Regional Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Wednesday 10 April 2024, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

Chairperson:               Cr Lyall Thurston - Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ken Shirley - BOPRC

Members:                    Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, Tauranga City Council (TCC), David Speirs – NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (Waka Kotahi) (via Zoom), Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Alternate, BOPRC (via Zoom), Cr Tom Brooks – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council (ODC) (via Zoom), Mayor James Denyer - Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC), Mayor Victor Luca - Whakatāne District Council (WDC)

In Attendance:            Cr Kevin Winters - BOPRC, Cr Ron Scott - BOPRC, Cr Kat Macmillan - BOPRC (via Zoom), Michael Seabourne – Public Transport Director, Niki Carling – Senior Transport Planner, Oliver Haycock – Manager, Transport Planning, Andrew Williams – Team Leader – Transport Planning, Tapu Hall – Transport Planner, Glen Crowther – Environmental Sustainability External Advisor, Greg Pert – Transport External Advisor, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Please note: These hearings were livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Regional Transport Committee RLTP Hearings - 10 April 2024: Day 1, Part 1,   Regional Transport Committee RLTP Hearings – 10 April 2024: Day 1, Part 2Apologies:                  Mayor David Moore – ODC, Mayor Faylene Tunui – Kawerau District Council (KDC), Cr Berice Julian – KDC, Mayor Tania Tapsell – Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC), Cr Conan O’Brien – Alternate, RLC, Angus Hodgson – KiwiRail, Lyndon Hammond – Alternate, KiwiRail


Chair’s Introduction:

The Chair provided an outline of the hearings process and advised that a total of 133 submissions to the Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 (RLTP) had been received, with 28 people requesting to speak over three days in Tauranga, Whakatāne and Rotorua with the option to speak to their submissions via Zoom.  The RLTP Hearings Panel consisted of the full Regional Transport Committee, as resolved at the meeting held 9 February 2024, with deliberations commencing on Tuesday, 7 May 2024.  Noted that Waka Kotahi had advised they would no longer be speaking to their submission due to the State Highway Investment Plan (SHIP) not yet being released.

1.     Apologies


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Mayor Moore, Mayor Tunui, Cr Julian, Mayor Tapsell, Cr O’Brien, Angus Hodgson and Lyndon Hammond tendered at the meeting.



2.     Order of Business

The order of business was flexible and subject to change during the course of the hearings, to allow for the arrival times and availability of submitters.

3.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared. 

4.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 9 February 2024



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Confirms the Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 9 February 2024 as a true and correct record.



5.     Reports

Decisions Required


Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 Hearings



That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Receives the report, Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 Hearings;

2          Receives and, if requested, agrees to hear late submissions to the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 received after the closing date for submissions;

3          Receives tabled documents from submitters during the Hearings.




6.   Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 Hearings



Submitter #

9.38 am

Nathan Wansbrough

Key Points:

·          Quantity surveyor with a passion for the built environment and the future of Tauranga, as well as the growth and development of the region

·          Supported initiatives to reduce emissions from transport and providing better travel choices for modal shift, particularly for the high population of both rangitahi and elderly people in the region

·          Concerned about funding and resources allocated to public transport and modal shift, given the high priority indicated for these in the RLTP

·          Considered the Cameron Road improvements favourable for developing Tauranga to become more walkable and cyclable for residents, acknowledging future projects such as the museum which would join these initiatives in enhancing the vibrancy of the city

·          Disappointed in lack of funding for buses, given the potential to transport people where they needed to go around the city but the services needed to create a viable alternative to driving

·          Strongly supported inter-regional rail options be considered further and developed, as success in other countries highlighted this could be a valuable opportunity for connectivity throughout the region

·          Would like to see a bike sharing system be considered over the next ten years - an initiative which had also seen success abroad and aligned with Tauranga’s mode shift goals. 

Key Points - Members:

·           Cameron Road Stage 2 was one of the priority projects in the RLTP, which was predicated on urban intensification and a core public transport project to accommodate much of the city’s growth.  State Highway (SH) 29 was not only a state highway and roading project, but also a significant public transport project as it created a new corridor which enabled the existing SH29 corridor to become a local road which connected public transport connectivity to Cameron Road, the city and Mount Maunganui from Tauriko.

In Response to Questions:

·          Whilst appreciating the public transport aspects of the SH29 project, was still concerned regarding urban sprawl and related challenges around this

·          Would like to see the region grow well due to a strong interest in culture and arts, combined with a desire to see these develop in Tauranga and have all people be able to easily access and contribute to these.


