Skip to main content


Home > Plans, policies and resources > Plans > Long Term Plan > Long Term Plan 2018-28 > Thriving Together - our community outcomes

Thriving Together - our community outcomes

On this page   < Previous section

Long Term Plan

Next section >


Our vision ‘Thriving Together – mō te taiaō, mo ngā tāngata’ is about supporting our environment and our people to thrive.

Our four community outcomes give more detail on what this vision would look like for the Bay of Plenty, focusing on a healthy environment, freshwater for life, safe and resilient communities and a vibrant region.

We have focused our outcomes for this Long Term Plan 2018-2028, with a strong emphasis on a healthy environment and managing our natural resources including freshwater. Each outcome has objectives that describe how we plan to reach these goals through the work we do.

Also in this mix are our organisational values and the way we work as a council, while the strategic challenges tell us the big issues we face as we work towards our outcomes. All of this is combined into a strategic framework, which links everything together, as shown in our strategic framework (pdf, 26KB)


A healthy environment

HealthyenvironmentWe will maintain and enhance our air, land, freshwater, geothermal, coastal resources and biodiversity for all those who live, work and play within our region. We support others to do the same.


  • We develop and implement regional plans and policy to protect our natural environment
  • We manage our natural resources effectively through regulation, education and action
  • We work cohesively with volunteers and others, to sustainably manage and improve our natural resources
  • Our environmental monitorng is transparently communicated to our communities

A healthy environment is at the heart of what we do. We sustainably manage our natural resources so our communities can thrive.

We want to continue to grow and develop as a region, support local business and ensure there are job opportunities for all our communities.

We need to make sure we are not putting more pressure on the environment than it can cope with. We also need to consider what climate change means for us and understand how we need to respond to the changes this will bring, such as different weather patterns and rising sea levels.

We work with the community to protect our water, soils and our wildlife. We manage or get rid of pest plants and animals. We set rules around what can and can’t be done in our environment and ensure the rules are followed through our consents and monitoring processes.

Our work includes

Managing our natural resources

We work across the region to protect and manage our land, air, water and coast from inappropriate development and pollution. We do this through making decisions on resource consent applications, monitoring compliance with consents and responding to environmental complaints from the public.

Controlling wallabies

Together with the Department of Conservation and Waikato Regional Council, we’re trying hard to keep dama wallabies within their current established range. Wallaby feed on native tree seedlings, grasses and  ferns to such an extent that, over time, they will limit the regeneration of some species. They can damage pine and eucalyptus seedlings and on farmland they compete with stock for pasture. We are planning to increase our focus on this area.

Working with volunteers

Volunteers are doing some fantastic things in the Bay of Plenty to support our natural environment. For example, Coast Care Bay of Plenty is a community partnership programme where volunteers help to restore the form and function of the dunes in the Bay of Plenty. A healthy environment is at the heart of what we do. We sustainably manage our natural resources so our communities can thrive.

Protect and enhance biodiversity

We actively identify and manage priority biodiversity sites across the region to protect the full range of the Bay of Plenty’s native ecosystem types and key populations of threatened species. Developed jointly with the Department of Conservation, 430 sites have been identified for management.


Freshwater for life

FreshwaterOur water and land management practices maintain and improve the quality and quantity of the region’s freshwater resources.


  • Good decision making is supported through improving knowledge of our water resources.
  • We listen to our communities and consider their values and priorities in our regional plans.
  • We collaborate with others to maintain and improve our water resource for future generations.
  • We deliver solutions to local problems to improve water quality and manage quantity.
  • We recognise and provide for Te Mana o Te Wai (intrinsic value of water).

Freshwater is vital for the health of people and communities, and that makes it important to us.

We’re responsible for two kinds of freshwater: groundwater and surface water. Surface water is all the water above ground – rivers, lakes and streams, drains, ponds, springs and wetlands, while groundwater comes from  rainfall and rivers and accumulates in underground aquifers.

We invest millions of dollars each year to maintain and improve water quality and quantity in the Bay of Plenty and we work with the community to look after the rivers, estuaries and coastal environments.

We monitor water quality and quantity; ensuring people follow the rules set through the consents process.

Our work in this area is guided by national legislation, regulations and standards for water that prescribe public processes for setting requirements and rules. This area is becoming increasingly complex and we’re working hard to translate the policy into action on the ground.

Put simply, we manage the freshwater that’s in and on the ground so there’s enough for people and wildlife to thrive now and in the future.

Our water role

We manage:

  • Water allocation: people’s extraction of water for irrigation, industrial processing, electricity generation, drinking water (municipal supply) and other uses
  • Water quality in natural waterways
  • Habitat protection for freshwater wildlife

We carry out scientific modelling and measurements  to estimate the amount of water that enters and leaves waterways. We set aside the base amount needed to maintain water quality, support wildlife and allow natural recharge of surface water (rivers and streams) and groundwater (aquifer) systems.

Investment and action

From action on the ground to science, planning and policy work, we plan to invest approximately $46m in the first year (2018/19) of the Long Term Plan 2018- 2028 to improve and protect the water in our rivers, streams, lakes and underground aquifers.

We work alongside land, business and infrastructure owners, iwi and the wider community to:

  • Reduce pollution and respond to spills
  • Sustainably manage people’s use of the land and water through rules and resource consents
  • Use science to detect environmental changes and solve complex problems
  • Restore wetlands, remove fish barriers and enhance wildlife habitat.
  • Fence and replant water margins
  • Develop new tools for reducing bacteria and nutrient run-off.
  • Control erosion and trap sediment
  • Maintain stop banks and flood protection schemes to protect towns and rural land from flooding and river overflows.

