A new strategy, endorsed by the mayors and chief executives of all six Bay of Plenty councils, has been created to put parameters around the long-term investment and development of sport and recreation facilities in the region.
The Bay of Plenty Sport and Recreation Spaces and Places Strategy provides a high-level strategic framework for regional sport and recreation facility planning. By working in a collaborative manner, Sport Bay of Plenty, Sport New Zealand and local government have developed a strategic view of the regional priorities for future sport and recreation spaces and places.
Mayors and chief executives from Opotiki, Whakatane, Kawerau and Western Bay of Plenty District Councils, Tauranga City Council and Rotorua Lakes Council have all endorsed the strategy, which will begin implementation from 1 July 2017.
Sport Bay of Plenty CEO Heidi Lichtwark applauds the foresight of the regional mayors and CEOs to back this strategy, adding, “Working together to determine the priorities for future needs of the region allows the councils to plan for their communities’ sport and active recreation needs.”
Planning for the strategy began following discussions with key stakeholders about the need for a strategic document that provided a stocktake of sport and recreation facilities. This was in order to better understand the current state of provision in the region and enable the development of a decision-making tool to identify any gaps or duplication of provision.
From research undertaken by Sport Bay of Plenty, consultation with the relevant sports codes and reflection on the existing strategies of the local authority partners, this decision-making framework has been established and will help determine the priority needs for the region in the short-term (one to three years), medium-term (four to 10 years) and long-term (10+ years).
The Bay of Plenty Sport and Recreation Spaces and Places Strategy will be used in conjunction with other key council documents to streamline workflow and encourage collaboration across the region.
Sport New Zealand’s Community Sport Facilities Consultant Jamie Delich praises the strategy for its ability to unite local government and sporting bodies, with a view to improve facilities in the region for the community as a whole.
“Throughout New Zealand there has been duplication and fragmentation in the development of sporting facilities, resulting in inefficient use of the scarce resources.
“The Bay of Plenty regional strategy provides the region’s local government, sports codes and funders the foundation for determining future needs using a collaborative and inclusive approach.”
Since being endorsed, the strategy provides a reference tool, with the focus now on the implementation from 1 July 2017.