9.47  am

Mark Boyle

Key Points:

·          Spoke on behalf of Te Puke Economic Development Group, focused on economic development and working with business of all sizes including forestry, dairy farming, wood processing, manufacturing, kiwifruit and many related service industries

·          Te Puke township served a community of 20,000 people including rural areas such as Maketū, Pukehina, Paengaroa, Pongakawa and Otamarākau, with the entire area experiencing significant housing and economic growth

·          Economic growth for the Kiwifruit industry in Te Puke alone was escalating toward $1B per annum

·          New plantings for Te Puke kiwifruit industry was approximately 250 hectares per annum, creating around 1.5 jobs per hectare

·          Public Transport was in place to take people from Te Puke to larger urban centres, although the future of this needed to focus on economic growth and critical roading  

·          Key roading issues:

o     Te Puke Highway from the Paengaroa roundabout through Te Puke township to Pāpāmoa - Traffic volumes had increased since the Tauranga Eastern Link opened, and a bypass needed to be considered in longer term planning as the current roading system could not service the Kiwifruit industry growth, which was a regional and national issue

o     Number 1 Road safety issues were long standing and this road housed the largest single post-harvest site in New Zealand and the Plant and Food NZ science establishment.  Therefore the issues present were also linked to the ability to move freight through the township efficiently

o     The upcoming Rangiuru Business Park would create many jobs,  however this would also add to growing traffic volumes

o     Emphasised that SH2 East to Paengaroa was both unsafe and not fit for purpose, and did not have capacity to cope with growth in economic activity

o     Rural feeder roading network to Te Puke Highway was critical to moving the fruit to market

·          Supported Te Puke to Pāpāmoa East interchange and a Te Puke to Rangiuru business park cycleway

·          Advocated for Te Puke as a vibrant, growing area in its own right, economic growth and prosperity, more people living in communities and requiring a fit for purpose transport system to enhancing growth and profitability.


In Response to Questions:

·          Whilst the focus for Te Puke township was on medium density residential growth, there was also potential and scope to grow for the satellite areas surrounding it

·          As Te Puke was a business town which the growing kiwifruit industry needed to transport fruit through, there were congestion issues for which a future bypass would be the most viable solution

·          Old Coach Road upgrade was a resilience driver due to reliance on freight and traffic movement

·          The main growth area for kiwifruit was east of Te Puke and depended on the ability of Zespri to sell kiwifruit, with thousands of hectares available for future development

·          Needed to be enhancing service capability with industrial land in the area

·          The previously shorter term nature of kiwifruit work was now extended from March to August each year.


10.08 am

Roger Drower

Key Points:

·          Spokesperson for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Civil Defence Emergency Management groups (CDEM) throughout New Zealand, also an advocate for all Disability Assist/Service Dogs and their owners

·          The number of disability and service dogs were increasing

·          Outlined instances and statistics of assistance dogs being refused access on public transport across the country, including Tauranga

·          Pet dogs were often aggressive toward service dogs, with the result of service dogs being refused on public transport

·          Unacceptable attitudes towards service dogs and their owners was prominent in some cases, therefore educating the public as well as public transport operators was critical - offered to provide input/assistance for training purposes

·          Priority seats on public transport needed to also consider those with disabilities as these were currently only provided for the elderly, wheelchairs and parents with young children

·          Bus drivers had been noted leaving prior to people being safely in their seats, causing risk and sometimes injury to passengers

·          All service dogs should have a Civil Defence tag which was currently optional but would hopefully soon become mandatory across the country.

Key Points – Mike Seabourne, Public Transport Director

·          Complaints relevant to the Bay of Plenty would be followed up on.  Council would continue to reinforce behavioural expectations and the importance of awareness and consideration to public transport patrons with special needs including assistance dogs

·          There were clear expectations in bus drivers’ contracts regarding how they interacted with the public and included a requirement that drivers undertake disability training prior to starting their roles.  This included identification of service dogs and was updated regularly with any amendments to ensure drivers met expected standards, with all complaints being addressed. 

Key Points - Members:

·         Agreed that education was key to the issues and there may be an opportunity to include more information in training of the different types of service dogs in the disability sector and how to identify them.


In Response to Questions:

·         There were eight different types of support dogs in the disability sector and each wore a jacket easily identifying the type of support they provided, as well as the owner carrying manual identification.  Noted that whilst there were also other types of support/service dogs e.g. therapy dogs, these were classified as pets.



10.35 am – the hearings adjourned.


10.54 am – The hearings reconvened.




