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COVID-19: our recovery plan

We are focused on protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents and assisting Tauranga's recovery from COVID-19.

We are dedicated to looking to supporting our city’s recovery post-COVID.

The role of council is broad, and so our plan of attack needs to be broad too. But be assured, we’re right here beside you each and every step of the way.

It’s not going to be easy, our current financial position means we have a limited ability to borrow and that we need to increase revenue. COVID-19 has added to the pressure. As we make changes to how we operate as a city during the recovery, that has a big impact on projected revenue, further limiting our ability to borrow and make a start on those much-needed capital projects.

But our focus remains steady

In 2018, we built our city’s long-term plan around four key themes:

  • Improving the ability to move around the city
  • Resilience and safety
  • Increasing environmental standards
  • Land supply (for housing and employment) and urban form

These themes remain relevant today and will drive our long-term recovery response.

Our recovery plan in a nutshell (143kb pdf)

Our plan has three parts

What we’re doing right now

Our primary focus is on our city’s welfare – our staff are working with welfare providers such as Foodbank, Street Kai and Good Neighbour to ensure residents receive the food they need.

We’ve established a local Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) – since a national emergency was declared, we have been operating an EOC with our local government partners.

We’ve teamed up to establish a new fund – alongside Acorn Foundation, TECT and BayTrust we have established a $600,000 Rapid Response Fund to support community groups experiencing increased demand and/or funding shortfall as a result of COVID-19.

Checking in with our elderly – we’re supporting the Ministry of Social Development’s attempts to contact elderly people by phone who do not have internet access.

Social services are here to help – we’re been coordinating a list of the large number of local support services out there who are available to help you, including migrant support.

We’re supporting our local businesses – by working closely with our partners, including Priority One, Tourism Bay of Plenty and the Chamber of Commerce who are working closely with businesses across the city.

We’ve refunded booking fees – for events at Baycourt, through the Bay Venues network and at the Beachside Holiday Park

We have a rates postponement policy in place – and are actively working with any ratepayer experiencing payment difficulties.

Free parking – all parking fees were temporarily removed during lockdown and remain waived during alert level 3.

We’re reducing rent for our tenants – commercial tenants experiencing financial difficulty are receiving a 50% rent relief and community tenants are receiving a full rent relief for the period to 30 June 2020.

We are looking at ways to do more – we’ll keep you updated on all new initiatives as they are agreed and implemented.

It’s going to take an extended period of time to fully recover from COVID-19. We don’t know what that recovery will look like yet, but we do know that life won’t be ‘normal’ for many of our residents and businesses for some time yet.

The same applies to the services we provide you. As part of how we’re adapting, we’re looking at how we reshape our level of service while maintaining essential services – like water, sewage and transport. For some activities, COVID-19 has added more focus and more work, but for others, there are fewer or no customers.

That means our recovery period offers opportunities for us to consider what we provide to our communities and how we provide it.

Reviewing our levels of service

As part of the 2020/21 annual plan process, we are considering the levels of service that we provide to our community across our activities.

We’re currently consulting on our annual plan, but due to COVID we may need to make some further changes to what we are proposing. If we do, we’ll let you know what those changes are. In the meantime, make sure you have your say on our annual plan as this will help inform our decision-making. If we re-consult, you don’t need to have a say twice, we’ll be incorporating all your feedback as part of the process:

Have your say on our annual plan

Crown Infrastructure Partnership (CIP) funding

Central Government is seeking 'shovel ready' infrastructure projects that have been impacted by COVID-19 and that could quickly be recommenced.

'Shovel ready' projects are those that:

  • are construction ready (within the next six months)
  • involve infrastructure which has public or regional benefit (economic, social and environmental)
  • must be of a significant size ($10m+) and create jobs
  • must modernise the economy, enhance sustainable productivity in the future
  • must meet Treasury's Living Standard Framework and Sustainable Development Goals.

We’ve put forward an application for more than $1 billion of work under two themes: creating communities and housing for all and employing our people.

Application overview – our proposed programme of projects (904kb pdf)
Full application – part 1 creating communities and housing for all (3.1mb pdf)
Full application – part 2 employing our people (17mb pdf)  Large file - may take some time to load

Our application is supported by Priority One – the western Bay of Plenty region's economic development organisation, key business leaders in the city and major developers. It is also endorsed by the Bay of Plenty Mayoral Forum, being made up of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and all local councils within the wider Bay of Plenty.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) funding

MHUD invited growth councils to submit projects that would provide infrastructure necessary to ensure the supply of land for housing and employment was not delayed, deferred or otherwise negatively affected by COVID-19.

In conjunction with our local government partners, we made a submission of over $3 billion of projects in the sub-region. The majority of these relate to Tauranga (though some are not our projects, for example, work on the state highway network is owned by NZTA).

Full application – Smartgrowth’s western Bay of Plenty sub-region stimulus package (450kb pdf)

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