Sport Bay of Plenty

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Bay of Plenty councils commit to review of region's natural water sport facilities and access

Monday, December 20, 2021

As a region we love to get out and play in, on and around the water. We’re blessed with great rivers, lakes, harbours and beaches, and having them right on our doorstep is one of the Bay of Plenty’s great advantages compared to other parts of New Zealand.

The recreational water facilities and accessibility are soon to be mapped and reviewed under an arrangement and project group membership of all seven councils in the region; Tauranga City Council, Rotorua Lakes Council, Western Bay of Plenty, Kawerau, Whakatāne, And Ōpōtiki District Councils and Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Each Council will support the project and ensure adequate consultation with iwi and hapu in the rohe they represent.

The review is the first stage in the development of a Bay of Plenty Water Sports and Recreation Facility Plan. The plan is intended to help all councils understand what current facilities and access are available in the region that support water sports, active recreation and play in, on and around the region’s natural waterways.

Duncan Peace

As part of the regions’ Spaces and Places Strategy, which provides an agreed framework for the planning of sport and recreation facilities, Sport Bay of Plenty and Sport New Zealand are working closely with the seven councils on the project. A regional water sports and recreation facility plan is considered a priority under the Bay of Plenty Spaces and Places Strategy.

Duncan Pearce, the Spaces and Places Lead at Sport Bay of Plenty, said the mapping and review will help all councils form a better picture of current facilities and what their communities may need in the future. The input of tangata whenua, clubs and other groups will be sought during the review.

“This information will then help us develop a regional plan and set a strategic vision and direction that supports physical activity needs and access to natural waterways in the Bay of Plenty.

“It also means we can have a holistic understanding of what’s out there and what the future needs may be from a local community level all the way through to a regional perspective. By working from one plan, all seven councils will be able to shape a sustainable network of sport, recreation and play facilities.”

“We’re fortunate to have access to a number of natural water bodies in our District that provide the opportunity to go fishing, kayaking, boating and other water-based activities.”
“This review process will help us map our facilities along with other Councils in the Bay of Plenty, and plan a future where everyone has good access to water sports - fresh or saltwater.“ – Peter Watson, Reserves and Facilities Manager, Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

“This project will ensure that we have an up-to-date map of all supporting infrastructure and facilities on or near our many lakes and rivers. The information garnered in this report will also help inform the city’s Play, Active Recreation & Sports Strategy and provide direction when planning for future facilities. This will benefit mana whenua, clubs, residents and visitors that utilize our many waterways.” - Steve Watene, Manager -Sport and Events, Rotorua District Council.

Visitor Solutions has been engaged to undertake the mapping and review of the water facilities and access.

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