Tauranga City Council’s new commissioners have set a timeframe for creating the most important plan in the city’s recent history.
The Long-term Plan 2021-31 (LTP) will set the council’s investment choices for the coming decade, providing a blueprint for meeting the challenges of rapid growth.
Tauranga’s population boom has created a housing shortage, traffic congestion and other serious problems that need to be urgently addressed.
The city must invest in roads, water pipes, wastewater treatment facilities and other infrastructure that will allow developers to build more houses. These investments have fallen behind in recent years because of funding constraints.
The commissioners unanimously set the following timeframe:
- Late April: Commissioners adopt LTP consultation document
- 7 May – 7 June: Community consultation
- Mid-late June: Hearings and deliberations
- By 30 July: LTP adopted
The council would normally adopt an LTP by 30 June, but is behind schedule as the commissioners’ term began less than two weeks ago. The Commission has therefore pushed out the adoption date by a month.
Commission chair Anne Tolley said community engagement would form an essential part of the LTP process.
“It’s crucial that there’s a good opportunity for the community to take part,” she said.
“We will need time to ensure we have a proper conversation with our community about the long-term plan, and to consider the issues raised by them.”
The other new commissioners who have replaced the city’s mayor and councillors are Shadrach Rolleston, Stephen Selwood and Bill Wasley. Today marked their first public meeting as a Commission.
Council normally sets the rates at the same time as adopting the LTP. Adopting the LTP by the end of July will allow time for rates invoicing to continue on time.
This is still a short timeframe for the commissioners to make decisions about the LTP. It is possible that the LTP could be amended later in the commissioners’ term, with opportunities for further public consultation.