Sport Bay of Plenty

News & Results

Spaces and Places Plan

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spaces and Places Plan

In a forward thinking step the six Bay of Plenty Councils along with Sport Bay of Plenty and Sport New Zealand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaboratively assess and review the region’s sport and recreation facilities. The six councils are Opotiki District Council, Whakatane District Council, Kawerau District Council, Tauranga City Council, Rotorua Lakes Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

It will be known as the Sport and Recreation Spaces and Places Regional Plan and is the result of discussions that began in mid-2014 between key stakeholders about the need for a strategic document that provides a current stocktake of sport and recreation facilities.

The outcome will determine the current provision of facilities and gaps and provide direction and priorities for future needs of the region over the next ten to thirty years.

Sport Bay of Plenty CEO Heidi Lichtwark praises the proactive and collaborative nature of the agreement.

“The Memorandum of Understanding outlines the commitment of the six councils in the project and Sport Bay of Plenty, along with Sport NZ and project managers Visitor Solutions applaud each council for supporting the collaborative and regional approach which will ensure a big picture view of sport and recreation requirements in the Bay of Plenty.  It also allows the local councils to identify and plan for their community facility needs in the short, medium and long term.” says Heidi.   

Throughout New Zealand there has been duplication and fragmentation in the development of regional sporting facility networks, resulting in inefficient use of the scarce resources and the Bay of Plenty is no different.  Coordinated planning with organisations working together across political & sporting boundaries for mutually beneficial outcomes through a regional approach has been identified by Sport NZ as a critically important component of a world-leading sport and recreation system.

Jamie Delich, Facilities Consultant from Sport New Zealand says that “Several regions (Waikato, Northland and Hawkes Bay) have completed plans using this approach and Sport Bay of Plenty is to be commended for taking the initiative to bring all the key stakeholders together to develop a plan for its region.”

The anticipated date of completion for the development of the Sport and Recreation Spaces and Places Regional Plan is July 2016.

Further information on the Plan and the process can be found on

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