Creating an inviting recreational precent, connecting downtown Tauranga and Tauranga Harbour.

The redevelopment area started along the shore from Tauranga Harbour Bridge extending to the Matapihi Rail Bridge and inland from The Strand in the west, to the harbour in the east. This area includes a rail corridor that is, since its construction, a historic element to The Strand is still a busy freight route for the Port of Tauranga. The Tauranga City Council wanted to revitalise what was, principally, a car park into a versatile space that could be more widely enjoyed by the people of Tauranga and drive visitors to the Downtown area. Enspire was engaged by the Tauranga City Council to develop and implement a comprehensive engagement strategy, prepare an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) and present expert planning evidence before the hearing committee.

The scope of the redevelopment meant that a number of resource consent applications were required. Indeed, as the site spanned the mean high water springs mark, and involved works (declamations, structures and dredging), the Proposal presented an array of complex challenges that required a pragmatic, considered and innovative response. A further complication was a project that proceeded to the Waterfront Redevelopment Proposal, and that had attracted considerable opposition.

Given these challenges, and the desire of our client to maintain a relatively low consent and litigation risk, and avoid a drawn-out Environment Court process, a comprehensive engagement programme was designed and initiated. It resulted in widespread support for the Proposal, which is significant given the opposition that faced the earlier proposal on part of the Site.

The retention of a team of acknowledged experts to assist with the development of a sensitive design that achieved all of the outcomes sought by our client, and the production of a comprehensive Assessment of Environmental Effects report resulted in a decision on the terms sought by our client. No appeals to the Environment Court were filed.

Almost 10-years on, it is great to see people utilising the space whether it is through special events, picnicking, enjoying the playground, walking or cycling along the path, or partaking in water activities.