Regional Council

Meeting Date:

27 June 2023



Regional Council Toi Moana Report:

Tauriko SH29 Network Connections Detailed Business Case

The following report supplements the Tauriko Network Connections Detailed Business Case included in the Regional Council Agenda for the meeting on Tuesday 27 June 2023:


Decisions Required

Agenda Item 7.1    Tauriko SH29 Network Connections Detailed Business Case                    1

Attachment 1 - SLG Tauriko Report pdf              1




Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

27 June 2023

Report Writer:

Mike Seabourne, Director, Public Transport

Report Authoriser:

Mike Seabourne, Director, Public Transport


To provide an overview of the Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) Tauriko State Highway 29 Network Connections Detailed Business Case



Executive Summary

To provide a summary of the Tauriko Network Connections Detailed Business Case (the business case) for Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) elected members and staff prior to its submission to Waka Kotahi for investment approval.

Tauriko SH29 Network Connections Detailed Business Case


That the Regional Council:

1       Receives the report

2       Endorses in principle the Tauriko SH29 Network Connections business case

3       Recommend Councils Smart Growth Members support the recommendation in the report attached in Appendix 1


1.        Introduction

The SmartGrowth Partners are seeking endorsement from Regional Council of the SH 29 Tauriko Network Connections DBC business case to ensure there is alignment for the proposal before submission to Waka Kotahi Board for approval for the next step.

Endorsement of the Tauriko Network Connections DBC will be considered at the Regional Council meeting on Tuesday 27 June, immediately followed by the SmartGrowth Senior Leadership group (SLG) where it will also be considered for support by that forum

As a matter of process, staff have prepared this cover paper to assist Council in their consideration of whether to endorse the business case. The report appended to Appendix 1 contains the SmartGrowth paper and recommendations that will be presented SmartGrowth SLG meeting on the 27th.

In this case Regional Council does not need to endorse the recommendations in the Smart Growth paper directly, but rather provide an in principle support for the proposal as outlined in these papers recommendations and vote as members at the SG Governance group meeting.

2.        Tauriko Business case

2.1      Background

The option development, evaluation, and refinement process for Tauriko Network Connections DBC spanned seven years between 2017 and 2023. Over this time, the business case process has been subject to several changes in national policy direction, project scope and personnel. Inevitably, these changes have added to the complexity of the process and impacted on its continuity. Despite this staff from the partner agencies have engaged constructively and in good faith to progress the business case to a recommended option.

The Business case outlines:

a)   A vision for integrated land use and multi-modal transport development in the Western Corridor.

b)  The 7-year option iterative investigation process to determine a recommended way forward for investment with project partners and stakeholders.

c)   The recommended programme of improvements with four Stages of investment over 30 years until 2050

d)  Integrates with the earlier Tauriko West Enabling Works Business case which was confirmed by TCC1 and the Waka Kotahi Board in 2022.

The business case is primarily focused on the state highway improvement component of the Tauriko network, while recognising that the recommended option is centred on multi-modal solutions that need to be provided for, and delivered on, in a number of other projects and processes. These include:

·     Enabling Works Detailed Business Case implementation – for short-term early work to unlock housing development in Tauriko West[1].

·     Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Services and Infrastructure Single Stage Business Case[2].

·     Western Corridor Walking and Cycling Network Plan.

·     Regional Travel Demand Management and Behaviour Change programme.

·    Cameron Road Stages 1 and 2.

2.2      Recommended option

The recommended option (2V) is depicted in the following map. With the staging outlined below, the recommended option is expected to cost between $2.34-2.76B. The project has a BCR of 1.3 (without staging).

Key features of the recommended option include:

·     Bus priority (signalisation and bus lanes) linking a public transport hub in Tauranga Crossing to Cameron Road.

·     An integrated walking and cycling network.

·     A new two-lane SH29 corridor between Omanawa Road and Redwood Lane.

·     A new offline four-lane SH29 corridor between Redwood Lane and the Takitimu Toll Road.

·     A new online six-lane SH29A corridor between Takitimu Drive Toll Road and Barkers Corner.

