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Alterations to the boundary between Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga City


Consideration of submissions on proposed boundary change at Tauriko West

The Commission received 12 responses to its call for submissions on this proposal. These were considered at a meeting on 21 May, following which the Commission agreed to develop and adopt a reorganisation plan to advance the proposal. The reorganisation plan is currently being developed and will be adopted at a future meeting.

You can read the submissions that were received here: Tauriko West Submissions - May 2020 (PDF, 4MB)

And the paper considered by the Commission here: Tauriko Reorganisation Consideration of Submissions - LG paper - May 2020 (PDF, 295KB)

Consultation on boundary change at Tauriko West

The Commission is now consulting on a proposal that it proceed with a change to the boundary between Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City at Tauriko West. 

The change would result in approximately 189 hectares of rural land, currently in the district, becoming part of the city. The Commission has published a consultation document providing information about the proposed change and outlining why the Commission thinks the change would be appropriate.

You can read the consultation document and related public notice here: 

Submissions on the proposal closed on 17 April 2020. 


Reorganisation investigation process

Following consultation with affected local authorities and hapū, the Commission adopted a reorganisation investigation process document setting out how it intends to bring the consideration of the proposed Western Bay of Plenty District/Tauranga City boundary changes to a conclusion.

You can see the Commission’s process document and related public notice here:

Possible boundary alterations between Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City: Investigation process (PDF, 6MB).

Maps showing the potentially affected areas are in the appendix to the document.

The need to agree an investigation process and adopt a document setting out this process follows amendments made in October 2019 to the local government reorganisation process as set out in Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002.

The main features of the investigation process are:

  • The Commission intends considering the proposed boundary alteration at Tauriko West on a faster timeframe than those in the areas of Belk Road, Keenan Road and Tara Road.
  • Before adopting any reorganisation plan to bring a boundary change into effect, the Commission will seek public input by inviting submissions in response to a statement of intentions.
  • The Commission will continue to seek input from affected councils and hapu throughout the process.

Consultation in relation to the Tauriko West area was expected to take place in the first half of 2020, with consideration of the other three areas following that.

Changes to legislation

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2019 came into effect on 21 October 2019.  This made significant changes to the law governing how local government reorganisation proposals are to be dealt with by the Local Government Commission.  

The existing reorganisation process in the Western Bay of Plenty is deemed to be a “reorganisation investigation” in terms of the new legislation.  This means that rather than the process following a series of steps as set down in the previous legislation, the Commission has more flexibility over the process it will follow, and is better able to design a process to fit the issues before it in any particular case.  

Before deciding on the process it will follow, however, the Commission is required to consult affected local authorities and iwi and hapū.  Accordingly, the Commission undertook the required consultations in late 2019 in relation to possible changes to the Western Bay of Plenty District/Tauranga City boundary.  Once this was completed, the Commission was in a position to adopt a reorganisation investigation process document setting this process out. 

The revised legislation can be accessed using the search function at Schedule 3 Local Government Act.

Alternative applications

Responses to call for alternative applications

At its meeting on 23 May 2019, the Commission received seven responses to its call for alternative applications.

You can read the responses to the call for alternatives here: Responses to call for alternative applications (PDF, 1.3MB)

After considering these responses, the Commission agreed that it would also consider other boundary changes reflecting a need to provide urban land for residential and business growth in the sub-region. It noted it intended meeting with the affected local authorities and some alternative applicants before identifying “reasonably practical options” and then its “preferred option”.

Invitation for alternative applications

On 15 March 2019, the Commission released a public notice inviting alternative reorganisation applications in response to an application for a change to the boundary between Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City. 

The period for alternative applications closed on Thursday 18 April 2019.You can read the public notice here:

Invitation for alternative applications (PDF, 64KB)

The following information was prepared to assist anyone interested in submitting an alternative reorganisation application or other proposal.

What is an alternative application?

An “alternative application” is a proposal for some other change to local government in the affected area that falls within the broad definition of “local government reorganisation” contained in section 24 of the Local Government Act 2002.

This may include the:

  • union of districts or regions
  • constitution of a new district or region, including the constitution of a new local authority for that new district or region
  • abolition of a district or region, including the abolition of the local authority for that district or region
  • alteration of the boundaries of any district or region
  • transfer of a statutory obligation from one local authority to another
  • assumption by a territorial authority of the powers of a regional council.

