I recently asked a group ‘how many of us were born in Tauranga?’ No one raised their hands. It’s rare to find someone who has been here all their lives. It’s particularly acute on my side of the bridge; a common question asked when meeting someone new in Papamoa is “where are you from?”

We don’t ask because of an accent or appearance but because we’re a community that has grown rapidly.

Since I moved here in 1981 the population has risen more than 1300 per cent from 1900 to 28,000 people this year and growing. Let’s face it, with the city now exceeding 130,000 people, some are beginning to question whether we should have pulled up the drawbridge already – immediately after they arrived of course!

As nice as it seems we can’t. Legally, central government requires local government to keep allocating more space for housing. If that isn’t a good enough reason, consider towns whose populations are stagnating; consider what this means for unemployment and the resulting social issues.

Growth is good, that’s why owning a home in this city is such a good investment. More people and more jobs mean higher property values.

Our greatest challenge is ahead of us.

We’re running out of green fields to develop so Tauranga’s future is going to be a denser one. We don’t want to trash our living environment, but rather use the opportunity growth provides to make a better city for all. We need your help in shaping our future environment. Look out for consultation on the city’s urban strategy next year and participate.

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris