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Policy and bylaw

Whare petipeti, kaupapa-here whakamahinga rori me ngā ture tūnuku, tūnga waka hoki

Gambling Venues and Street Use Policies, and Traffic & Parking Bylaw

We’re suggesting updates to the Gambling Venues and Street Use Policies as well as the Traffic and Parking Bylaw.

We are suggesting a set of updates to our policies and bylaws on:

  • if gambling venues should be allowed to move, within certain criteria
  • how public streets can be used by businesses and the community
  • making street dining areas smoke and vape free
  • supporting environmentally friendly berms
  • clarifying the rules on second driveways
  • making free parking fairer

Consultation closed at 5pm, Saturday 4 November 2023.

Gambling venues

Our gambling venues policy helps us to balance the different things groups in our community want: to visit gambling venues, to benefit from the funding gambling creates for community groups and clubs, and to limit the harm gambling causes. We can do this by deciding when and where gambling venues are allowed to move in our city.

The latest national research shows us more than half of the city’s gambling venues are in areas where people are more likely to experience harm from gambling, and the current policy doesn’t allow the venues to move. We propose changing the policy to let gambling venues move away from areas where people live, into areas research suggests they will do less harm to our community.

This policy change will not increase the number of places people can gamble in Tauranga.

Gambling Venues FAQs

We have not looked into how moving location might affect business for gambling venues and we do not decide if they choose to move or not.

The council does not make money from gambling venues. Occasionally, the council applies to the grants organisations (which give out some of the money pokies make) to fund community projects. If the application is successful, the grant money can make a difference for the funding of community projects in our city.

In 2022, funding from gambling in Tauranga provided $7,669,928 to sports organisations, $2,064,682.88 to community groups, and $1,237,961.54 to community services in our city.

Gambling venues wishing to move would only be able to move to commercial or industrial zones that are more than 100 m away from residential zones with a deprivation index of 8, 9, or 10. You can find the maps of these areas in the Resources section of this page.

Data from the national Census is used by researchers at the University of Otago to create an index of socioeconomic deprivation (a series of ways we can measure the wellbeing of people in different areas). We use this index and our city plan to mark the areas on the maps where gambling venues can and can’t move to.

Research by the Ministry of Health found that the likelihood of people gambling is strongly linked with how closely they live to the nearest gambling venue. We think allowing gambling venues to move away from areas of high deprivation – where people’s wellbeing might already be affected by other things – may help reduce gambling harm in our communities.

There are currently 32 Class 4 venues (places with pokies) and four TAB venues (which also have pokies) in Tauranga City. There are 469 gaming machines (pokies) operating in our city (as of June 2023).

The Department of Internal Affairs licenses gambling venues in New Zealand, and councils control the number and location of them through policies like ours.

Under the council’s current policy, no new gambling venues can be opened in Tauranga City and pokie machine numbers cannot increase.

Street use

Streets are public spaces and how they’re used should benefit our community. We want our streets to be attractive, vibrant places, and we think businesses that benefit from them should contribute to maintaining and improving these spaces. Currently, some businesses pay to use public streets and footpaths, and some don’t.

Public streets are used for lots of things, like restaurants putting tables on the footpath and restaurants with balconies overhanging the footpath. We have suggested merging together four existing street use policies into one, to help us fairly manage how public streets can be used and who pays to use them.

For consistency and fairness, we suggest changing to charging a set amount per square metre of street dining in the city centre and Mount Maunganui. We have suggested four zones for these areas, which group together streets with similar levels of vibrancy. You can check out the proposed zones in the maps in the Resources section of this page. The charge for each zone will be set through the council’s user fees and charges process. Hospitality businesses can use the airspace above streets and make a profit off this public space, but it has less impact on people using the footpath below, so we suggest they pay 75% of the set rate per square metre for their balcony dining.

We’re suggesting phasing in this new charging system over time. The charges are for administration fees, rental fees and refundable bonds for any potential damage caused, which then contributes to the maintenance and improvement of our public spaces.

We also think it's fair to make dining tables on our public streets and footpaths smoke and vape-free, so that streets are places for everyone to enjoy.

Another part of the policy is about residents maintaining berms outside their properties. Residents can do this if they like according to certain rules, but we think this should be done in ways that are good for our environment. We suggest updating the policy to say that residents should use environmentally friendly methods to manage berms, such as grass or other plants, rather than using artificial grass. That way we can have less plastic in our city and better manage heavy rain and stormwater.

Street use FAQs

Yes, over time as the policy is phased in. The charges will then be set each year through the council’s user fees and charges process, which is when we look at the fees charged for lots of different services and facilities we provide. This process is consulted on publicly every year.

The charges are administration fees, rental fees and refundable bonds for any potential damage caused by businesses using these public streets, and this money contributes to the maintenance and improvement of the city’s public spaces.

As a part of this policy, businesses using public streets for dining will need to have a smoke and vape free policy for these spaces.

Artificial grass is bad for the environment because it puts microplastics into our environment and waterways. It also needs to be replaced often (every 2-10 years on average) as things like cigarettes cause it to melt. Discarded artificial grass then goes to landfill where, because it’s made of plastic, it won’t break down.

On top of that, artificial grass doesn’t allow rain or stormwater to run through it, so it affects how heavy rain can be managed in the city.

We’re asking residents to plant their berms with grass or other plants to create a more positive environmental impact.

This policy only applies to berms outside private properties – people’s homes and land, and landlords’ properties.

If residents have trouble maintaining a grass berm, the council can connect residents with support services or suggest different options such as low-maintenance planting or other types of natural groundcover material.

Key information

Project type
Planning, design and renewal
Transport and movement



Key dates

  • Open for feedback

    4 October
  • Feedback closes

    4 November
  • Hearings

    13 November
  • Deliberations and decisions

    Early December 2023

Who's listening

Policy Team
Tauranga City Council

Phone: 07 577 7000

Traffic and parking

Currently, our parking wardens manually monitor the free, timed car parks. By future-proofing the parking bylaw, we can potentially ask drivers to provide their car registration (rego) when parking in free, timed parks. We don’t need this now, but we might in the future as our city grows.

The benefit of registration required parking is that it’s easier and more cost-effective to make sure carparks are being used for the time period allowed. This tool could also facilitate incremental charging where, for example, the first hour is free before charging starts. Encouraging people to stick to time limits would help ensure car parks are more fairly available.

We’re also suggesting clarifying in the bylaw when permission is needed for second vehicle crossings (the bit between the road and a driveway). The council’s current, standard rule is one vehicle crossing per property. We suggest updating the bylaw to clarify that developers and people wanting to add a second crossing should check with us first before going ahead. That way we can check if a second crossing is necessary, safe and offers a public benefit (such as putting a caravan off the street).

Traffic and parking FAQs

No, this is still managed under existing resource and building consents.

Next steps

We think these changes will be good for the city and in our survey, we asked our community what they think.

We’re now looking at all the feedback on the proposed changes and summarising it for the Council. Then on 13 November, the Council will meet to hear from people who want to speak to their feedback in person with the Commissioners. In early December, the Council will wānanga (deliberate) on the suggested changes, and then make a decision.

Other ways to get involved

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

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