Last week the Community and Culture Committee agreed on the final changes to be made to the Tauranga Reserves Management Plan as a result of consultation with the community last year.
This plan, which the committee will recommend to the Council for adoption at its meeting on Tuesday 5 March, guides Council’s decision-making on parks and reserves in the city. It enables a range of activities, guides maintenance and development, protects important sites and features, and explains how council will assess requests and proposals for use.
Council will consider future proposals for parks against the reserves management plan, and will continuously review it to adapt to our changing community.
Council received 265 submissions on the draft Tauranga Reserves Management Plan last year, and 50 submitters spoke at the hearings. Submissions largely fell within three categories:
• Submissions supporting, opposing, or requesting amendments to the wording of the draft plan. Staff made numerious changes to the plan to incorporate the recommendations of submitters, and put them to councillors for final decision.
• Submissions for further policy or strategy work, or seeking other changes outside the scope of the Tauranga Reserves Management Plan. These will be addressed through other processes like policy and strategy reviews.
• Submissions requesting works or development on reserves that require funding. The reserve management plan sets the framework – whether and how council enables activities on reserves, like a neighbourhood garden or a playground – but doesn’t look at if and how they can be funded. These submissions have been fed through to the relevant council activities, who will consider these further in their planning for reserve improvement and development, and seek funding as required through future long term plan processes.
Community and Culture Committee Chair Cr. Terry Molloy said that Council’s goal through the plan is for Tauranga’s reserves to provide a variety of different experiences and improve Tauranga residents’ quality of life.
“They should be places where people can be active and connect with nature, feel welcome, comfortable and safe", Cr. Molloy said.
"The decisions we made in developing the plan reflect this.”
Of particular debate in the meeting last Thursday was finding a site for Bay of Plenty Badminton. BOP Badminton has been looking for a dedicated home for their sport in Tauranga for the past ten years.
The initial proposal put forward through the draft Reserves Management Plan was to lease some land at Soper Reserve for BOP Badminton to develop a multi-purpose building for their sport and others such as Parafed, Tauranga Table Tennis, Sport Climbing BOP and Bay of Plenty Indoor Bowls.
However the committee was concerned about the loss of greenspace in the area, and recommended to lease land at Tatua Reserve instead, should no appropriate site be readily available to accommodate the building at Baypark.
In the first round of deliberations on the plan last year, the committee had agreed to turn the Tatua neighbourhood reserve into a community building reserve, and to lease part of it to the Mount Maunganui Playcentre and other community groups and organisations.
The decision will be confirmed once Council adopts the Tauranga Reserves Management Plan on 5 March 2019.
Deliberations report (from page 176 in Agenda 2) and video recording