Council approves Tauranga waterfront funding

Tauranga waterfront. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford

As part of the deliberations on the Annual Plan 2022/23, Tauranga City Council has approved funding for a suite of projects that will accelerate the transformation of the waterfront in the city centre.

Over the next two years council will work to transform the area that runs along the water’s edge, from the Matapihi rail bridge right up to the northern end of Dive Crescent, into more of a green haven for people to relax, play and connect with the area.

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says that it’s time Tauranga had a waterfront to brag about.

“Great seaside cities around the world have memorable waterfronts," says Tolley. “We can create something stunning here, on this very special harbour. Let’s create a space that’s truly for people.”

The Waterfront Reserve area, where The Strand carpark currently sits, will become a family-friendly green space with shade, seating and barbecues, anchored by the tidal steps and the beloved Hairy Maclary statues.

The playground and water-play area will be relocated and upgraded, and facilities provided for walking and cycling along Te Awanui, Tauranga Harbour, linking Dive Crescent to Memorial Park.

Alternative parking will be developed on Dive Crescent, with further public parking spaces to be provided in the 35 Hamilton Street development.

Further north, along Dive Crescent - Taumata Kahawai, planned short-term improvements are all about returning the area to community use, and creating an appealing entrance to the city centre for residents and visitors.

These improvements include:

  •     upgrading and extending the carpark on the landward side of Dive Crescent, to include more car parks and landscaping
  •     upgrading Beacon Wharf, which is currently closed for safety reasons, and reopening it to the public for boating use
  •     fitting out the Cargo Shed once current seismic works have been completed, to allow it to be used for a wide range of community and commercial activities once again.

Council say these short-term initiatives will bring increased amenity and vibrancy to the area, while council continues to work with the Otamataha Trust to plan for the long-term future of the land on the seaward side of Taumata Kahawai, which the trust co-owns with Tauranga City Council.

The Cargo Shed is planned to reopen by the end of the year, and the other projects are due to be completed by the end of June 2023. The upgrade of the waterfront reserve is planned to be delivered by end of June 2024.

Tauranga City Development and Partnerships General Manager Gareth Wallis says council looks forward to starting work on these projects with urgency and completing the first significant phase of work prior to Christmas.

“Working to these ambitious timeframes will help ensure the waterfront is ready for the redevelopment of Te Manawataki o Te Papa, the civic precinct, and that we can deliver on the Civic Masterplan’s vision for the waterfront,” says Gareth.

“The ultimate long-term goal is to create a destination waterfront that people can be proud of, as envisioned by the masterplan, and the soon-to-be released City Centre Strategic Plan, which will provide the strategic framework for the transformation of our city centre.

“In the meantime, once we have completed the short-term improvements, the waterfront will provide a green retreat for the community amid the bustle of construction, while the city centre undergoes its transformation over the next few years," says Gareth.

“And we’ll also be looking to activate these spaces with a range of organised activities which will encourage whānau to enjoy this fantastic central city space.”

The funding for these projects will be included in the Annual Plan 2022/23, due for adoption on June 27 2022.

Changes planned for refreshing Tauranga city centre can be viewed here

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Posted on 30-05-2022 18:34 | By morepork

I am pleased to be able to agree with much of what you said. We DO have a world class harbour and it WOULD be nice to have better facilities around it. Green areas and relaxation could be done without vast expenditure. And, I have seen kids jumping off the new facilities and it is a good thing. Slim is right that we don’t get the same seaside traffic as the Mount, but that doesn’t mean we can’t encourage more traffic. I disagree about the trains. The idea of having trains right in the heart of the City and near the seaside, is brilliant. We should have a proper (art deco?) Railway station and a passenger service to Auckland and Hamilton. A vintage steam engine could be a great attraction... Of, course, crossings need to be safe, as Yadick mentioned. All we need is vision and money...

