range of people to help us better prioritise future investment.
We’re focused on gathering information from three priority groups:
- Current facility providers – those in governance, management and day-to-day operations
- Current users and non-users – the wider community
- Potential partners – those who we could partner with in the future to help improve our community centres, including:
- other bookable spaces in Tauranga, e.g. school halls
- other organisations who deliver services from a community space, e.g. budget advisory services.
We’re also targeting groups that we often don’t hear from. Those groups are Māori, Pacific Island, youth, disabled people, ageing population, ethnic communities and LGBTQI+
When we look at improving and investing in community facilities, it’s important we are meeting a wide range of needs. Without feedback from a wide range of people we cannot plan for a future that reflects the needs and aspirations of our whole community.
What's happening in the background?
While you share your thinking with us, we’re in the process of reviewing our current community centres, what services they offer and the different types of management models.
We’re looking at things like:
- the current demand – how often are our centres being used?
- the number of community centres across different neighbourhoods – is the current number of centres enough to meet different communities’ needs?
- what services/activities are on offer – do we need new and improved spaces that offer different services/activities?
- the current management model – is it effective and what management or partnership model could work best into the future? What models do other parts of New Zealand use?
- partnering with other organisations – what other opportunities might exist to improve access and services/activities?
- prioritising our investment – where, for whom and why should we invest first?
Once we have collected all of this information and have heard from our community what matters most to them, then we will put together a plan of attack. We will be proposing short, medium and longer-term actions to improve our community centres.
We can’t do everything all at once, so we need to prioritise where to spend money first.
Our aim is to come up with an implementation plan, that we report back to Council/Commission so they know where to invest first and why. They will then make a decision if this is the best way forward.
Only once we have the green light we can start making things happen. That will likely be at neighbourhood level, so you’ll have further opportunities to be involved in that process. We’ll keep you posted along the way.