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He taiao i arohaina, i āraia, i whakanikohia

Valued, protected and enhanced environment


Tauranga is a city that values our natural environment and outdoor lifestyle, and actively works to protect and enhance it Toitū te marae a Tāne, toitū te marae a Tangaroa, toitū te tangata.   If the land and sea are sustained so too will the people.

This outcome is a reflection of active exercising of kaitiakitanga, or stewardship of our natural environment. Taurikura means to be prosperous, or can describe a thriving environment - he whenua taurikura. The use of the name also acknowledges our tupuna kaitiaki – Taurikura. In her story, we see the carving out of our local landscape, highlighting the intrinsic relationship we have with the environment and reflects also the seniority of the natural environment in our genealogy or whakapapa. This reiterates our responsibility of care for the taiao, as our senior, who in turn care’s for the people and our future generations.

Success looks like

  • Thriving nature and biodiversity at the heart of our communities.
  • We are a low emissions and climate resilient city.
  • We are a water sensitive city.
  • Our city’s built environment supports the wellbeing of our natural environment.
  • Our communities value resources in a circular economy.

Council will contribute by

  • Increasing the range/diversity of indigenous flora and fauna across the city and protecting their natural habitats; greening our city by increasing tree canopy cover and urban forest across the city; and finding the right ‘fit’ for nature and biodiversity in our urban context.
  • Driving ongoing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (particularly in transport); identifying and addressing key climate risks to the city; and implementing climate resilient development that integrates emissions reduction and resilience.
  • Embracing the principles of Te Mana o Te Wai to protect and restore the health and wellbeing of our streams, rivers, wetlands and harbour, be efficient in our use of freshwater, and take an integrated approach to water management.
  • Showing environmental leadership by considering the tensions between the goals for the built and natural environment in our decision-making processes to achieve positive outcomes for our natural environment in the design, development, and management of our built environment.
  • Valuing our resources as taonga, promoting and supporting sustainable waste management, and driving actions to transition Tauranga to a circular economy.

Council’s key moves now to 2031

  • Managing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through implementing a Climate action and investment plan.
  • Developing and implementing an action and investment plans for Nature and Biodiversity.
  • Delivering on our 30-year water supply strategy and 10-year water supply plan to investigate future supply opportunities and mitigate expected water shortages.
  • Implementing the 2022-2028 Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.
  • Encouraging a more consistent approach to waste education and behaviour change programmes based around a circular economy.
  • Improving walking and cycling facilities through the Accessible Streets programme, and improving public transport facilities and upgrades to core transport corridors across the City, $2b.
  • Strengthening our ability to cope with natural hazards like tsunamis, floods, landslides, erosion and sea level rise,$296m.
  • Supporting development of iwi and hapū management plans.
  • Continuing to implement the 315 projects identified to improve our city’s resilience to natural hazards via the Infrastructure Resilience Project, $550-650m.

How our approaches support an inclusive city

Mātauranga Māori provides a foundation of knowledge that includes important principles and values for kaitiakitanga of the environment. Understanding mātauranga Māori supports a holistic and connected approach to the wellbeing of nature and people. It is a vital store of knowledge, against which environmental change can be understood, measured and enhanced. We will always take mātauranga Māori into account when considering our environment strategy delivery.

More information on Te Ao Māori approach

This Environment Strategy and its action plans will be a key contributor to TCC making sustainability an integral part of everything that we do. A city cannot be sustainable if it does not look after its natural environment. Weaving sustainability into the way we deliver this strategy will ensure we think holistically and long-term, seeking and managing interconnections and relationships.

More information on Sustainability approach

The natural environment is not restricted to our city boundaries, and what we do within them has far reaching consequences (positive and negative), locally, sub-regionally, regionally, nationally and globally. It is essential that we work collaboratively with others beyond Tauranga to reach our goals and to look outwards for emerging issues and trends in the areas of evolving national legislation.

More information on Working beyond Tauranga approach

Success measures include the following…

Improving trends over time:

  • increasing quality and quantity of nature and indigenous biodiversity
  • increasing tree canopy cover/urban forest, both native and non-native
  • greenhouse gas emissions are reducing per capita, and we are showing progress towards reducing emissions in line with New Zealand’s goals
  • greater community understanding of risks relevant to them because of climate change, and greater awareness of what they can do to lessen those risks.
  • greater evidence of climate resilient development that integrates emissions reduction and resilience
  • increasing health of our streams, wetlands and harbour
  • greater efficiency in the use of freshwater within the city – business, industry and residential.
  • Council infrastructure is increasingly designed to be sensitive to the natural environment.

Primary strategy

Tauranga Taurikura - Environment Strategy 2023-2033 * (1.2mb pdf)  spells out what needs to happen to ensure Tauranga becomes a city that values, protects and enhances our environment, now and in the future. The strategy is underpinned by several ‘action and investment plans’ that clearly describe how Council will deliver in this space.

*Adopted 21 August 2023, pending inclusion of final amendments re: use of grey water as a resource

There are also two holistic strategies which contribute across all our community outcomes.  These are the joint sub-regional SmartGrowth Strategy and the iwi-owned Tauranga Moana Iwi Management Plan.

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