A lovely area

Posted on 27-05-2022 19:05 | By Kancho

Is possible just need to get rid of the train line and trains. Would be but


Posted on 27-05-2022 12:11 | By Slim Shady

Brilliant. From your comment I assume you inferring racism. A story about Council wasting money on a very small number of people and you bring it down into the gutter. This is exactly the sort of tactics this Government and these Commissioners use. Any objection to waste and incompetence and they start throwing accusations around. Pathetic.


Posted on 27-05-2022 09:56 | By Accountable

Where are all these new visitors to the CBD going to park when there is not enough parking for the regular supporters of the CBD?


Posted on 26-05-2022 21:14 | By Informed

When did you go down there. It’s pumping on a sunny day. Kids jumping in the water, families on the playground. From your reply perhaps your issues isn’t usage, but who’s using it and what they look like.

@ Bruce Rainey

Posted on 26-05-2022 15:41 | By Yadick

I hear you, however the bells do ring, the lights do flash and the barrier arms do come down so you shouldn’t be dodging but . . . toddlers are fast and trains are big so perhaps safety gates.

Yes But!

Posted on 26-05-2022 11:09 | By Bruce Rainey

Yes “Great seaside cities around the world have memorable waterfronts," But Tauranga is the only one with freight trains to dodge.

@ dumbkof2

Posted on 26-05-2022 08:10 | By Yadick

I realise your comment is tongue-in-cheek but that’s what we need. Some good idea’s, some imagination. We don’t need some big corporate concrete city. Make it family friendly, a place where memories are made. If that’s a choo choo train, a heated foot bath and a gym area, then yeah, why not. Make it WOW.

I Like The Concept

Posted on 26-05-2022 08:03 | By Yadick

However, it doesn’t, from what I’m reading, ’pop’ as such. Potofstu has the right idea. Throw in some eateries that give more options than expensive restaurants, throw in some pop-up shops that aren’t museums or meeting rooms. Perhaps create some laybys where food trucks can park, try to attract Copenhagen Cones in there, some junk food places where you can indulge in a bit of yummy naughtiness, shift the info centre over there . . .


Posted on 26-05-2022 06:21 | By Slim Shady

I’ve been down the Strand in summer. It’s not awash with “families”. Nowhere near as many as down the Mount or Papamoa. I love the fact that you want everything upgraded and beautiful. You must have a bottomless bucket of money. Or maybe just access to one that others keep filling.

Looking Forward

Posted on 25-05-2022 23:16 | By Mommatum

Well dumbkop and Slim Shady can stay home and vegetate if they want. As the saying goes don’t want, no one is forcing you to go. For the rest of us however it’s about time and especially re The Cargo Shed which should never have been allowed to run down in the first place. However given successive council’s track record I am reserving my final opinion till I see it. Incidentally why is a walkway from Memorial Park not factored in. Time those rich property owners along the waterline were given a wake up call. The city Is Not just about them.


Posted on 25-05-2022 20:51 | By dumbkof2

while your at it why not throw in a roller coaster, choo choo train rollerscate park and a gym area with bars ropes etc. then if you still have money a couple of fountains and a heated foot bath for all those thousands of people that are going to come


Posted on 25-05-2022 20:38 | By Informed

Just because you don’t go there doesn’t mean that others don’t, or don’t want that area to be upgraded. Just love the fact that you want to hang at home should mean that the rest of Tauranga wants the same thing. News for you! We don’t. We want a vibrant city that have a beautiful outdoor environment for our families.


Posted on 25-05-2022 19:49 | By dumbkof2

is this a council or tolley/mahuta decision


Posted on 25-05-2022 17:46 | By Potofstu

Why not a Promenade with eateries and pop up shops

Thank you

Posted on 25-05-2022 17:08 | By Futurefocus

This is a no brainer so good to see this moving ahead even if it is years too late. So great to see the council making quick sensible decisions.


Posted on 25-05-2022 16:41 | By Slim Shady

Hardly anybody goes there. And that those that do occasionally visit will drive in. If it’s free to park. They’re not going to catch one of your subsidised buses. I’m sure it will look nice from your ivory tower but it’s not really serving the community is it? The community all live somewhere else. So spend all this money somewhere else. Serve the community, not yourself.

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