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Te Ahunga Toitū

Sustainability approach

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Tauranga City Council is committed to understanding and applying holistic sustainability to the way we work to enhance community well-being outcomes for our communities.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is about considering the interactions and balance points between social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing.

Social sustainability - Involves individuals, their families, whanau, hapū, iwi, and communities and includes goal setting relating to education, health, community networks, financial and personal security, equity of opportunity, and rights and freedoms.
Cultural sustainability - Shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours and identity are protected through language, stories, visual and performing arts, ceremonies and heritage.
Economic sustainability - The economy can generate the employment and wealth necessary to provide for a range of lifestyles, financial security, and equity of opportunity.
Environmental sustainability - The natural environment supports the activities that constitute healthy community life, such as air quality, fresh water, uncontaminated land, and control of pollution.

Why do we need to change the way we work?

  1. Council needs to create an environment that empowers and enables our communities to undertake, support and participate in initiatives for the benefit of the city and the communities that live in it, now and in the future.
  2. The resources we use to grow, live, work and play in our city are finite. We therefore cannot continue to function as we do unless more sustainable choices are made.
  3. We are missing social, cultural, economic and environmental opportunities to make our city more sustainable for future generations.
  4. Council processes and systems do not prioritise or value sustainability and therefore it is not considered adequately in decision making processes.

What success looks like

  • Our communities own and actively participate in achieving the vision and community outcomes.
  • A future-focused city that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We have learned to live within the boundaries established by ecological limits.
  • Our city fosters and enhances community wellbeing, (cultural, environmental, economic and social).
  • Our city continuously works to harmonise economic growth, social and cultural inclusion, and environmental protection so we can provide a sustainable and resilient city. We have reformed or abolished practices which impose excessive burdens on the environment.
  • Our city takes a regenerative approach2 to design for a thriving interconnection of ecosystems. Our economy is an enabler of social, cultural and environmental value, that supports the laws of physics, biology and chemistry.
  • Our city ensures it focusses on the opportunities and risks to our community via proactively considering holistic community well-being. We have changed systems of governance and decision making, procurement, investment, and consumption to support sustainable lifestyles, and we have empowered our community to own and achieve sustainable lifestyles.

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