After embarking upon a programme of work which considers multiple opportunities for community sport, recreation, and events across Tauranga, we’ve assessed the need for a fit-for-purpose stadium at Tauranga Domain. The proposed stadium would be multi-use and accommodate the community, clubs, local cultural events, festivals, professional sports, and commercial concerts. The primary future focus for the community stadium would be an events precinct with a secondary focus on community sports and high-performance sport.
Thank you to those who took part in the recent survey to gauge initial community support for the proposed community stadium before the Commissioners decided whether to proceed any further. We saw a huge response, with more than 4500 people taking part.
Robust methodology and an independent market research company were used, to ensure the results were representative and inclusive of everyone across the city.
Overall, the results showed support for the proposed community stadium is split, with people aged under 50 generally more supportive than older residents. We also found there was greater support from males over females.
Some common themes came through in the comments and we took those on board. We agree there are many things to consider, including traffic management, green space and other priority projects in the city centre that should be finished first.
Read more about the survey results
Council met on 21 August 2023 to consider next steps and have since determined a staged delivery approach for the proposed stadium that would see the project start in 2029/30. This will be consulted on as part of the draft 2024-2034 Long-term Plan (LTP).
This staged approach was developed as a recommended option for consideration, after taking on board feedback from the recent community survey and discussions with various stakeholders, along with further assessment of the potential costs and wider economic and social benefits the community stadium could bring.
At the August Council meeting, the Commissioners also approved additional funding to further develop and cost the ‘staged implementation plan’ option, and to seek funding contributions from other partners to share the cost of the project.
We will continue to work directly with the organisations whose activities at Tauranga Domain could be impacted by the project, while this additional work is undertaken.
Community consultation for the draft 2024-34 LTP will run from 15 November until 15 December, 2023, so we encourage everyone in the community to share their views on what’s being proposed then.
More information can be read below
Council meeting, Monday, 21 August 2023
- As part of the wider Active Reserves Masterplan project, Western Bay of Plenty economic development agency, Priority One, presented the preliminary business case for a community stadium to Tauranga City Council on Monday, 1 May 2023.
- The decision to develop a business case came after Priority One completed the Tauranga Multi-Function Stadium feasibility study in May 2022, which highlighted the importance of public access to the domain, maintaining open spaces, and providing modern amenities for community members and participants in activities such as club and school sports, casual sports, and recreation.
- We’ve continued to engage with sporting groups to identify possible future relocation options, if the stadium project goes ahead.
- We’ve also undertaken more work to better understand the potential benefits and costs of a community stadium, and how it would be funded.
- Before progressing the proposal, we gauged community support of initiative throughout June – July 2023. You can read more about the community results here.
More about the proposed community stadium
Population growth in Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga has increased demand for infrastructure now and into the future. One vital piece of key infrastructure our sub-region lacks is a modern, fit-for-purpose community stadium.
The proposed stadium would be multi-use and accommodate the community, clubs, local cultural events, festivals, professional sports and commercial concerts.
The preliminary business case, developed by Priority One, identified that the construction of the proposed stadium would bring numerous social and economic benefits to Tauranga City.
Funding options are also still being explored, however a proportion of the funding for the proposed community stadium would be likely to come from rates.
The bigger picture
We know it’s a hard time to talk about the investment the city needs at a time when the cost of living is front of everyone’s mind.
The cost of living has increased significantly in the past two years, along with construction costs, general inflation and interest rates.
Commissioners are working hard to keep future costs and rates increases as affordable as possible by delaying or deferring some projects, while still delivering the work needed to address the city’s key issues.
The city centre, including the civic precinct and economic development, is one of our key investment priorities and while a community stadium at Tauranga Domain would support our city centre aspirations, we need to weigh up its potential benefits and costs.
We’ve also already committed to investing in other ambitious, much-needed projects such as Te Manawataki o Te Papa – the Civic Precinct, which will help drive a significant revitalisation of the city centre – and our focus for the next three years is on delivery and finishing projects that have started.
Clubs currently located at the Domain
Whatever happens with the proposed stadium, we’ll continue to engage with organisations currently located at the Domain on identifying future options for possible relocation as part of the broader active reserves project, and so that we are prepared if the stadium does go ahead.
As one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities we want to create community spaces where people can come together to do the things they love. This means optimising the sites we currently have, as we are limited by how much more land we can open up to meet the increasing community demand for sport, events, and green space in our city, and for our rapidly growing population.
We acknowledge the prospect of change might be challenging for some, but we have also been heartened to hear some really positive feedback from existing Domain users and potential future users of a community stadium.
With this in mind, we’re committed to working through any potential opportunities and challenges together with all the groups involved.