Tauranga residents are being urged to have their say on what is considered by many to be the most important long-term plan in the city’s history before consultation closes on Monday.
The plan proposes investing in six key priority areas to help make Tauranga a great place to live – now and for the future.
The city faces major challenges because of historical under-investment, contributing to problems such as traffic congestion, a housing shortage, and inadequate community facilities.
The proposals are outlined in the draft Long-term Plan 2021-31, which sets out a budget and work plan for the coming decade.
The six priorities are:
1. Community spaces and places, $672 million – replacing old facilities and building new ones to serve the city’s growing population. Examples include pools, sports halls, sports fields and libraries
2. Transport, $1.9 billion – helping people move around the city more easily and improving connections for local businesses
3. Resilience, $296 million – strengthening the city’s ability to cope with natural hazards like tsunamis, floods, landslides, erosion and sea level rise
4. Space for new homes and businesses, $2.5 billion – increasing land availability while building and improving roads, pipes and other infrastructure to support a growing population
5. City centre, $126 million – revitalising the region’s heart, spurring the local economy and encouraging private investment
6. Delivery, $31 million in 2022, plus an average increase of $3m per year afterwards – improving the council’s resources to provide quality services and ensure the 10-year investment programme can be delivered.
With just a few days remaining in the consultation period, Tauranga’s commissioners have already attended more than 30 meetings and spoken with nearly 2000 people.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley urges residents to get involved by thinking about the investment priorities, how they should be paid for, and making submissions.
“People are telling us they want to move around our city more easily, to enjoy better community facilities with their families, and for their children to be able to afford their own homes,” says Anne.
“The proposed investments aim to create a better Tauranga now and for the future.
“We want to hear from as many people as possible, so please put aside some time this weekend to find out about these proposals and share your views with us."
The council is proposing to help fund the investments by increasing rates for households and businesses.
Ratepayers can see an estimate of their own rates on the council's property search page.
For residential ratepayers, the proposed average rates increase in 2022 will be about $1 a day, or between $4.90 and $9 a week.
For the median household, this is 17% (8 per cent plus the new kerbside waste service), or $7.58 per week.
The median home is at the mid-point of property values, meaning there are an equal number of more-valuable and less-valuable homes across the city.
For commercial ratepayers, the proposed average rates increase in 2022 will be between $16 and $65 per week.
The council proposes that owners of commercial properties pay $1.60 for every $1 paid by owners of residential properties with the same value (called the ‘commercial differential’). Currently, it’s $1.20.
Note that businesses can claim rates as an expense on their tax returns and reclaim GST.
The median commercial business rates increase would be 35 per cent or $32.45 per week.
Visit www.nowforthefuture.co.nz to find out more and have your say.
Consultation closes at 4pm on Monday June 7.