Through the National Policy Statement for Freshwater (NPS) Central Government has directed us to set limits and rules that will ensure

  • Our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and the estuaries they flow into are kept healthy for people to enjoy
  • Water allocation decisions are well-informed, sustainable, efficient and based on agreed limits
  • Te Mana o te Wai (the intrinsic value iwi hold for freshwater) is recognised and protected.
  • Native plants and animals thrive in healthy freshwater habitats.

Our work includes

Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme

The Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme has been established to coordinate, prioritise and deliver on all our work related to improving the health of the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua Lakes Council and the Regional Council are partners in the Programme, which is part-funded by the Crown. Activities to improve the health of the lakes include; converting land with gorse to trees; harvesting lake weed; working with landowners and industry, including entering land use agreements to reduce contaminants entering the lakes.

New chair in lake and freshwater science

We have been working with the University of Waikato to ensure the development and application of best practice in relation to lake and freshwater science. This includes funding the appointment of Dr Troy Baisden as the new Chair in Lake and Freshwater Science.

Omanawa Stream, Tauranga Harbour

Tauranga’s Omanawa Stream was the Bay of Plenty’s most improved river in 2017.The NZ River Award acknowledges a significant reduction in E.coli bacteria levels in the stream and demonstrates our continuing work with landowners to improve water quality. We’ve helped landowners protect the stream by installing bank fencing and run-off controls such as detainment bunds and slope planting. Good run-off management is a key ingredient for clean, healthy waterways.

What happens on land affects our waterways. So we provide funding, advice and regional co-ordination to help improve the way land, water and wildlife is cared for in local catchments. Together with landowners we’ve made great progress on fencing Bay of Plenty waterways to protect them.


Safe and resilient communities

SaferesilientOur planning and infrastructure supports resilience to natural hazards so that our communities’ safety is maintained and improved.  


  • We provide systems  and information to increase understanding of natural hazard risks and climate change impacts.
  • We support community safety through flood protection and navigation safety.
  • We work with our partners to develop plans and policies, and we lead and enable our communities to respond and recover from an emergency.
  • We work with communities and others to consider long term views of natural hazard risks through our regional plans and policies. 

Our region is subject to a number of natural events, including volcanic activity, earthquakes and extreme rainfall.

These events can endanger our communities. We work to keep people safe by providing flood protection, such as stop banks and pump stations, and ensuring we are prepared for emergencies through our civil defence and emergency management services. Raising awareness and preparing for issues such as climate change are also important aspects of building strong communities that can cope with change. We are responsible for controlling the use of land to avoid or mitigate the effects of natural hazards, and we work with other local councils and Civil Defence Emergency Management, to identify natural hazards and reduce risk.

Our work includes

Helping keep you safe on the water

We help maintain a safe maritime environment across the region. Our work includes maintaining a 24/7 response service to the community, managing and maintaining navigational aids, lights and beacons around the region and regular patrolling of our harbours and waterways.

Civil Defence

We deliver region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) services (through the Group Emergency Management Office) across the region, supported by local councils in their respective areas. We are planning to make the funding of CDEM services more transparent to the public by changing how these services are funded (see our consultation question).


We are leading and coordinating work to identify where natural hazards are most likely to occur and what impacts they may have on people, property and the environment. We work in partnership with our region’s city and district councils, communities and research providers to collate, assess and share information. This includes the development of ‘BayHazards - Bay of Plenty Natural Hazards viewer’, an interactive tool providing information on natural hazards across the Bay of Plenty. Visit 


A vibrant region

VibrantregionWe work with our partners and communities to achieve integrated planning and good decision-making. We support economic development, understanding the Bay of Plenty region and how we can best add value.


  • We lead regional transport strategy and system planning, working with others to deliver a safe and reliable public transport system.
  • We contribute to delivering integrated planning and growth management strategies especially for sustainable urban management.
  • We work with and connect the right people to create a prosperous region and economy.
  • We invest appropriately in infrastructure to support sustainable development. 

People and the environment are at the heart of our region. We support the growth of jobs in the Bay of Plenty and development of new industries. We make significant contributions to the region’s economic growth through environmental and infrastructure management.

Through our contestable Regional Infrastructure Fund that was established through the Long Term Plan 2012-2022, we have supported projects initiated by our partners, such as the Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project and the Tauranga Marine Precinct development. Through this Long Term Plan we are seeking community feedback on future funding of regional infrastructure (see our consultation question). We facilitate Bay of Connections, the economic development framework for the wider Bay of Plenty. Its goal is to grow our investment and job opportunities in partnership with economic development agencies across the region. We also keep the community connected through the regional bus network of Bayhopper and Cityride buses. 

Our work includes

Increasing bus services across the region and introducing new electric/hybrid buses

We plan, contract and fund public passenger transport services in the region, including the Bayhopper and Schoolhopper services in Tauranga and the Cityride buses in Rotorua. Through this Long Term Plan 2018- 2028 we are supporting more frequent services across the region and looking to introduce environmentally friendly transport options, including five new electric/hybrid buses that will deliver a reduction in carbon emissions.

Tauranga Tertiary Campus Project

Through our Regional Infrastructure Fund we contributed $15 million to the Tauranga Tertiary Campus project. The multi-million dollar development will give Tauranga a world-class campus that’s expected to attract local, national and international students. Having excellent education tailored to the needs of businesses will be a huge opportunity for our region and will mean we can take advantage of opportunities for business, science, aquaculture and other sectors. We have collaborated with the University of Waikato, Toi Ohomai, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) and Tauranga City Council on this project. 



< Previous section

Long Term Plan

Next section >