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Paewhiri whakahoahoa tāone ki Tauranga

Tauranga Urban Design Panel

The Tauranga Urban Design panel provides independent design review of significant projects across the city.

Design Panel

Our city is growing fast and will see significant transformation over the next decade and beyond. It’s an exciting time and Tauranga City Council is committed to support the delivery of buildings, public spaces and neighbourhoods that our community can be proud of.

To support quality design outcomes in our city, we have set up an independent Urban Design Panel, which will review significant, transformational or large-scale private and public sector development proposals, in the early stages of their design. The Panel is an independent advisory body and does not have statutory decision-making powers. The assessment of proposals by the Panel in advance of resource consent lodgement enables the applicant to receive targeted advice with regards to how their proposal achieves high quality urban design outcomes.

Find out which types of proposals could benefit from the panel’s expertise in the ‘triggers’ section below.

How the panel can help

The panel provides developers, consultants and council with targeted urban design feedback and recommendations on their proposals, helping identify opportunities for added value to be explored, and potential design issues early on.

The panel has an advisory role – it does not make decisions on resource consent applications or override the City Plan process. Its job is to:

  • provide applicants and their designers with advice as to how their proposal could be progressed to promote high quality design outcomes (prior to lodgement).
  • provide council with recommendations that will be considered in the review of resource consent applications and incorporated into planning reports.

Working with the panel is voluntary and free of charge for developers and applicants. It may even reduce your project’s overall consenting and planning timeframes and costs by providing external expertise and guidance on a proposal which may lead to a quicker, easier resource consenting process in relation to urban design matters.

Request an urban design review

Do you have a site and a vision for a large-scale or iconic development?

Contact the urban design team through the form below to discuss how the panel can help you achieve the best urban design outcomes for your project and the city.

Please review the TUDP Guidelines prior to submitting your request.

Tauranga Urban Design Panel - Guidelines (2mb pdf)

Once you have reviewed the TUDP guidelines, fill out the request form below.

Request Form - Tauranga Urban Design Panel

Request Form - Tauranga Urban Design Panel (2mb pdf)

Panel review sessions occur every fortnight on a Tuesday afternoon. Each session will last for approximately 1.5 hours - depending on the scale and complexity of the proposal. An indicative agenda is outlined below:

Agenda Time

Panel briefing with Council officers

  • Outline of the proposal, the key issues and the key areas in which Council are seeking Panel recommendations.
 15 minutes 

Welcome from the Chair

  • Introduction of Panelists and applicant;
  • Overview of Panel review process;
  • Opportunity for a mihi / pepeha and karakia.
5 minutes

Applicant presentation of proposal

(please assume that the panel have read the information pack and focus on the key, relevant points of the scheme)

20 minutes
Panel discussion with applicant 
  • Opportunity for panel to ask questions and seek clarification
  • Panel to provide the applicant with a clear idea of which parts of the proposal are supported and which elements may need further consideration. 
The Chair will ensure that the scope of feedback is aligned with the Panel Terms of Reference.
30 minutes
Recommendations (just the Panel)
  • Once the applicant has left, Panelists will remain to agree upon and finalise their recommendations;
Recommendations should expand on those discussed with the applicant and not introduce new feedback (a ‘no surprises’ approach).
20 minutes
Total available time 1.5 hours


In order to expedite the process, please ensure that you provide your applicant information pack to Council well in advance of (at least two weeks prior to) your Panel session date. Failure to do so may result in postponement of the Panel session to the next available date.

Where possible, Panel recommendations will be issued to the applicant and relevant Council staff by end of day Friday following a Tuesday afternoon Panel review session. This may vary for larger or more complex and indicative timeframes will be communicated to the applicant where recommendations are delayed.

We encourage developers to submit their plans for panel review at or before the resource consent pre-application stage. This enables issues to be raised early in design development and supports the consent process. You don’t need to have a fully formed development plan for an initial discussion – if you have a site and an idea of the bulk, form, function and vision for your project, get in touch via the request form or on urban.design@tauranga.govt.nz.

