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How to use the city plan

The Tauranga City Plan provides the rules for how people can build or develop the land they own in our city.

This can be land that is residential, commercial or industrial. The City Plan covers all subdivision, land use and development, how and where the city grows, how infrastructure is located and how natural and physical resources are managed. It is the blueprint by which any development in Tauranga is managed. It also includes rules on other things that are covered by the Resource Management Act – including hazards, signage, reserves, noise, heritage, etc.

Purpose of the City Plan

The purpose of the City Plan is to enable the Council to carry out its functions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA); promoting the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. The City Plan meets the Council's functions under the RMA. Set out in section 31 of the RMA, these functions are:

  • The integrated management of the effects of the subdivision, use, development or protection of land and associated natural and physical resources;
  • The control of any actual or potential effects of the subdivision, use, development or protection of land, including:
    • The avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards;
    • Matters relating to hazardous substances and the use of contaminated land;
    • The maintenance of indigenous biodiversity.
    • The control of the emission and effects of noise;
    • The control of any actual or potential effects of activities in relation to the surface of rivers and lakes.

The City Plan has been developed through an extensive process of identifying the significant resource management issues in the city. The plan is also guided by other high order statutory planning documents such as the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, Regional Policy Statement, Regional Plans and SmartGrowth.

How to use the City Plan online

The City Plan online is an interactive electronic version of the Tauranga City Plan.

It aims to make it easy to find information relevant to your property and to have your say on changes to the City Plan.

You can use the City Plan either like a book by reading it in full or by viewing it section by section. You can also use the interactive map viewer. This allows you to search for a specific property or area of the City and see map layers on your property. It can also help direct you to the most relevant parts of the City Plan and produce a property report.

See the tips below to help you get the most out of the City Plan online.

About the City Plan

The City Plan is split into Part A and Part B. Part A sets out objectives, policies and rules. These lay out the requirements for all subdivision, land use and development. Objectives describe the desired outcome for a particular resource management issue. Policies describe the direction to be taken to achieve the objective, and outline the considerations specific to the achievement of a particular objective. Rules implement the direction of the policies.

In Part B of the City Plan are the plan maps. Here, your starting point is to identify on the maps your site or the area where the activity is being considered (e.g. a house you want to build, a sign you want to put up). The maps help you determine what zone or zones the proposed activity falls within, and whether any special sections of the City Plan apply. Read more below on how to use the city plan maps. 

Now you can determine what status your activity will have in this zone. Activities are set out in the Table of Activity Status which is located at the beginning of each zone-based chapter (e.g. Chapter 14: Residential Zones). The status table will tell you if the activity you’re considering requires a resource consent (controlled, restricted discretionary, discretionary, non-complying activities), if it doesn’t (permitted activity) or if it’s prohibited altogether in that zone. 

When is a resource consent needed?

In most circumstances an activity that is not classified in the status table is identified as a discretionary activity by default. The activity status table will also tell you what rules apply to the activity you’re considering. 

Chapter 3 – Definitions contains definitions of specific terms.

Using the ePlan

City Plan definitions

Clicking on a word that is in blue text will open a ‘pop-up’ definition window. You can read the definition text and copy and paste if you need to. The ‘pop-up’s’ wording is based on the ‘Chapter 3 Definitions’ which should always be referred to as well.

City Plan view reference links

Open a new browser window by clicking on the blue bolded text for reference links such as related documents or other organisation websites.

Those sections of the City Plan which are subject to current plan changes are shown with a dotted blue line.

City Plan compare tool


The ‘Compare’ tool allows the specific changes to a section of the plan to be viewed.

  • Changes proposed to be added are shown in green shading with wording underlined.
  • Changes proposed to be deleted are shown in red shading with wording struck-through.
  • An example of a section of the plan with changes proposed by a plan change is shown below.

City Plan compare tool 2

Refer to the Proposed Plan Changes for more information on the status of current plan changes.

View City Plan in full or by specific section/zone by clicking on a related layer header or the District Plan links.

City Plan navigate maps

View City Plan in full or by specific section/zone by clicking on a related layer header or the City Plan links.

City Plan property information search

Click on ‘View Map’ and enter a property address in the ‘Search for an address’ box.

City Plan property information search 2

City Plan print pdfs

To print or download a section of the ePlan - click ‘Download’. 

From there you can print from screen or download as a PDF to your computer.

In ‘View Maps’ click on the ‘Map Tools’ to see the different mapping layers of the City Plan by section. You can turn these on and off depending on what information you want to see. The ‘Core Planning’ layer will show at the start, including the planning zones.

The ‘Legend’ displays the current map layers. The ‘Help’ button provides more information, including how to use the draw, measure and text tools.

City Plan map layers

Questions

If you’d like help navigating the City Plan or understanding if you need a resource consent, you can speak to our duty planner or book a meeting with one of our planning staff by calling 07 577-7000.

For any other queries or technical comments on the plan you can email cityplan@tauranga.govt.nz 

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