 You can read the section 24 definition of local government reorganisation here: section 24 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Who can make an alternative application?

Any individual or group may lodge an alternative application – including individual members of the public, community groups, businesses and organisations.

What does an alternative application need to contain?

Alternative applications must include:

  • the name and address of the applicant
  • a description of the type of local government change or changes proposed, including (but not limited to):
    • which of the matters listed in section 24 of the Local Government Act 2002 is being sought
    • a map or other description to identify the affected area
  • a detailed explanation of what the changes are seeking to achieve and how the changes would be achieved by the approach proposed
  • a description of the potential improvements that would result from the changes and how they would promote good local government.

In some cases, alternative applications will be required to include further information, e.g. if the alternative proposes change over a larger area than the original application it must include evidence of some level of community support in the additional area. An alternative application may also include other information the applicant thinks might be relevant to their application.

The above requirements for alternative applications are set out in clause 5 of Schedule 3 and section 24 of the Local Government Act 2002. You can read this clause here: clause 5 of the Local Government Act 2002

What happens next?

Once the Commission has received alternative reorganisation applications, it is then required to identify what it sees as the “reasonably practicable options”.

These may include the original reorganisation application, or they may reflect alternatives proposed by other people, or be options that the Commission may identify itself. By law, the reasonably practicable options must also include current local government arrangements i.e. ‘no change’.

Options must meet certain legislative criteria before they can be considered “reasonably practicable”.  To be a “reasonably practicable option”, the Commission must be satisfied that:

  • a new or changed council will have the resources to carry out its responsibilities effectively
  • a new or changed district or region will be appropriate for the efficient performance of the local authority’s responsibilities
  • a new or changed district or region will contain distinct communities of interest
  • flooding and water management issues will be able to be effectively dealt with (if the option includes the regional council’s role).

The Commission is then required to identify its “preferred option”. In identifying this option, the Commission must take into account the following further matters:

  • which option will best promote “good local government” which includes:
    • enabling democratic local decision-making
    • providing good quality infrastructure, services and regulatory performance
  • which option will facilitate improved economic performance, which may include:
    • efficiencies and cost savings
    • productivity improvements
    • simplified planning processes.

If the Commission’s “preferred option” is not the ’no change’ option, it will then prepare a draft reorganisation proposal. 

There would then be a period of community consultation including a submissions process.

The Commission would then consider whether to proceed to issue a final reorganisation proposal. 

If the Commission were to decide on the ’no change’ option in relation to reorganisation, it would end its reorganisation process at that point.

Application for boundary change

Agreement to assess application

On 29 November 2018, the Commission determined that the application for a change to the boundary between Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City met the necessary statutory requirements and agreed to assess the application. 

You can read the Commission’s November decision and related public notice here:

Decision to assess application (PDF, 171KB)

Media release 5 December 2018: Commission to assess Western Bay of Plenty – Tauranga boundary alteration

The effect of this was that a  process  would take place in accordance with requirements set out in Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2002. The first step in this is for the Commission to invite alternative applications. This is the opportunity for any interested person or group to put forward alternative proposals for the future local government of the affected area. At this stage the Commission had not formed any view on what the best outcome for the area.

Receipt of application

On 1 November 2018, the Commission received a local government reorganisation application from the Western Bay of Plenty District council for a change in its boundary with Tauranga City.  The effect of the proposal would be to transfer approximately 189 hectares of land at Tauriko West from the district to the city. 

The affected area which would become part of the city if the proposal were to proceed, is shown on the map here:

Proposed Tauriko boundary change map (PDF, 1.9MB)

You can read the original application and additional supporting information here:

Application: Tauriko West Boundary Alterations (PDF, 1,5KB)

Supporting information: Tauriko West Supplementary Information (PDF, 3,7KB)

Background to application

The reorganisation application arises from work undertaken by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and other stakeholders on how to provide sufficient urban land for the future development of the Tauranga urban area over the coming decades. 

You can find further information about this work at the websites of the Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District councils and at www.taurikofortomorrow.co.nz.

This work identified land at Tauriko West as the most appropriate area for future urban development to accommodate the expected growth in the population of the urban area. 

Part of this area however currently lies outside the city boundaries and is within the Western Bay of Plenty District. The application seeks to move this area into the city. This is seen as desirable because it would enable planning and infrastructure development for the whole new urban area to be undertaken by a single local authority and would mean the future residential community would sit within a single rather local authority area rather than being divided between two. 


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