A review consists of two to four panellists, selected based on their expertise and the project at hand, meeting with the developer and their designer/agent to understand the design objectives, constraints and outcomes sought. We’ll ask the applicant for more information on their project in advance of the panel meeting, so the panel can prepare.

The panel meeting will allow time for the applicant to present their proposal, for questions and clarifications, and discussion. The panel will share its recommendations during the panel meeting, and follow up within three working days with its written recommendations.

Should the applicant revise certain aspects of their design following the recommendations, they will be able to meet with council’s urban design representative and consenting planner, or even the panel itself, before lodgement to review the revised scheme.

Panel meetings are not open to the public and information provided to the panel is held in confidence. Panel recommendations become a public record once a resource consent application is lodged.

The list below outlines the types of projects that would likely be recommended for review by the panel. The triggers help identify proposals that due to their scale, complexity or location would benefit from independent design review. This is not an exhaustive list and applications for other types of activities may be recommended for panel review as well. Council’s urban design representative will assess these on a case-by-case basis.

Triggers include:

  • Any project deemed ‘transformational’ by council’s urban design representative or planning officers
  • Any large development within or near an identified centre (as defined in the City Plan)
  • Apartment buildings, office/commercial buildings, or large mixed-use developments
  • Medium- or large-scale residential developments (predominantly over six units)
  • Masterplans for any new greenfield or brownfield development
  • Major council capital projects including streetscape upgrades and community facilities
  • Major public works by government departments and other organisations (e.g., schools, health, transport).

Meet the Tauranga Urban Design Panel

The panel brings together leading urban designers, architects, landscape architects, planners, Māori designers and property developers from within Tauranga and around New Zealand, nominated by professional organisations.

Tom Abbott

Company: Beca Ltd
Core discipline: Landscape Architecture, Urban Design
Professional affiliations: Registered NZILA Landscape Architect, Member RMLA
Qualifications: Masters of Design, (UrbDes) QUT (2015), Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln (2004)

Tom is a dual-registered landscape architect (NZILA/AILA) and qualified urban designer based in Tauranga. Tom has 18 years’ of local and international design and planning experience working on a wide range of landscape architecture and urban design projects preparing masterplans, design frameworks, resource consent and construction documentation for sites of varying scales within urban and rural environments. He has a strong appreciation for the relationship between people and place and is passionate about developing sustainable design outcomes that engage and enhance these connections. Tom has provided urban design and landscape architectural advice, peer reviews for councils across the North Island, including expert witness roles for Notice of Requirement hearings.

Rameka Alexander Tu'inukuafe

Iwi affiliations: Ngāpuhi
Company: TOA Architects
Core discipline: Kaupapa Māori Design, Architecture, Interiors
Professional affiliations: Ngā Aho, NZIA
Qualifications: M Arch (Prof), BAS, Bachelor of Design (Spatial)

Rameka is the Studio Lead for TOA Architects in the Waiariki-Bay of Plenty region. He has over 12 years’ experience comprising of strategic Māori design leadership and work experience in the built environment, cultural design, architecture and urban design, and Māori business sectors. He has significant experience and a passion for using Kaupapa Māori design principles and tikanga to inform spatial and architectural design in cultural, civic, commercial, education, papakāinga and landscape projects and has developed and managed many Māori design engagements over his career to date.

Mark Apeldoorn

Company: Stantec New Zealand
Core discipline: Transportation, Engineering
Professional affiliations: FENZ, CPEng, IntPE, RMLA, NZPI, MITE
Qualifications: BE(Hons), P.G.Transportation Planning, P.G.DipBusMgmt, NZCE

Mark is an experienced transportation planner and traffic engineer who has worked across New Zealand, in Australia, and with a focus across the Bay of Plenty and Waikato areas. He is resident in Tauranga. Mark has wide experience across both the public and private sectors. This has involved him in a diverse range of multi-disciplinary undertakings, specialist expert witness, technical industry representation and projects ranging from the strategic through to implementation.