·     SH36 widening between Lakes Boulevard and SH29A.

·     Seven intersection improvements, including three grade separated interchanges at Redwood, Takitimu and Barkers.

2.3      Staging

The recommended delivery programme includes four stages. Indicative timing is based on current plans for land use development, and has been tested in the Tauranga Transport Model. Timing is dependent on funding availability.

·     Stage 1 (2023-27) focuses on designation and consenting for the long term option (note: the Tauriko West Enabling Works package is being delivered during this period).

·     Stage 2 (2026-31) involves Omanawa bridge replacement and improvements between Omanawa Road and Redwood lane.

·     Stage 3 (2026-31) centres on capacity increases on the SH29A corridor between Takitimu Drive Toll Road and Barkers Corner, and delivery of the public transport prioritisation package on SH36 and SH29A between Tauranga Crossing and Cameron Road. This is sequenced so that public transport infrastructure and service improvements are in place prior to implementation of the long term SH29 offline improvements. Note: the successful delivery of Cameron Road Stages 1 and 2 are crucial to achieving the desired public transport outcomes in the Tauriko long term business case.

·     Stage 4 (2041-50) includes construction of the SH29 offline improvements between Redwood Lane and the Takitimu Drive Interchange. While identifying indicative timeframes for delivery, the business case document recommends that an ‘adaptive management approach’ is taken to confirm the timing of Stage 4.

2.4      Impacts of the recommended option

The business case document summarises the impacts of the recommended option across a range of outcome areas. Of particular note:

·     Travel time – modelling of the recommended option suggests it will lead to ‘improved level of service, travel times and trip reliability for the next 30+ years for strategic traffic, freight and public transport’, with targets being fully achieved for:

predictable travel times for freight; and

increased mode shift from private vehicles to walking, cycling and public transport.

·     Climate change and emissions – the business case acknowledges the highway improvements in the recommended option will lead to increased VKT and CO² emissions (<2%) noting that it has ‘climate change impacts consistent with large scale corridor improvements nationwide’. Impacts are to be mitigated through mode shift to public transport, walking and cycling, and complementary travel demand management measures.

·     Public Transport Level of service - The proposal improves the level of service for PT customers overall.

2.5      Key risks

A number of key strategic risks are identified, including:

·     funding and financing;

·     induced traffic demand resulting in heavier loading on the network than predicted.

·     public transport and active mode outcomes not being realised; and

·     the programme not meeting emissions reduction targets.

The project and series of supporting projects are included in the Transport System Plan programme to help ensure integration and manage key risk as described above. This partnership led delivery approach will assist the sub region in managing these risks collectively.

3.        Transport and land use integration

The recommended transport system for the Western Corridor has been designed to ensure the planned future land use patterns in SmartGrowth and the Urban Form and Transport Initiatives (UFTI) are serviced effectively and efficiently.

UFTI established the ‘Connected Centres’ concept which sets out an integrated land use and transport programme and delivery plan for the western Bay of Plenty. The TSP complements UFTI and provides a partnership and framework focussed at delivering the transport priorities of the sub-region.

Both UFTI and the TSP identify the Business Case as a priority to deliver the Connected Centres concept and to support multimodal transport and freight outcomes and enable local urban growth (housing and employment land) in the Western Corridor.

A key focus of the Business case is to support the projected growth in the Western Corridor in a reasonably flexible way. In this regard the Business case includes improvements to provide for demand from planned growth (based on a Housing Unit Equivalent (HUE) and Employment (jobs) assumptions) as follows:

a)   Stage 3: is intended to unlock the full build out of the Tauriko West and the Tauriko Business Estate – Stage 4, Keenan Road and part of the Merrick Road urban growth areas (up to 10,472 total Housing Unit Equivalents and Employment of 11,466 in the Western Corridor)

b)  Stage 4: is intended to unlock Upper Belk Road, Upper Joyce Road and the remainder of the Merrick Road urban growth areas (up to a total of 20,179 Housing Unit Equivalents and Employment of 11,466 in the Western Corridor).

