Tauranga City Council has published its annual report for 2018/19, describing another year of rapid growth.
Among other highlights, the city’s population reached 136,840 and was expected to pass 147,600 by 2024, was visited by 225,340 cruise ship passengers during the past year, and the number of students reached 25,624.
Mayor Greg Brownless said these figures spoke for themselves, and Tauranga’s growth was also reflected in the amount of commerce and construction taking place.
“This is great for our local economy and is also creating a lot of jobs,” he said. “This provides us with many opportunities and challenges.
“It’s great to know that so many people have the confidence in our city to come here, to make their homes here, and to build here.
“One of the biggest challenges is to relieve the pressure on our infrastructure, such as transport, wastewater, stormwater and water supply.”
The report reviews the work Council carried out during 2018/19. It focuses on our financial and operational performance in relation to our budget, and our progress against the first year of our Long-term Plan 2018-28.
The report mentions many projects that cater for the city’s growing community. These include:
• Finishing the Southern Pipeline wastewater project, which spanned 15 years from inception to completion
• Completing the first stage of the $13.9 million upgrade of the Tauranga Airport terminal
• The introduction of kerbside glass collection by Council
• A milestone in our $145 million Waiāri Water Supply Scheme, with construction starting on the first pipeline
• Planning initiatives including a new urban form and transport collaboration with NZTA and our smartgrowth partners, planning for new urban growth areas at Tauriko West and Te Tumu, intensification of the Te Papa Peninsula, and mitigation and adaptation for climate change.
The report also notes some of the challenges we have faced catering for a growing city, delivering projects, and meeting community expectations.
These include the purchase of Bella Vista properties, and reviews undertaken to find ways to improve our services, community engagement, project planning and delivery.
Financially, the report said that Council had delivered $206 million of new capital. It had a total net debt of $441 million, a debt-to-revenue ratio of 176%, and a $0.3 million rates surplus.
The report was adopted at a Council meeting on Tuesday, subject to some small amendments.
Annual Report 2018-19