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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.

City Plan review on hold - resource management reform

In March 2021, the Government announced it would introduce three new pieces of legislation to replace the Resource Management Act (RMA). The new Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) is intended to replace the RMA (and our district plan) with a combined plan for the Bay of Plenty region under a new national planning framework.

In November 2021, Council decided to put the City Plan review project on hold, until the new legislation intended to replace the RMA is better defined. In the meantime, council will undertake a series of individual plan changes to respond to the priority issues facing Tauranga, and to comply with the Government’s national policy direction.

The main component of the priority plan change work programme is a plan change to enable housing supply, required to give effect to the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021.

Proposed plan change: Enabling housing supply

The information we have obtained through engagement on the City Plan review project will inform the development of any plan changes that are prepared. 

The City Plan review will remain on hold until more direction from central Government on the Natural and Built Environments Act is provided. Once we know the content of this Act, we will be able to make a decision on next steps for the City Plan review.

Questions in the meantime? Write to us on city.plan@tauranga.govt.nz

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.

What is the City Plan and how does it 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, and influences how our city will look, feel and operate in the decades ahead.  

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.

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. Check out the project timeline for an overview of the process and where you can be involved.

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.

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Share your views

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


  • 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

    February 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.

    July 2020 to February 2022
  • City Plan review put on hold

    • Council decides to put the review on hold while we await the outcomes of the resource management reform, and progress priority plan changes instead.

    15 November 2021
  • Priority plan changes work programme

    • The new Enabling housing supply plan change is confirmed as the main component of the priority plan change work programme. The City Plan review remains on hold until we have more information on the content of the Natural and Built Environments Act.
    28 March 2022

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Share your views

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

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