The business case itself generally takes a passive approach to the relationship between land use and transport. For example, there is no strong direction on the densities necessary in greenfield development areas to encourage higher uptake of public transport. Key principles are in the ‘Management Case’ section of the document (Table 12-2. Principles for TDM initiatives in Western Corridor)[3] and its important that these elements are clearly articulated and delivered through this proposal. Staff will work with the project team on this matter as the project progresses.

4.        Implications public transport activity

The Tauriko Network Connections DBC assumes delivery of the Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Reference Case (2022) hybrid network as its base operating assumption (stylised map below), while recognising that this network (including service frequencies) is subject to confirmation or modification in the Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Services and Infrastructure business case.

Regardless of the final public transport service configuration, the core expectation in the business case is that the Regional Council will provide high quality, high frequency bus services between a hub in the proximity of Tauranga Crossing and key locations elsewhere on the network (particularly along Cameron Road to the CBD and beyond).

This will be supplemented by a local feeder network servicing Tauriko West and other growth areas in southwest Tauranga, with the expectation that feeder services would be timed for delivery as each growth area is unlocked.

Connection to and across Cameron Rd to Arataki will become the key PT spine for the sub region and the proposal will assist in unlock the forecast congestion at key pinch points in this part of the network and will facilitate the conversion of Cameron Rd to a full time PT corridor. As such the proposal over all will improve the provision for public transport in this area through the added network separation and capacity.

5.        Implications for the Regional Land Transport Plan 2024 (RLTP)

Providing the Waka Kotahi signs off investment approval for the Tauriko Network Connections recommended option, we would expect an activity consistent with the business case document to be included in the Waka Kotahi State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP), a key input into the draft RLTP programme[4].

The Regional Transport Committee will then have the opportunity to prioritise the proposed activity alongside all other significant activities in the draft RLTP programme. This will enable the region to provide a strong regional view back to Waka Kotahi on how important the activity is in terms of delivering the objectives of the RLTP.

In the past, the Regional Transport Committee has often also provided robust views back to Waka Kotahi on the priority and timing of state highway activities both through the RLTP document itself, and via formal letters and submissions on the draft SHIP.

6.        Conclusions

Staff recommend the Regional Council support the Tauriko Networks Connections Business case being submitted to Waka Kotahi for their approval.

Staff support the Tauranga City Councils’ position that there is a strong preference and need for the project to be delivered in a single stage within a decade (by 2034 and that the next stage of the Business case delivery, identify solutions to improve the performance of identified future ‘pinch points’ at Cameron Road / Barkers corner and Takitimu Drive/SH29/SH29a/SH36.

Staff note that a 4-lane bridge over the Omanawa stream would support travel time reliability for the strategic freight route but would see this as a project matter borne out in subsequent steps of the business case.


7.        Next Steps

Subject to Councils endorsement the Smart Growth SLG will consider the more detailed recommendations as outlined in Appendix 1 of this report.

If SLG decides to endorse, the Business case will be submitted to Waka Kotahi for review programmed from late June through to end of July 2023. This will enable Waka Kotahi to finalise the current ‘Final-draft’ business case and subsequently, to the Waka Kotahi Board in August 2023.


Attachment 1 - SLG Tauriko Report pdf  


Regional Council                                                                      27 June 2023

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[1] The Enabling Works package includes: a roundabout at Redwood Lane/Kaweroa Drive; a new signalised intersection at Tauriko West to provide access in to the new UGA; intersection upgrade to traffic signals at Cambridge Road with access to Whiore Avenue for public transport, walking and cycling; walking and cycling facility upgrades.

[2] The Tauriko Network Connections DBC assumes delivery of the Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Reference Case (2022) hybrid network, which is subject to confirmation or modification in this business case.

[3] BOPRC staff feedback on the draft business case has been to highlight this principle further in the document.

[4] The RLTP programme covers a six-year period (2024/25-29/30) with a ten year financial forecast – so the expectation would be the inclusion of Stages 1-3 in the SHIP programme and a foreshadowing of Stage 4.