Submitter #

10.54 am

Health NZ Te Whatu Ora – Samara O'Neill (Public Health Registrar), Renee Bolkowy and Eliot Fenton (Health Improvement Advisors)

Presentation: Health NZ Te Whatu Ora – Transforming the Transport System: Objective ID A4647739  



Key Points:

·          Valued the opportunity to work with council to achieve a bold and progressive transport system

·          Supported meaningful action to reduce emissions and prioritise the movement of people for health and environmental gains by reducing dependence on motorised vehicles

·          Requested three key changes to the RLTP to support community and whanau growth and wellbeing whilst being affordable, dignified and safe:

o    Implement an equitable transport system

o    Integrate transport and land use planning

o    Focus on people instead of roads, cars or future growth

·          Addressed health inequities in New Zealand - people on lower incomes and with disabilities had lower access to private vehicles.  Inaccessibility issues with public transport negatively impacted economic, income and health opportunities especially with rural communities in the region

·          Children should be able to safely walk or cycle to school

·          Noted that air quality was a pressing environmental health issue in the Bay of Plenty, which came with high health and social costs.  A 2016 health and air pollution study estimated that air pollution contributed to over 3,300 premature adult deaths

·          Expanding the road network would only contribute to higher road usage

·          Would like to see more ambitious targets for increasing active modes, with higher investment in walking and cycling infrastructure.  Active transport modes with promotion could result in significant economic benefits

·          If Tauranga could achieve similar mode share improvements to Wellington, there would be approximately 50 fewer premature deaths each year due to injury and air pollution, and increased physical activity

·          Strongly supported the Bay of Plenty striving for the quality of life observed in Copenhagen and Amsterdam in terms of walking and cycling being an integrated part of travelling

·          The RLTP needed to recognise the connection between transport, land use and health.


In Response to Questions:

·          The 2016 Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand study undertaken was publicly available and extensively peer reviewed to ensure the findings were robust, particularly regarding diesel vehicles’ contributions to nitrogen dioxide.  The findings spoke to the number of hospital admissions related to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, as well as childhood asthma cases resulting from air pollution

·          A balance needed to be reached between developing land available and land currently being used, in safer and more efficient ways to make better places to live

·          Health NZ was the national public health service delivering care in New Zealand for central Government and the submission had been reviewed and signed off by managerial roles within the service.  Clarified that their role was advocating at a regional level only on long term health outcomes of the RLTP

·          Whilst electrical vehicle mode share had a role in the solution, it was still not particularly efficient compared with walking, cycling and public transport 

·          The link between transport and public health were difficult to measure and a key part was community based research

·          Noted that communities and populations that were healthy cost the country and public services less, therefore investment in transport that promoted health offered significant gains.


11.24  am

Hauraki Express – Amy Bourke, Stuart Bourke and George Thomas

Presentation: Hauraki Express: Objective ID A4647735  



Key Points:

·          Sought to include ferry transport on Tauranga Harbour in the RLTP to expand the transport network

·          Familiar with the two feasibility studies on ferry provision options previously undertaken

·          This was a different approach with a fleet of four small, nimble and frequent ferries to transport passengers and cyclists, with a capacity of 24 people and 24 bikes using existing infrastructure with available wharves and boat ramps

·          The ferries were low wake, outboard powered with the view to eventual conversion to alternative fuels, and ramps at the bow/ sides for loading

·          Initial proposed routes were Tauranga to Salisbury wharf/Pilot Bay ($5.80 each way) with future routes between Tauranga and Ōmōkoroa ($8.00 each way)

·          Proposed a public-private ownership model.


In Response to Questions:

·          If fewer bicycles were being used during the trial, the ferry could be adapted for greater passenger capacity

·          Operating expenditure indicated included depreciation of capital costs

·          Considered this proposed service was different to the Island Direct ferry as there was currently no alternative option

·          Positive response had been observed in the community, with people indicating they would use it for many other purposes than commuting

·          Confident that that the existing infrastructure would work for the service without upgrades due to the simplicity of the vessels.


11.47 am

Tauranga City Council – Craig Dunlop, Principal Investment Advisor (Transport Development)

Presentation: Tauranga City Council submission points: Objective ID A4647733  



Key Points:

·          Highlighted the following submission points:

o    Prioritisation and figures documented in the draft RLTP were subject to change once TCC adopted their Long Term Plan (LTP) and the updated Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) was finalised

o    Noted the uncertainty around funding being a significant risk to TCC’s transport planning and projects

o    More recognition required for the top five major projects, highlighting their significance to the region.

Key Points - Members:

·          Due to the level of opposition from the community on the concept of road pricing, further analysis needed to be undertaken on how to address the issues raised and mitigate impacts in an equitable way.

