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Open Space Level of Service Policy

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As we plan to deliver more homes through new, large-scale greenfield urban developments like Tauriko West, we are reviewing what open space (parks and reserves) provision in these areas should look like.

We have a policy that aims to ensure existing and new communities in Tauranga have open spaces that are accessible, high quality, and deliver a range of functions. This ensures all residents can access a range of different experiences within certain distances from their home. We can’t use the existing Open Space Level of Service Policy in new greenfield urban developments because it is impractical.

We are suggesting changing the amount of neighbourhood reserves people will have access to, offsetting this with more local reserves, while still maintaining the same access to all types of open spaces that we see across the city now.

The open space network diagram

Network diagram

The open space network diagram (30kb pdf)

The policy also aims to achieve a consistent amount of reserves across the city, both in the existing developed areas and new greenfield areas. One way we do this is by setting a minimum quantity for neighbourhood and local reserves in new greenfield developments, of 1.7ha  per 1000 people, and of this amount, at least 50% must be neighbourhood reserves.

While planning for open space provision in new greenfield areas of the city (e.g. Tauriko West and Te Tumu), it became clear that applying the existing policy, with respect to the minimum quantity of open spaces was impractical, and did not help us to deliver high quality urban environments. (These are environments that are compact, well designed and sustainable, where people are able to access everything they need to live well, including roading and public transport, facilities, walkways, parks and other amenities.) This is because the policy doesn’t allow us to take into account the existing unique landscapes and environment of those areas as open spaces (e.g. wetlands, areas with significant cultural and ecological values, escarpments, river floodplains), nor consider the objective of achieving higher density housing.

For these reasons, we are suggesting a change to no longer require 50% of open space to be neighbourhood reserve and offsetting any difference by providing more local reserves. In doing so, the total minimum quantity of neighbourhood and local reserves overall will stay the same.

The additional local reserves will be made up of areas such as walkway reserves, river esplanade reserves and wetland reserves. The neighbourhood reserves will still be within 400m of most people, still be the same quality, and still provide the same experiences as we aim for now.

This suggested change will need an amendment to the current policy, and we are asking for feedback on this suggested change.

What will happen next?

Feedback on the proposed changes closed on Friday, 30 September 2022. Hearings were held on Monday, 14 November 2022.

It’s expected a final Open Space Level of Service Policy will be adopted before the end of 2022.


Survey has closed

Submissions closed 5pm, Friday 30 September


  • Community and stakeholder pre-engagement

    May to June 2022
  • Analysis of feedback

    July 2022
  • Draft Open Space Level of Service Policy adopted

    August 2022
  • Public and stakeholder consultation on draft policy

    September 2022
  • Hearings

    November 2022
  • Adoption of final policy

    December 2022


Survey has closed

Submissions closed 5pm, Friday 30 September

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