Nick Barratt Boyes

Company: Studio Pacific Architecture
Core discipline: Architecture and Urban Design 
Professional affiliations: Fellow NZIA, ARB, RIBA, Independent Commissioner RMA
Qualifications: BArch

Nick is a co-founder of Studio Pacific Architecture. Alongside his architectural projects Nick has developed an expertise in urban regeneration. He is involved in a diverse range of large scale mixed-use greenfields and brownfields new communities across the country. He works with multi-disciplinary teams weaving infrastructure, urban design, landscape architecture and architecture together. He is interested in new models of social, and affordable housing. He has a deep respect for Te Ao Māori, and the principles of co-design. He is an independent commissioner, assessor for NZRAB, painter, photographer and a Trustee of the Wellington Sculpture Trust. He brings a critical design eye to all his creative endeavours.

Lee Beattie

Company: Urban Planning and Design Limited
Core discipline: Urban Design and Urban Planning
Professional affiliations: MNZPI and Member of the Royal Society of NZ (MRSNZ)
Qualifications: BE(Hons), P.G.Transportation Planning, P.G.DipBusMgmt, NZCE

Lee is a practicing urban designer and urban planner with over 27 years’ experience in an extensive range of urban design and urban planning matters. He has qualifications in urban planning, urban design, and environmental science. He is currently the Head of the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning, and director of the University’s Urban Design programme. He is currently involved in a number of research projects considering a range of urban design implementation issues including the role that masterplans play in ensuring urban design quality. Lee also is an Auckland Council, Queenstown Lakes and Kaipara District Council Independent Hearing Commissioner.

Tara Cooper

Company: Designgroup Stapleton Elliott (DGSE)
Core discipline: Architecture
Professional affiliations: NZRAB, NZIA
Qualifications: BArch Hons1

Tara is a Registered Architect and Senior Associate at Designgroup Stapleton Elliott (Tauranga studio). Tara’s experience covers a diverse range of sectors, including commercial, mixed-use, education, and multi-residential, in both NZ and Australia. Master planning and multi-unit housing/mixed use developments are key areas of interest. Particularly, how med/high density housing typologies are introduced and integrated effectively within existing urban fabric and communities. Her approach to new developments aims to achieve the best possible urban design outcomes whilst balancing commercial realities to establish a positive outcome for all stakeholders.

Camden Cummings

Company: Cummings Studio Architects
Core discipline: Architecture
Professional affiliations: NZIA
Qualifications: BDes (Hons1), MArch

Camden runs a small residential practice Cummings Studio Architects based in Tauranga. He is a registered architect who has worked internationally in Australia and the United Kingdom with 30 years of experience in the built environment. Camden has worked on a variety of scales and sectors from high density residential towers to health, civic, education, and infrastructure. Camden has been Branch Chairperson of the Waikato Bay of Plenty NZIA and has convened local awards both for the NZIA and Property Council. He has a Master of Architecture and bachelor of design. Camden has a wealth of local knowledge including having worked on both the University of Waikato City Campus and the Tauranga Airport upgrade.

Sam Foster

Company: Beca
Core discipline: Urban design, urban planning
Professional affiliations: Full Member – New Zealand Planning Institute, Member - Urban Design Forum Aotearoa
Qualifications: Bachelor of Planning (Hons), Master of Urban Design (Hons)

Sam is an urban designer/urban planner with 10 years’ experience. He has worked across a range of development, policy and design guidance projects relating to urban growth, transportation and residential and commercial development in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and across New Zealand. He has a current focus on land use and transport integration and how this can lead to more liveable outcomes.

Keith Frentz

Core discipline: Planning
Professional affiliations: MNZPI
Qualifications: BSc (Land Surveying, MSocSc (Hons) (Resource and Environmental Planning)

Keith is a planner with over 40 years professional experience.  He was born and brought up in Tauranga before leaving for university and travel.  He returned to Tauranga in 1990 working first for the Tauranga District Council and then for Beca.  He has grown with Tauranga from before it was first declared a City of 21,500 people in 1963 to its present size of 158,300.  His experience includes planning for major New Towns such as Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria and New Towns in Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Locally he has been involved in many major infrastructure projects, residential development and the preparation of District Plans and Plan Changes.