In Response to Questions:

Variable road pricing was noted in the GPS, therefore options were being explored but was unable to comment further until the GPS was finalised.


11.54  am

Sustainable Bay of Plenty Charitable Trust - Glen Crowther

Key Points:

·          Expressed concern over the disparity of RLTP projects allocated to Tauranga in comparison to other parts of the region

·          Prioritise more investment in public transport across the region to deliver a sound public transport system and achieve the economic and social outcomes desired

·          Highlighted ongoing issues with the Transit App and live tracking systems, as well as a lack of basic infrastructure

·          Considered the misalignment between objectives, targets, sub-targets and the prioritised project list was stark

·          Whilst public transport projects focused mainly on the needs of Tauranga and Rotorua, Whakatāne services were also lacking, particularly intra-regional travel.  A better plan was needed to link the region, with an integrated approach between districts/sub-regions

·          Supported better public transport options for Katikati, Waihi Beach and connectivity between Te Puke, Pāpāmoa and Tauranga

·          Supported the cycleway proposal between Te Puke and Rangiuru Business Park as a project with tangible outcomes.

In Response to Questions:

·          Practical issues for the community with the bus service from Tauranga to Katikati was that it did not service Waihi Beach in the afternoon.  There was no connectivity with the intercity bus, and vast gaps in the peak morning services – needed to consider the needs of the community to deliver transport outcomes that people required.



12.10 pm – The hearings adjourned.


1.00 pm – The hearings reconvened.




Submitter #

1.03 pm

Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Society - James Trevelyan (Chair) and Grant Dally (Secretary)

Presentation: Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Society: Objective ID A4651660  




Key Points:

·          Members of Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Society, the four kilometre shared pathway was opened in 2018

·          Supported a shared cycleway from Rangiuru Business Park to Te Puke

·          Advocated for a new road link from Te Puke to the Pāpāmoa East Interchange

·          Kiwifruit volumes were forecast to double over the next ten years, creating an estimated 10,000 jobs

·          Waiari Stream Bridge was particularly dangerous for non-vehicular traffic

·          Commuter traffic from Waitangi to Te Puke was increasingly getting worse, played a recent video showing the traffic congestion along Te Puke Highway toward Waitangi

·          Outlined the Connected Centres Plan through the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) which was not currently a project and needed initiation by WBOPDC, however would like to see it added to the RLTP with reasonable priority.


1.18 pm

Tauranga Business Chamber - Matt Cowley

Key Points:

·          There were many efficiencies and productivity gains to be made in the planning process – also noted repetition with other planning documents

·          Inter-regional passenger rail had been deprioritised at central government level, therefore considered this should not be prioritised, nor should inter-regional bus services be extended where there were suitable private services available

·          Acknowledged there was further work to be undertaken to align the RLTP with the GPS

·          Supported road tolling initiatives, however if the business case on variable road pricing in Tauranga was primarily for environmental benefits it was unlikely to succeed - needed to be for productivity gains and congestion as it essentially targeted employees and commuters

·          Reallocation of road space in urban areas to provide priority protection for more active transport modes needed be undertaken delicately and in consultation with adjacent business owners.


In Response to Questions:

·          Generally supported more park and ride facilities

·          Supported alignment and prioritisation of SH2 and SH29 projects, including the extension of Barkes Corner.


1.24 pm – The hearings adjourned.

1.29 pm – The hearings reconvened.



Submitter #

1.29 pm

Te Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust and Ford Land Holdings - Jeff Fletcher

Key Points:

·          Sought Te Tumu Infrastructure Corridors project be ranked higher in the prioritised list as it was a unique opportunity to deliver a substantive amount of housing to the subregion and plan change development was being progressed at pace

·          Delivery of Te Tumu infrastructure could commence in approximately 2030

·          A single stage business case was in the process of being finalised and would like to see this included in the prioritised list of significant activities, with enabling housing supply recognised in the objectives column

·          A key submission point for Ford Land Holdings was the Kaituna link and recognition of this project as an activity, for planning purposes.  This link would provide important connectivity between centres for commerce, access for communities to recreation and amenities and provide regional benefit to connect existing and future urban areas.


RLTP2024-0078 and RLTP2024-0079

1.36 pm – The hearings adjourned.

1.50 pm – The hearings reconvened.

1.51 pm

Melvyn Fountain

Key Points:

·          Suggested the use of ‘jump drivers’ at bus terminals to relieve drivers for breaks, and avoid buses being so often out of service

·          Signs at bus stops needed to  be more consistent and provide clear schedule information for people without cellphones

·          Considered there were too many speed bumps in Tauranga which made bus trips slow and uncomfortable.

