As part of the deliberations on the Annual Plan 2022/23, Tauranga City Council has approved funding for a suite of projects that will accelerate the transformation of the waterfront in the city centre.
Over the next two years council will work to transform the area that runs along the water’s edge, from the Matapihi rail bridge right up to the northern end of Dive Crescent, into more of a a green haven for people to relax, play and connect with the moana.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley says that it’s time Tauranga had a waterfront to brag about.
“Great seaside cities around the world have memorable waterfronts”, she said. “We can create something stunning here, on this very special harbour. Let’s create a space that’s truly for people.”
The Waterfront Reserve area, where The Strand carpark currently sits, will become a family-friendly green space with shade, seating and BBQs, anchored by the tidal steps and the beloved Hairy Maclary statues.
The playground and water-play area will be relocated and upgraded, and facilities provided for walking and cycling along Te Awanui Harbour, linking Dive Crescent to Memorial Park.
Alternative parking will be developed on Dive Crescent, with further public parking spaces to be provided in the 35 Hamilton Street development.
Further north, along Taumata Kahawai (Dive Crescent), planned short-term improvements are all about returning the area to community use, and creating an appealing entrance to the city centre for residents and visitors.
These improvements include:
- upgrading and extending the carpark on the landward side of Dive Crescent, to include more car parks and landscaping
- upgrading Beacon Wharf, which is currently closed for safety reasons, and reopening it to the public for boating use
- fitting out the Cargo Shed once current seismic works have been completed, to allow it to be used for a wide range of community and commercial activities once again.
These short-term initiatives will bring increased amenity and vibrancy to the area, while council continues to work with the Otamataha Trust to plan for the long-term future of the land on the seaward side of Taumata Kahawai, which the trust co-owns with Tauranga City Council.
The Cargo Shed is planned to reopen by the end of the year, and the other projects are due to be completed by the end of June 2023. The upgrade of the waterfront reserve is planned to be delivered by end of June 2024.
General Manager: City Development and Partnerships Gareth Wallis says council looks forward to starting work on these projects with urgency and completing the first significant phase of work prior to Christmas.
“Working to these ambitious timeframes will help ensure the waterfront is ready for the redevelopment of Te Manawataki o Te Papa, the civic precinct, and that we can deliver on the Civic Masterplan’s vision for the waterfront,” said Gareth.
“The ultimate long-term goal is to create a destination waterfront that people can be proud of, as envisioned by the masterplan, and the soon-to-be released City Centre Strategic Plan, which will provide the strategic framework for the transformation of our city centre.”
“In the meantime, once we have completed the short-term improvements, the waterfront will provide a green retreat for the community amid the bustle of construction, while the city centre undergoes its transformation over the next few years”.
“And we’ll also be looking to activate these spaces with a range of organised activities which will encourage whānau to enjoy this fantastic central city space.”
The funding for these projects will be included in the Annual Plan 2022/23, due for adoption on 27 June 2022.