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Pōterīwhi ki anamata

Future of Pōteriwhi

We’re looking at future options for a large council-owned site in Bethlehem known as Pōteriwhi (also known as Parau Farms).

April 2024 Update

On 29 April 2024 Commissioners endorsed staff to continue further planning for Pōteriwhi based on the mixed-use concept plan developed to date. Council also approved progressing a divestment strategy for the residential component of the land and approved an application for the Pōteriwhi project to be submitted as part of the government’s Fast-Track Approval Bill. 

The government has introduced the Bill to provide a fast-track approach for resource consents and other approvals. The legislation will speed-up the decision-making process that helps in the delivery of infrastructure and development projects with significant regional or national benefits. The addition of this project in the bill would assist Tauranga in addressing its significant housing shortages and enable approximately 200-300 homes to be bought to market in a much shorter timeframe.

Background 

We own a large site (approximately 36 hectares) in Bethlehem on the southern side of State Highway 2 located between the Te Paeroa roundabout and Wairoa River, known as Pōteriwhi (Parau Farms). We bought this land in 2000 for future use as sports fields, but Tauranga has changed since then.

Given the extreme housing shortage in Tauranga, we’re now looking at broader options for the land which could include developing it for housing, greenspace, sports fields, and recognition of culturally, historically and ecologically important areas. Tucked in behind the Bethlehem Town Centre, the land is ideally placed for housing and close to shops, schools, and other amenities, including public transport.

Community feedback

In November 2021 we asked for your feedback on a proposal to develop the land for housing. We received some valuable feedback and people raised some very valid questions, particularly around preserving green space and providing infrastructure. Since then, the project team has been working hard to address these concerns and come up with potential solutions.

Of the 159 submissions received, 30% were in support and 68% opposed the proposal. Bethlehem residents represented 40% of respondents, with the remainder distributed evenly across Tauranga. Younger age groups, up to age 34, were most supportive of the proposal with those in the 55 to 64 age group being most opposed.

The land falls in the rohe of Ngāti Ranginui iwi including the hapū of Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hangarau who also reminded us of a wealth of information regarding the historical, cultural, and ancestral significance of the area. The project team continue to work with mana whenua on the future processes.

The map below is an updated activity areas map that considers the constraints and opportunities presented by this unique site. 

Next steps

In early May 2024 Council submitted the Pōteriwhi project to be considered as part of the Fast-track Approvals Bill. The Fast-track Expert Advisory Group will make recommendations on projects to government ministers later in 2024. 

Key information

Project type
Community
Parks and recreation
Planning, design and renewal

Status
Planning

Neighbourhood
Bethlehem

Key dates

  • Open for feedback

    15 November 2021
  • Feedback closes

    15 December 2021
  • Council report on outcomes

    February 2022
  • Council agrees activity areas 

    June 2023
  • Council agrees to apply for Fast Track, new concept plan

    April 2024
  • Due diligence complete, Fast Track outcome

    Late 2024

Who's listening

City Planning and Growth
Tauranga City Council

paraufarms@tauranga.govt.nz 
07 577 7000

Other ways to get involved

Tauranga is your city. We’re working to make it even better.

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