Key Points - Staff:

·          Jump drivers were being considered as part of the next bus contract to increase efficiency.


2.04 pm

Priority One and Western Bay of Plenty Infrastructure Forum - Nigel Tutt

Key Points:

·          Broadly supported the key projects in the RLTP

·          Despite a significant proportion of projects in Western Bay of Plenty, when considering the need, population and Port of Tauranga it was clear where the majority of infrastructure requirements lay

·          Requested more emphasis on freight and the importance of the roading network, particularly in relation to the port and surrounding area

·          Accelerate the Connecting Mount Maunganui project

·          Alignment with the GPS needed to be achieved, particularly around economic benefit and productivity

·          Funding and deliverability were critical aspects to consider

·          Western Bay of Plenty Infrastructure Forum was formed by local businesses to advocate for infrastructure in the subregion.


In Response to Questions:

·          Bridging the funding gap would require some form of tolling, congestion or variable road pricing.  This would be challenging to implement but the consequences of living under existing funding schemes were not feasible

·          Expressed strong support for the use of ferries as an underutilised mode in the region, considering the correct set up and cost factors – urged a practical and commercial view to work with potential operators.

RLTP2024-0073 & RLTP2024-0088

2.15 pm

The Wednesday Challenge – Heidi Hughes

Presentation: The Wednesday Challenge: Objective ID A4647784  



Key Points:

·          The Wednesday Challenge was in its third year in Tauranga and currently had 8,500 people participating on a weekly basis

·          Highlighted the health and wellbeing benefits of the schools challenge

·          The Wednesday Challenge App received positive feedback and continued to improve

·          Undertook a pilot project with Waka Kotahi, who also assisted with data collection

·          Vision to make travelling differently a household conversation creating a new culture of how children travelled to school and people travelled to work

·          Sought to launch a rewards programme with BEE Card credits as part of the reward system.  Outlined the investment required and options for this

·          Agreed with undertaking a business case for passenger rail and outlined potential implications for the Tauranga airport, suggested investigating options for closure or relocation

·          Supported ferry initiatives and advocated for exploring options of an on-demand Ōmōkoroa ferry at the same time.

In Response to Questions:

·          The decline of children walking and cycling to school likely began with more cars being on the streets making this a more dangerous option, as well as more families having two cars and more flexibility to drive their children to school.



2.31 pm – The hearings adjourned.

2.33 pm – Commissioner Selwood withdrew from the hearings.

2.50 pm – The hearings reconvened.



Submitter #

2.51 pm

John Robson

Key Points:

·          Emphasised the need to communicate and engage effectively with the community during this process

·          Although there was mention of CAPEX in the RLTP there was a lack of consideration for OPEX or indirect OPEX, therefore even if central government funding was obtained, the linkage for complementary work required in the investment was significant and not accounted for

·          Questioned whether the RLTP consultation document was providing sufficient information and context for  the general public to genuinely understand the implications of whether or not they agreed with the prioritised list of significant activities.

Key Points - Members:

·          There was a balance between providing a high level of detail to the public in the RLTP document and having a substantial, technical tome that would not be read by the majority to enable decision making or encourage input.

In Response to Questions:

·          Considered there was a distinct lack of strategy in the reason for significant roading projects changing focus over recent years

·          Agreed that detailed business reports were not required in a consultation document,  however showing how complementary projects and implications fit with projects would be beneficial for the public

·          Acknowledged the funding issue was significant and complex – favoured exploring alternative funding mechanisms, including road pricing to inform decisions.



3.09 pm – the hearings adjourned.

Commencing:             Thursday 11 April 2024, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Waiariki Room, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 1118 Fenton Street, Rotorua

Chairperson:               Cr Lyall Thurston - BOPRC

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ken Shirley - BOPRC

Members:                    Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, TCC (via Zoom), David Speirs - Waka Kotahi (via Zoom), Mayor Tania Tapsell – RLC (via Zoom), Cr Conan O'Brien – Alternate, RLC, Mayor Victor Luca - WDC, Cr Andrew von Dadelszen (via Zoom)

