Informal Workshop Notes

Commencing:             Wednesday 15 December 2021, at 9.30 am

Venue:                         via Zoom (Audio Visual meeting)

Chairperson:               Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Lyall Thurston

Members:                    Bay of Plenty Regional Council:

                                    Cr Paula Thompson

                                                      Cr Jane Nees

                                                      Cr Norm Bruning

                                    Rotorua Lakes Council/ Lakes Community Board

                                                      Phill Thomas

Whakatāne District Council

Mayor Judy Turner

Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles

Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Mayor Garry Webber

Waka Kotahi - NZTA

Vaughan Roberts

In Attendance:            Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Cr Matemoana McDonald, Cr Stuart Crosby (from 9.53 am), Mat Taylor – General Manager, Corporate, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science, James Llewellyn – Transport and Urban Planning Manager, Bron Healey – Principal Advisor, Regional Development, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Tauranga City Council, Cr Stacey Rose – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Chairman Doug Leeder (ex-officio) – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Jess Andrew – Waka Kotahi, Mayor Judy Turner – Whakatāne District Council


This Workshop was recorded and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel:
Public Transport Committee Workshop - 15 December 2021 - YouTube

1.     Introduction

Workshop Purpose: To continue reviewing the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) with a specific focus on selected key policy topics.

Guidance Sought: Input and feedback on the following matters:

•   Part A: Recap on RPTP strategic framework

i.   Structure and approach

ii.   Challenges and opportunities

iii.   Vision

iv.   Objectives

v.   Focus areas

•   Part B: Policy development

i.   Policy framework

ii.  Discussion on some key policy proposals

2.     Regional Public Transport Plan Review


Part A – Recap on RPTP strategic framework

Tabled Document 1 - Feedback provided by Tauranga City Council via email 14 December 2021: Objective ID A3998981  

Presentation: Regional Public Transport Plan Review: Objective ID A3993911   


Presented By: Bron Healey – Principal Advisor, Regional Development

Key Points:

·         The statutory requirement was that the RPTP be reviewed as soon as practicable following the finalisation of the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP)

·         Next steps – a workshop was scheduled for 16 February 2022.

Members’ Comments/Guidance provided:

·         Expressed concern that operators who owned depots could lock Territorial Local Authorities (TLA’s) into using these

·         Clarity required on ownership of different assets – depots/interchanges

Challenges and Opportunities

·         Needed a mechanism to achieve mode shift and the plan had to have measurable targets and outcomes

·         Mode shift/access should include wider urban services for rural/satellite communities, e.g. Ōmōkoroa, Te Puke and Katikati.  Re-order the opportunities for particular focus on mode shift and rural accessibility

·         Climate change and reducing emissions was an outcome which would be achieved once the other two challenges were addressed

·         Most endorsed the opportunities posed in the tabled document from Tauranga City Council

·         Increase choice by introducing a new opportunity around emerging innovation/technology

·         Strong focus on identifying and incentivising the target market – getting more people on buses through marketing, TDM and information

·         Amend ‘Proposed Opportunities’ number 5 to: ‘for rural and urban communities’

Vision Statement

·         Getting more people onto public transport across the region – increasing patronage should be the sole focus and top priority

·         Condense a) from slide 17 and b) from slide 18 to capture key statements of both

Proposed Objectives

·         Re-order objectives to put the highest priorities first

·         Achievable objectives were key – state ‘satellite communities’ rather than dwellings

·        Carbon reduction needed to be looked at holistically

·         Highlighted the need for sound data and aspirational, achievable targets

·         Taking mode shift data from the census and surveys was not a true reflection of the current situation

·         Needed to consider fitting KPI’s together for UFTI, TSP and RLTP

·         Make fare wording attractive to gain patronage and noted that interventions would be required to drive behaviour change

·         Fares were a subset of how the system was priced and many mechanisms for pricing would be needed

·         Service and Infrastructure Delivery objective – add safe and attractive to the customer experience

·         Consider a measure for partnerships

·         Services and infrastructure:

o   Add safe infrastructure

o   Focus on commuters and all parts that drive mode shift

o   Provide for services in rural areas and make these more visible

Focus Areas

·         Accessibility for all user groups:

o  Suggested refining wording to a more targeted approach/a focus on commuter services

o  Supported this being the highest priority focus area

·         Transition to low impact public transport – wording needed to be more specific and focused on driving mode shift change

·         Include meeting access needs of rural and satellite communities

Mode Shift and Planning

·         Further information required to understand 80% of dwellings in the region – also look at the 5% target and the 500m distance.

