Tauranga residents have another opportunity to share their thoughts on the future use of the 85ha Tauranga Racecourse Reserve after housing options were taken off the table by Tauranga City Council Commissioners earlier this year.
The Greerton Maarawaewae Study was launched in October 2021 to identify opportunities to support wellbeing as the city continues to grow. Feedback from the community resulted in seven draft options, two of which included building new homes on the site.
With limited support for housing and a strong message from the community to keep our green spaces green, the Commission voted in June to shortlist three options, none of which include housing. One of the options includes a new public hospital on the site.
Residents can make a submission on the options from Wednesday 27 July until 5pm, Monday 29 August 2022. In November, submissions will be heard by the Commissioners at a series of hearings, with a decision on the future use of the reserve land earmarked for December.
The three preferred options for the community to consider are:
Option A: Health and recreation
This is a mixture of health precinct (integrated health and community wellbeing services), parklands, sportsfields, golf, and connections to Kopurererua Valley. Option A includes a fallback provision that says: if a new health precinct is not approved for this site, then Option B will proceed.
- The golf course stays, and the racecourse and equestrian facilities are relocated
- This option provides future opportunity to consider the use of the current hospital campus site for housing.
Option B: Central Park – a large green parkland, sports fields, community spaces, golf and connections to Kopurererua Valley
- The golf course stays, and the racecourse and equestrian facilities are relocated.
Option C: Enhanced status quo – racecourse, golf, equestrian, sports fields and connections to Kopurererua Valley
- The racecourse, golf course and equestrian facilities stay
- Potential reduction in equestrian space to allow for active sports uses.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the consultation is about providing a clear way forward on the future use of this reserve land.
“We are very grateful for the constructive way the existing user groups have engaged with us right from the start of this process and for sharing information with and encouraging feedback from their members.
“The key feedback that has come through is to keep our green spaces green and to ensure we are thinking about the value of open space for generations to come. This central location will be important for a future green space. As the community has told us, once it is gone, we can’t get it back,” says Anne.
“The community has made it clear there is no appetite for use of this land for housing. Council and Kāinga Ora, alongside iwi and other partners, will continue to explore other land for housing options in our city.”
Council was advised in November 2021 that Health New Zealand (formerly the Bay of Plenty District Health Board) was interested in using the reserve land as a site for potential health services.
Pete Chandler, Chief Executive of Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty, says that “a growing Bay of Plenty population and a need to respond to significant seismic issues on our current hospital campus means we need to explore opportunities for future-proofing our current health facilities and services. This may require expansion of our current services.
“Identifying a new public hospital location and providing better transport access to serve the growing Tauranga and Western Bay area would ensure that planning for the future of the health system is not constrained to the current site,” he says.
Pete adds that locating a new public hospital on the reserve land could also potentially open up the current hospital campus site for medium to high density housing in the long term.
Anne says the Commissioners encourage the community to make submissions on the three preferred options.
“We understand that the study is significant for Tauranga’s future. It’s also very emotional, especially for the existing user groups. Please take part – this can be done via the study’s web page, by emailing us, attending one of the community open days during the consultation period that’s taking place now, or as part of the hearings process coming up in November.
“We look forward to receiving your submission and to hearing what you’ve got to say,” says Anne.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has met with Racing Rotorua and Racing Tauranga and encouraged them to work together on what the future of racing will be for the Bay of Plenty region. While acknowledging the Bay of Plenty is a population growth hub, NZTR is of the view that thoroughbred racing in the region may be best sustained in the long term if there is only one venue for racing in the region.
As part of the ongoing planning for improved industry performance and future venue planning, a cross-organisational working party led by NZTR has been established to identify potential sites for a sub-regional facility.
How to make a submission on the three preferred options:
- Fill out an online submission form: www.tauranga.govt.nz/greertonmaarawaewae
- Email us: email@example.com
- Drop in to one of our community open days:
- Saturday 30 July, 12noon-2pm, Tauranga Crossing shopping centre – Centre Court area (bottom of the escalators near the food court area), 2 Taurikura Drive, Tauriko
- Saturday 6 August, 9am-close, Little Big Markets – Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui
- Thursday 11 August, 4pm-6pm, Tauranga Racecourse – Sir Tristram Lounge, Ground Floor, 1383 Cameron Road, Greerton.
- Pick up a consultation document or submission form: at any Council library or customer service centre
- Freepost your submission to: Freepost Authority Number 370, Tauranga City Council, The Greerton Maarawaewae Study, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga 3143.
For more information about the Greerton Maarawaewae Study and to stay up to date on progress, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/greertonmaarawaewae