In Attendance:            Cr Kevin Winters - BOPRC, Cr Ron Scott - BOPRC, Cr Te Taru White - BOPRC, Cr Kat Macmillan – BOPRC (via Zoom), Niki Carling – Senior Transport Planner, Oliver Haycock – Manager, Transport Planning (via Zoom), Andrew Williams – Team Leader – Transport Planning (via Zoom), Tapu Hall – Transport Planner, Glen Crowther - Environmental Sustainability Advisor (via Zoom), Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Please note: These hearings were livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Regional Transport Committee (RLTP Hearings) - 11 April 2024 - Day 2Apologies:                  Mayor David Moore – ODC, Commission Chair Anne Tolley – TCC, Mayor Faylene Tunui - KDC, Cr Berice Julian – KDC, , Mayor James Denyer - WBOPDC, Deputy Mayor John Scrimgeour – Alternate, WBOPDC, Angus Hodgson – KiwiRail, Lyndon Hammond – Alternate, KiwiRail


1.          Apologies


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Mayor Moore, Commissioner Tolley,  Mayor Tunui, Cr Julian, Mayor Denyer, Deputy Mayor Scrimgeour. Angus Hodgson and Lyndon Hammond tendered at the meeting.



2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

3.     Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 Hearings (Continued)



Submitter #

9.35 am

Roger Loveless (Via Zoom)

Key Points:

·          Full time wheelchair users were dependent on footpaths, noting there was no footpath at top of Tarawera Road to enable access to the Redwood Forest

·          Devon Street near Fenton Street had no safe crossings which was particularly dangerous for people with disabilities

·          Did not hold a driver’s license or have access to a vehicle, therefore was dependent on sound public transport options

·          Supported funding going toward infrastructure to get people out of cars

·          There were a number of bus stops that were not able to be used by people in wheelchairs as they were not fit for purpose.


9.45 am

Rotorua Lakes Council – Stavros Michael, Infrastructure and Environment Group Manager (introduced by Mayor Tania Tapsell via Zoom)

Key Points:

·          Supported the stated RLTP objectives to address the region’s transportation needs

·          Highlighted RLC’s concerns about the proposed allocation of funds in the RLTP and advocated for more equitable distribution and balance of resources across the entirety of the region, including Rotorua

·           Requested the following five projects be included in the RLTP (in below priority order):

1       Give effect to the improvement options identified on the intersection of SH5 and SH30, and in the Waipa interface vicinity

2       Progress Stage 3 of Te Ngae Road/SH30 corridor with priority with safety improvements required by the airport and East Gate industrial development as priority

3       Identify and map the required improvements on the State Highway corridor from the Hemo roundabout to Te Ngae Road

4       Certainty of funding for SH30A, as agreed by Waka Kotahi to support inner city revitalisation

5       Progress SH5 four-laning from Fairy Springs to the Ngongotahā roundabout

·          Whilst efficiency of the state highway corridors was critical, within the city accessibility was a higher priority.

Key Points - Members:

·         Considered that Rotorua’s top five priority projects would likely have scored well for economic development and road safety within the RAG scores, perhaps not as strongly for sustainability and enabling housing objectives – needed to consider during deliberations the issues of these projects not being weighed across the spectrum of criteria.


David Speirs, Waka Kotahi - In Response to Questions

·          Noted that the SHIP was not yet publicly available and for state highway projects this was the guiding document

·          Acknowledged Waka Kotahi had awareness of the five priority projects for Rotorua and all were put forward for inclusion in the SHIP.

Niki Carling, Senior Transport Planner, BOPRC - In Response to Questions:

·         Projects not included in the previous SHIP were not considered by the RAG for prioritisation.

In Response to Questions

·         RLC staff had been working on business cases for the five identified priority projects for Rotorua

·         Requested support and help to grow the Rotorua Lakes District and strengthen the subregion.


10.22 am – Mayor Tapsell withdrew from the hearings.

10.23 am – The hearings adjourned.

10.50 am – The hearings reconvened.



Submitter #

11.01 am

Carol Jenkin (via Zoom)

Key Points:

·          Strong interest in climate change and particularly concerned with transport being the second highest source of emissions in New Zealand

·          Supported one of the key priorities being transition toward sustainable transport systems to minimise environmental impacts, although the language, plans and targets in the RTLP needed to be strengthened

·          Advocated for an increased emphasis on public transport investment across the region and a decreased emphasis on the construction of roading

·          Highlighted the comparative costs of investing in rail infrastructure versus road projects

·          Would like to see park and ride options from the north down into Tauranga SH2

·          Increasing roading capacity also increased the number of cars using the roads.  More people using public transport would also see a decrease in the road toll

·          Requested consideration of replicating Te Huia train service in the Bay of Plenty region.

Key Points - Members:

·         Some of the priority projects proposed in the RLTP were strongly focused on enabling public transport outcomes for future growth with less dependence on cars.