In Response to Questions:

·         There was still uncertainty around the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) timeline. A recent update suggested this may not include legislative change, rather would consider processes – these could also affect how public transport was managed and operated.  Clearer policy direction was required before going out for public consultation

·         Early engagement feedback had been considered during the process to date and a workshop had been held with the Western Bay of Plenty Community Panel, for which feedback was provided on some key policy topics

·         The business model for public transport operators was ownership of assets and Council was waiting for final government direction through the PTOM review and what options would be available

·         Mode shift would primarily be targeted in main urban centres i.e. Tauranga and Rotorua, as rural communities had different access needs and characteristics, which required a unique approach to fit with this

·         The Transport System Plan (TSP) process was a robust data and modelling approach that was undertaken and technical reports had been generated by this.


10.45 am – The workshop adjourned.


10.55 am – The workshop reconvened.



Part B – Policy Development


Presented By: Bron Healy – Principal Advisor, Regional Development, supported by James Llewellyn – Transport and Urban Planning Manager

Members’ Comments/Guidance Provided:

·     Fare policy - focus also needed to incentivise use

·     Customers - add ‘usage’ to customer experience and information given that the vision was about increasing patronage

·     Mode shift and carbon reduction – focus on things that the Committee can influence.  Targeted interventions, land use integration and modal integration  should be prioritised, with inter-regional passenger rail lower in priority due to the timeframe involved

·     Noted the importance of tangata whenua in the partnership component

·     Supported free school buses within zone but cautioned the additional costs involved for any out of zone

·     Service planning and design – remove ‘Tauranga’ to make urban network inclusive of all urban areas in the network

·     Provide indication of policy direction for rural communities

·     Consider adding schools into ‘partnerships’

Service Planning Principles

·     Customer service and connection with other modes was important e.g. park and ride services

·     Any new development area must be public transport focused – integration into urban design was fundamental to policies

·     Enabling public transport services in the early stages of new developments should be an option

Service Classifications

·     Consider service classifications for school services and service levels for infrastructure

Service Optimisation

·     Need data by route to provide the right service

·     Strengthen wording to reflect community input/customer interface

·     Supported smaller buses in areas where they were more suitable i.e. Rotorua

Tauranga Urban

·     Acknowledge regional partnerships to develop their own plans under this overarching plan

Zero Emission Public Transport

·     Develop strategies for the contract renewal stage – flexible investigation of all options

·     A key issue was whether PTOM was going to enable a range of bus sizes

·     Enable transition to this at the right time, with the right technology

·     Needed integrated policy across all strategies and actions in place

·     Cautioned against Council ownership of assets e.g. depots/ vehicles

On Demand Public Transport

·     Make policies more explicit around working with community groups and emphasise the importance of partnerships

School Services

·     Remove the word ‘only’ from the first sentence in the policy proposal, add reasons and benefits of why the service is provided

·     Further analysis required on dedicated services and free fares, with focus on primary and intermediate aged children

Infrastructure and Services in New Areas

·     The timing of providing infrastructure was critical and needed to include in advance bus stops, shelters, park and ride facilities

·     Requested policy for park and ride services.

In Response to Questions:

·     Proposed RPTP policy areas slide – ‘policies on measures to improve the customer experience’ referred to whether it was a policy intervention or an action, it would sit within that framework

·     Ferries were included under service planning and design; ride share would be included under TDM, which would have a policy with a proposal to implement the wider strategy - considering of a range of different options

·     Bus lanes were included under targeted interventions in urban areas - a range of measures including having services and infrastructure right, with bus priority, pricing etc, all complimenting each other to drive mode shift

·     Land use integration was where it was proposed to develop a policy around the relationship between urban form and public transport

·     One aspect under consideration was potential trials for public transport in rural areas, with another option being through partnership with other providers of rural services

·     Conceptualising the accessible journey included considering the end to end experience for users.  Amenity was in the context of interchanges,  stops/ shelters providing amenities, information, safety, lighting, nearby toilet facilities etc.

·     Currently there was not a strong driver for having a farebox recovery policy, although emerging national fare policy would be taken into consideration

·     A key piece of work in 2022 was the public transport services and infrastructure business case, which would address the locations of future bus routes.  The strategy was provided by UFTI and the TSP, which the business case would turn into an investment programme

·     There was a separate business case for the Hewletts Road sub-area, which included the Port of Tauranga

·     Independently owned depots may be an option for market access reasons – removing barriers to competition

·     Open to providing direction in the plan around expectations for services

·     There was potential for collaboration with services currently being undertaken by different community providers

·     The focus for school services was on the Tauranga urban area as this was where the Ministry of Education were not providing school bus services

·     Staff were working with a specialist ferry consultant to understand the current situation with the Priority One proposal for a ferry service to Ōmōkoroa, to understand the costs and benefits.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·          Provide an update to the Committee around the ferry service investigation work

·          Follow up with Tauranga City Council regarding a bus stop at Miller Road near the Brookfield shops.


12.40pm – The workshop closed.