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Papamoa East Urban Growth Area, New Zealand

Papamoa East Urban Growth Area, New Zealand

When called on to shape the development of one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities – Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty - RPS knew that success would hinge on an ideal balance struck between culture, lifestyle, environment and economics. 

Already the city’s largest suburb, the population of Papamoa on Tauranga’s coastal fringe is expected to grow significantly over the next 40 years, reaching approximately 30,000 by 2060.

To accommodate this boom, the largely rural areas of Wairakei and Te Tumu (commonly referred to as ‘Papamoa East’) have been formally identified as areas for sustained urban growth.

Papamoa East’s local development partners knew that for housing to be affordable into the future, emphasis must be placed on local employment, but they also wanted to ensure the area’s heritage and relaxed coastal lifestyle would be honoured and retained.

That’s where our team’s unique approach to the planning, design and development of strategic growth corridor communities really came to the fore.

Research guides strategy for employment and housing

Drawing on a wealth of experience providing strategic advice to planning authorities and new community developers, RPS’ economics and urban design teams completed a detailed research exercise for the Te Tumu area of Papamoa East, advising Council on appropriate housing product and the realistic densities required to meet projected demand. 

Social and economic outcomes were a key component of the study, with the team investigating the scale and type of commercial development required to grow local employment, and strategies to support positive socio-economic outcomes.

A range of development scenarios were tested and recommendations on optimum residential density and yield were put forward. These recommendations allow for flexible development phasing in alignment with market fluctuation, and will ensure non-residential uses can be effectively implemented as the community grows over time.

Urban design brings community together

With economic insights on hand to guide their work, the RPS design team has been working with Papamoa East’s three delivery partners –Tauranga City Council, Bluehaven Management, and the Te Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust to develop a workable, balanced urban framework plan for the area.
Recognising that each partner has a unique vision for the region’s growth and character, our team facilitated a series of collaborative urban design workshops and charrettes that brought stakeholders together to address and develop a common, agreed plan.
By facilitating such an open and communicative process between the Maori landowners’ trust, council planning authority and developer, cross-boundary issues have been identified and resolved early. This is likely to facilitate accelerated delivery in line with local demand, while providing a strong foundation for ‘shared benefit’ as structure and detailed design progresses.
As a result of our work so far, preferred positioning for a new town centre - Golden Sands - has been agreed. The team is now completing detailed concept testing to determine project sequencing and the functional relationships between the new residential development areas, transport infrastructure, employment precincts planned for Wairakei and Te Tumu and the new town centre.  


For more information about the project please contact us via our contact form.

Key Contacts

Matthew Bolton

Matthew Bolton   |   Urban Design Manager  |   Send Email

Matt has 14 years of experience as an urban designer and a further five years working within the architectural field. He is an experienced project manager who has led numerous medium to large projects from inception and throughout the delivery phases with particular focus on detailed design, construction and built form outcomes. As Urban Design Manager for North Queensland, Matt has concentrated his efforts on creating innovative and well refined design solutions across a range of project types suited to the North Queensland climate and marketplace.

Peter Egerton

Peter Egerton   |   Discipline Leader – Urban Design  |   Send Email

Peter has been part of the urban design and planning profession for 25 years, and currently leads the urban design team for RPS. Peter is based in Brisbane, but has a wider perspective from leading projects from Sydney to Port Douglas and New Zealand to Western Australia.

Peter’s focus is integrating design and planning expertise with sustainable development practices, to create successful urban spaces where people live, work and visit. His strong network of positive working relationships with government and industry, together with his communication and technical skills, have been critical to the success of his large body of work.

As a design professional, and business leader, Peter strives to make a positive contribution in the communities he influences, and ensure outcomes are enduring, sustainable and memorable.

William Owen

William Owen   |   Technical Director – Economics  |   Send Email