In Response to Questions:

·         Considered Ōmōkoroa passenger train options as a missed opportunity that needed to be reconsidered.


11.16 am

Jeremy Brown (via Zoom)

Tabled Document 1 - Tauranga Tram Proposal: Objective ID A4648575  



Key Points:

·          The Tauranga tram proposal sought to use existing railway tracks, infrastructure and technology to install a light rail option and take advantage of a unique opportunity

·          Outlined current issues of congestion, mobility, emissions and costs

·          The main advantage Tauranga had was that existing railway tracks already ran through the city centre, through to Mount Maunganui and down the length of Pāpāmoa

·          Proposed to leverage existing technology to charge the tram quickly at each stop via super-capacitors, similar to a battery.  The trams could travel for three to five kilometres with each ten second charge and this negated the need for overhead wire infrastructure and the associated public risk

·          Eventually the route could be extended Te Puna to Te Puke, although the initial proposed route was via The Strand, Baypark, Bayfair shopping centre, close to the airport and downtown Mount Maunganui

·          A feasibility study to check tracks, stop options, safety considerations and costs was proposed

·          Trams were a modern transportation solution that were more popular than buses, eased congestion, improved travel without delays using their own corridor, were environmentally responsible (entirely electrified) and carried a large number of people and bicycles

·          Highlighted the strong alignment with many aspects of the RLTP.

Key Points - Members:

·         Waka Kotahi were progressing a joint project with KiwiRail looking at the road and rail interactions across the country.

In Response to Questions:

·         Electrical infrastructure requirements – the proposal was for six stops, some of which would require upgrading to supercharge the trams but the technology on the tram was similar to that already existing at stops

·         When ordering the tram, there was the ability to choose a mix of supercapacitor/battery as well as the interior and exterior fit out, depending on the best fit for purpose

·         Sharing of the tracks with current freight users would be an element of the feasibility study and was managed successfully in other parts of the world.


11.34 am

Rotorua Business Chamber – Andrew Wilson and RotoruaNZ - Bryce Heard

Key Points:

·          Extensive work was undertaken in 2016 on a project named Connect Rotorua – sought to continue progressing the projects identified during this work

·          Ensuring a more equitable distribution of resourcing and investment in projects across the region was important

·          Population was increasing in Rotorua, alongside strong tourism numbers throughout the year

·          Considered critical projects as those that continued to unlock housing and grow economic activity in Rotorua including Waipa Valley, East gate and the airport, revocation work for Amohou Street and revitalising the inner city precinct

·          Revocation of the state highway – needed to ensure easing the movement of trucks and freight on the state highways and ensuring the Old Taupo Road and Sala Street corridors were fit for purpose

·          Four-laning of Ngongotahā Road to the end of Fairy Springs road would ease congestion and assist in enabling housing

·          Strongly endorsed all five Rotorua projects discussed during the hearings and emphasised their critical importance to the district

·          Waipa had the largest mill in the southern hemisphere with ambitions for continued growth - unlocking future stages of the Peka development was critical.

Key Points - Members:

·         Acknowledged that Rotorua projects had not been adequately represented during the RLTP process to date and this would be duly considered during deliberations.

In Response to Questions:

·         Forestry was one of the three cornerstones of the Rotorua economy.

RLTP2024-0070 & RLTP2024-0074


11.56 am – The hearings adjourned.

Commencing:             Friday 12 April 2024, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Totara Room, Whakatāne District Council, 14 Commerce Street, Whakatāne.

Chairperson:               Cr Lyall Thurston - BOPRC

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ken Shirley - BOPRC

Members:                    Mayor Victor Luca – WDC, Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Alternate, BOPRC (via Zoom), Cr Conan O’Brien – Alternate, RLC (via Zoom), Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Alternate, TCC (via Zoom), David Speirs – Waka Kotahi (via Zoom)

In Attendance:            Cr Ron Scott – BOPRC (via Zoom), Niki Carling – Senior Transport Planner, Oliver Haycock – Manager, Transport Planning (via Zoom), Andrew Williams – Team Leader – Transport Planning (via Zoom), Glen Crowther - Environmental Sustainability Advisor (via Zoom), Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Mayor David Moore – ODC, Mayor Faylene Tunui – Kawerau District Council (KDC), Cr Berice Julian – KDC, Mayor Tania Tapsell – Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC), Angus Hodgson – KiwiRail, Lyndon Hammond – Alternate, KiwiRail

Please note: These hearings were livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: BOPRC Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) Hearings - Friday 12 April 2024 (

1.     Apologies


That the Regional Transport Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Mayor Moore, Mayor Tunui, Cr Julian, Mayor Tapsell, Angus Hodgson and Lyndon Hammond tendered at the meeting.



