Much is said about the growth of New Zealand’s fast-growing urban areas, but there is a lot going on in the rural rump of New Zealand, especially that which surrounds those urban centres. Western Bay of Plenty District is one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing districts. With more than 200,000 hectares of prime rural, coastal and urban land adjacent to Tauranga City and Rotorua, it provides a range of horticultural, agricultural and urban opportunities, which is resulting in significant challenges in the district every year.
Growth can, of course, bring both benefits and challenges in terms of the integration of land use and infrastructure and the changing aspirations and expectations of communities. This fieldshop will explore how Western Bay is managing the many challenges of urban pressures of its own as well as Tauranga and also those other national policies for productive land, indigenous biodiversity, and freshwater that have significant effects on our rural community. Western Bay has been in the thick of these issues since local government reform in 1989 and is happy to share its experiences.
We will visit these locations:
- Paengaroa – we will talk about the growth trajectory and challenges of the kiwifruit industry and also innovative companies such as Comvita. Paengaroa is right on the border of a proposed 145ha industrial estate and is the location of a possible new town.
- Maketū – we will see the Kaituna River diversion and wetland restoration and the associated cultural influences. We will also talk about biodiversity incentives for landowners.
- Papamoa – we will talk about the territorial authority boundary and integration of urban growth and infrastructure provision (SmartGrowth, FDS, NPSUD etc).
- Te Puke – we will explore how fragmentation of productive soils is one effect resulting from a community desire for lifestyle intensification and urban growth.
- TECT Park – at this award-winning park, we will discuss planning and recreational aspects (and have some fun hopefully).