Libby Gosling

Company: Classic Group
Core discipline: Planning, Urban Design and Property Development.
Professional affiliations: NZ Planning Institute, Urban Design Forum, Urban Task Force, NZ Property Council
Qualifications: Master of Urban Design, Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning (Hons)

Libby Gosling is a Tauranga born and bred Urban Planner and Designer . She works for locally-based Classic Group, in the design and delivery of residential developments throughout New Zealand. Libby's professional focus centers on urban design, masterplanning and strategic planning. She is particularly interested in affordable housing. She brings a practical and results-oriented approach to her work, focusing on maximizing value and identifying economically viable opportunities. Outside of work, she is busy with her family, making the most of everything Tauranga has to offer.

Phil Green

Company: HG Rose Architecture 
Core discipline: Architecture 
Professional affiliations: ADNZ Prof
Qualifications: ADNZ Prof

Phil has over 45 years’ experience as a designer working predominantly in private practice, the last 33 in his own practice. He is also an in-house consultant to another architectural practice.

Phil has worked on and is presently working on a wide range of developments in New Zealand including education, commercial, mixed use, residential, open space, Local Authority current, and 5/10-year proposal developments.

His involvement has spanned from Concept design, Planning, RMA processes, through to detailed design and implementation of projects, giving him a broad understanding of the complexities of design and development.
Phil has a real passion for creating communities that have both physical and social infrastructure to deliver a sustainable living environment with an emphasis on better suburban and CBD living/working space.

A close working relationship with Tangata Whenua has been a priority since first starting his own practice. Every project has had an emphasis on how to represent the land, people and community around us.

Richard Harris

Company: Richard Harris Architects
Core discipline: Architecture
Professional affiliations: Te Kāhui Whaihanga, New Zealand Institute of Architects
Qualifications: B Arch, Hon.D, DFNZIA, Hon.RAIA

Following a 30-year career leading one of NZ's major architectural practices, Richard independently assists clients with feasibility and design stages of larger-scale building and urban planning projects. Richard is a member of the Auckland Urban Design Panel and is a former member of the Tauranga Heart of the City Technical Advisory Group. He chaired the government Urban Taskforce and is a former chair of the Architects Registration Board. He is a Distinguished Fellow and a past President of Te Kāhui Whaihanga NZIA, and has an Honorary Doctorate from Auckland University of Technology.

Morne Hugo

Company: Boffa Miskell Ltd
Core discipline: Landscape Architecture and Urban Design
Professional affiliations: Registered NZILA Landscape Architect, Urban Design Forum Member – Hamilton City Council, Registered Professional Landscape Architect, South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Profession (SACLAP)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Hons, Urban Design), University of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

As one of his company’s principal landscape architects and urban designers, Morné’s approach is centred around the holistic understanding of design process, and the integration of the natural and built environment. Morné has background in a range of projects and his experience ranges from large-scale masterplanning and urban design frameworks, through to detailed design and construction of projects on site. He advises a broad range of clients including central government, councils, community groups and private developers. He has a specialist expertise in several fields of landscape architecture and urban design ranging from subdivision design, masterplanning of housing developments, urban design advice, workshop and stakeholder facilitation, and detailed design of public and private realm projects.

Rangitahi Kawe

Iwi Affiliations: Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu
Company: Boffa Miskell Ltd
Core discipline: Landscape Architecture, Kaupapa Māori Design
Professional affiliations: NZILA (Registered), Ngā Aho, Te Tau-a-Nuku
Qualifications: Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Bachelor of Architectural Studies (B ARCH) - Majoring in Landscape Architecture

Rangitahi was born and raised in Tauranga Moana and has strong Iwi affiliations to Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāpuhi, through his father, and Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Kahungunu on his mother’s side. Rangitahi is deeply connected to his whakapapa, and is committed to bringing his culture, experience, and skills to the work he does as a landscape architect. Rangitahi’s experience includes residential development, playground design, stream restoration, and as a cultural design advisor. With his experience, he also brings a wide range of technical skills and expertise that explores his interest in urban streetscapes, infrastructure development, Nga Aro Tākaro/Traditional Māori Play design and community design projects. With his diverse range of experience working on design-led projects Rangitahi approaches design with a strong commitment to foster the best project outcomes, creating and enriching quality spaces for people to enjoy.