2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

3.     Regional Land Transport Plan 2024-2034 Hearings (Continued)



Submitter #

9.36 am

Ōpōtiki Marina and Industrial Park – Tim Ferguson and Chris Peterson

Key Points:

·         The submission was based upon the intersection of SH2 near the western end of the Waioeka River and sought to have this project included in the RLTP

·         Imperative that the proposed port facility proceeded as this would be the infrastructure for developing the aquaculture industry in the Eastern Bay of Plenty

·         Whakatōhea Mussels (Ōpōtiki) Ltd was currently the largest open ocean sea farm in the southern hemisphere which was only partially developed with significant future growth expected in the industry,  including a Te-Whanau-a-Apanui venture 

·         There were further business opportunities for the port including barging 1000 tonne of logs from the facility daily, to be harvested within 15-20 kilometres of the port and removing a significant number of trucks from road

·         Supportive of the overall vision of the RLTP but requested a change in wording and an amendment to the prioritisation of project 16 in the prioritised table of significant activities.  This sought to expand the business case scope to consider the transport corridor west of Ōpōtiki more broadly and take into account other intersection improvements required as a result of developments and land use changes in the area.  In addition to providing safe and efficient access to the marine precinct, these improvements would also address existing safety issues and provide wider benefits in establishing a gateway into Ōpōtiki with opportunities for future developments

Key Points - Members:

·         Broadening the business case would also significantly increase costs – suggested considering options for alternative funding: joint investment or a public-private ownership model to address this.


9.55 am

Waka Eastern Bay – Renee Lubbe and Judy Turner



Key Points:

·          Highlighted that regular public transport options were not suitable for many people for a variety of reasons

·          Played a video highlighting the service provided by Waka Eastern Bay – a community transport system funded through Waka Kotahi’s Innovation Fund, which started in March 2023 with a successful three month trial, followed by opening to the public in August 2023

·          A reliable, trustworthy, alternative transport system providing connectivity for people in the community of all ages and abilities

·          The service was growing and was a door to door service for community events, appointments, social opportunities for people in rural and more isolated communities which consisted predominately of volunteer drivers

·          There was a requirement for a mobility vehicle with a hoist for passengers that required it.  Medical appointments in Tauranga were also unable to be accessed via existing public transport services.

Key Points - Members:

·          Commended the service, flexibility and the response to community need - considered these initiatives warranted more support from central government.

In Response to Questions:

·         Systems that worked successfully in Tauranga and larger centres were not necessarily appropriate for Whakatāne

·         Affordability was a key factor for patrons

·         Intention was to compliment other services e.g. St John, who were happy to collaborate and refer patients who did not necessarily require ambulance transportation and vice versa

·         Whilst operating costs were covered with current funding, the costs for vehicles and drivers to undertake mobility training were not

·         Passengers purchased a ticket for approximately $37 which got clicked with each use, the number of clicks dependent on the zone for the trip

·         The most substantial requirement for the service to grow and continue its success was to obtain enough suitable vehicles, so any ideas or assistance to achieve this were welcomed.


10.21 am

Federated Farmers  - Jesse Brennan (via Zoom) and Brent Mountfort

Key Points:

·          Supported the regional transport policies but noted the strong urban focus many of these had, emphasised the consideration that needed to be given to rural areas and the wider role the transport system played in moving goods and services into these areas

·          Considered that stock effluent disposal facilities continued to be relevant and options for these facilities at the West and East ends of the region should be investigated - supported a user pays approach.  Noted that stock effluent facilities held both environmental and road safety benefits for all road users

·          Raised resilience issues with the region’s roading network and the importance of identifying alternative/secondary routes.

Key Points - Members:

·         There was recognition in the GPS that a significant component of the transport network was local roads and the maintenance, operation and improvement of this network was critical to the country from an economic growth perspective

·         Acknowledged the importance of the rural sector in the region.

In Response to Questions:

·         Some areas had larger local roading networks but a smaller ratepaying population base to maintain the roads, and may require more assistance to do so than larger ratepaying geographic areas

·         The route between Kawerau to Rotorua which also linked Whakatāne was particularly vulnerable from a resilience perspective, as were alternative routes when the Matatā Straights (SH2) route was closed – wider consultation would need to be undertaken but as a region this needed to be investigated

·         Increasing the weight of trucks would potentially require stronger infrastructure.




10.37 am The Hearings closed.




                                                                                                                                   Cr Lyall Thurston

Chairperson, Regional Transport Committee