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City Plan review

City Plan review

The City Plan affects everyone who owns land in Tauranga. It sets out what you can do on your land and what your neighbours can do. By reviewing our City Plan together, we have an opportunity to make sure that our city continues to thrive and that we understand and protect what people value about living in Tauranga.

The review will ensure the City Plan supports our growing city, manages and provides mechanisms for protecting our environment and cultural values, better reflects issues like climate change and affordable housing and makes us stronger in the face of natural hazard events. It also gives our community the opportunity to influence how Tauranga grows, what we are currently doing well and what we could do better. 

Why are we reviewing the City Plan?

The City Plan is one of several tools we can use in making sure that the Tauranga of tomorrow reflects the vision and values of our people. Since it was last reviewed in 2013, a lot has changed. New issues have arisen and we need to make sure we are providing for Tauranga’s ongoing housing and business growth, with associated infrastructure and services to support it.

We’re reviewing it to ensure it supports the needs of our growing community, enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and promotes the sustainable management of our natural and physical resources. 

National and regional requirements

Under the Resource Management Act 1991 we are required to prepare a City Plan and review it at least every 10 years. 

In 2019, central government issued national planning standards which require the City Plan to be reviewed using the same standards applied for all city and district plans in the country. 

The plan also needs to be updated to incorporate national and regional policy directives, including the National Policy Statement on Urban Development and the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement that the City Plan must give effect to.

How does the City Plan affect me?

The City Plan affects everyone who owns land in Tauranga. It provides the framework for all subdivision, land use and development, how and where the city grows and how natural and physical resources are managed. It is the blueprint by which any development in Tauranga is managed. 

All land within the city is given a zone. Each zone has a set of rules for subdivision, land use and development. It’s the City Plan that tells you whether you need a resource consent before you can do something with your property. So, for example, if you were planning to build a new house on a vacant lot, you may or may not need a resource consent to do so, depending on its location, size and height – the City Plan is where you can find the answer.

While it regulates what we can and can’t do on our properties, it also determines what our neighbours can do on their land and whether a business can set up next door. It provides mechanisms for protecting the city’s historic and cultural heritage, as well as indigenous animal and plant habitats and influences how our city looks, feels and operates.

The review will help determine things that affect you like:

  • where new housing will occur and different types of housing
  • where future businesses and industrial development will go
  • what kind of activities can be established next door 
  • what kind of buildings can be built where you live
  • whether you can subdivide your land, and how close you can build to your boundary
  • how to provide for the future location of key infrastructure for the city such as roads
  • how to protect valuable aspects of Tauranga, such as cultural and historic heritage, significant landscapes, and indigenous plant and animal habitats 
  • how to manage the impacts of climate change and natural hazard events, such as flooding and sea level rise
  • how much noise a business or workplace can make and what size signs can go up on private land.

When will the City Plan review begin?

The review process has already started. We’re currently working on issues and options for the City Plan to address, which we will bring to the community in late 2021, when we will be seeking feedback. 

Our timeline gives you a good overview of the full review process.

How to get involved

Reviewing the City Plan is an in-depth process and your views will be important in making sure we get it right. This is your city after all. We’ll be coming out to talk to you about where we’re heading with the plan and give you the chance to have your say.

What is the City Plan?

The City Plan  provides the rulebook that guides scale, form and intensity of subdivisions, land use and developments and how natural and physical resources are managed in urban and rural areas. It influences how our city will look, feel and operate in the decades ahead.

It sets rules for how land can be used, for example where residential, commercial and industrial activity can occur, and how things like building height and size are addressed. The plan can also help make sure that land is used in a way that is suited to its location and that the effects of any use, like loud noises or vehicles coming and going, are taken into account.

It’s the City Plan that regulates what we can and can’t do on our properties, what our neighbours can do on their land and whether a business can set up next door. It protects the city’s historic and cultural heritage, as well as indigenous animal and plant habitats. It gives our community, property owners and businesses a level of certainty about what they can and can’t do and where.

Our current City Plan

The current City Plan was made operative in 2013.

Tauranga City Plan (digital plan) Tauranga City Plan (PDFs)

Since then, there have been 14 plan changes made to the operative plan to address specific topics.  

Completing a full review of the City Plan allows us to take a holistic approach to bring the plan up to date and meet our statutory requirements, including implementing national direction from central government.

Share your views

Tell us what you think needs to be addressed through the city plan.

Email us


  • July 2020 to June 2021

    Research and investigation
    What needs changing in our current plan?

    • Identify issues and alignment with strategic direction – our city vision, SmartGrowth and Urban Form and Transport Initiative
    • Technical investigations including natural hazards, natural environment, cultural heritage
    • Initial engagement with tangata whenua and stakeholders on issues and opportunities they would like to see considered
    • Consideration of national planning standards and national policy statement requirements
  • July 2020 to October 2021

    Issues and options
    What are the issues facing Tauranga and how can we resolve them? 
    • Further engagement with tangata whenua and stakeholders on issues and opportunities they would like to see considered
    • Release of discussion document with issues and options for feedback
    • Community engagement on the issues and options, how they may be addressed and what else needs to be considered.
  • March 2023 – October 2024

    Draft City Plan
    Non-statutory engagement
    • Release of draft city plan for consideration by tangata whenua, stakeholders and the community
      Release: October 2022
    • Consider all feedback received on draft plan
  • March 2023 – October 2024

    Proposed City Plan
    Statutory consultation
    • Release of proposed City Plan
      Release: April 2024
    • Formal consultation: public notification of proposed plan seeking submissions and further submissions
  • November 2024 – December 2025

    Hearings and decisions
    Completing the formal process
    • Hearing of submissions
      Completed by June 2025
    • Recommendations of hearings panel to Council
    • Council makes decisions on the proposed plan: December 2025

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