Michael Kemeys

Company: Veros Property Services
Core discipline: Property Development
Professional affiliations: NZPC, UTF
Qualifications: MUDD, BSurv, BSc(Geography)

Michael is a Director at Veros and leads the development management team. He has 20 years’ experience across the private property sector, with extensive knowledge of both greenfield and brownfield development with a focus on development outcomes, project viability, front end design and consenting strategies. Prior to joining Veros, Michael gained technical expertise in land development and built form in New Zealand and Australia. He brings a pragmatic approach to design and focuses on the core objectives and functions of the built environment. Michael’s most recent experience is in large scale master planned developments, medium density housing, and as an advisor to a number of local government authorities on residential and development requirements.

Natasha Markham

Company: MAUD Ltd
Core discipline: Architecture, Urban Design
Professional affiliations: NZIA, Urban Design Forum
Qualifications: BAS, BArch (Hons), MUrbDes (Hons)

Natasha is an architect, urban designer and director of Auckland practice MAUD. Her belief that quality design solutions play a significant role in creating successful, liveable spaces, is backed by her experience working on a variety of projects across architecture and urban design. She has a particular interest in housing and areas undergoing transformation. As an urban designer, she has worked for both the private sector and for local government, is skilled in urban analysis and masterplanning, and has been involved in high-level, strategic planning and visioning projects for areas designated for change.

Rebecca Ryder

Company: Boffa Miskell Ltd
Core discipline: Landscape Architecture
Professional affiliations: Registered NZILA Landscape Architect, Member RMLA, Member of Recreational Aotearoa, IAP2
Qualifications: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Hons), Lincoln University, New Zealand

Rebecca has been a practising landscape architect for some 24 years, since 1998. As a lead landscape architect, Rebecca places her focus on assessing and designing proposals into an environment, responding to the character, natural environment and the changing needs of a community. She has extensive experience in landscape assessment, characterisation and identification of natural character and landscape values. Rebecca also provides strategic and site-specific advice on open space planning and recreation design, in particular for council policy planners and parks teams and numerous private developers. Locally, Rebecca has extensive involvement in a significant number of Tauranga’s open spaces, including Kopurererua Valley, Memorial Park, Tauranga Domain, Tauranga Waterfront, Blake Park, Arataki Park, Baypark as examples. Rebecca has been involved in numerous urban renewal projects for private developers including the Coast subdivision and Latitude Apartments, alongside many more.

Ngata Tapsell

Iwi affiliations: Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Porou, Tainui
Company: Beca
Core discipline: Architecture
Professional affiliations: NZRAB, NZIA, APEC
Qualifications: BArch (Hons), BAS (University of Auckland)

Ngata is a principal at Beca. He is an accomplished architect and masterplanner with a deep interest in the potential of indigenous cultures to inform the built environment. In a career spanning over 23 years, Ngata has amassed considerable experience in both New Zealand and abroad, with the latter gained in markets as diverse as Australia, Asia and the Middle East. His expertise spans a range of building typologies at a variety of scales including commercial, retail, hospitality, civic, multi-residential and cultural. As a strategic and independent thinker, Ngata is trusted with some of the most significant projects in New Zealand, and he combines a deep sensitivity to local context with international perspective.

Document library

Terms of reference – Tauranga Urban Design Panel (189kb pdf)

Urban Design Resources

The key documents which help to guide and inform quality urban design in Tauranga include:

Additional design guides will be prepared over the coming years.

Get in touch

For further information, please contact us on urban.design@tauranga.govt.nz

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