About the Tairāwhiti 2050 Plan

Our Journey

Our region is built upon the great Maori and European narratives of voyaging and navigation. Our founding navigators drew upon a vast experience and intimate knowledge of the sea, stars and weather conditions, and upon their determination and foresight, to safely traverse a dynamic and ever-challenging southern ocean.

We continue to celebrate and reflect upon the deeds and efforts of those founding seafarers. They define who we are and where we are now.
The spirit and purpose of navigation remains just as relevant and as important to us now as it was to our forebears.

To carry our communities forward, we must be ambitious in our goals and be mindful of the challenges and opportunities we might face on the way.


Facing Change - Challenges and Opportunities

Our communities face several major challenges and opportunities:

  • climate change and natural hazards have the potential to profoundly affect our physical environment and our settlements
  • we are experiencing a critical biodiversity loss that must be addressed through ecological restoration and protection
  • the availability and quality of water constrains our development – we must look at opportunities to secure long-term water availability for all our communities
  • the use and supply of energy will change as we move away from a carbon economy
  • rapidly evolving technology will change the way we connect to each other and do business
  • population growth in our city will require more areas for development, redevelopment of existing areas, and new or upgraded infrastructure
  • developing a safe and efficient transport network will be central to keeping our communities connected with each other, our markets and the rest of the country
  • we need to improve our management of all forms of waste produced in Tairawhiti
  • we need to ensure that our regional economy is sustainable, resilient and addresses the needs of our communities
  • we have the opportunity to enhance our recreation network
  • the passion and commitment of our people is the single most important opportunity to design our place so it reflects our needs, aspirations and identity

These challenges and opportunities are complex, interconnected and will have long-term effects. How we respond will make a difference to the future generations that will connect to and call Tairāwhiti home.


Developing a Spatial Plan

To respond to these challenges and opportunities, we are preparing a ‘Spatial Plan’ that maps out the big picture and sets a long-term course for regional development, planning and decision-making.

The Spatial Plan will provide a tool for regional development over the next 30 years. It identifies the major drivers of change so we can make informed decisions about how we respond.

It provides an integrated view for the future of Tairāwhiti and helps make the most of the region’s limited resources across all of our communities key agencies and representative groups.

We call this plan “Tairāwhiti 2050”.

Read Our Discussion Document


What is a spatial plan?

A Spatial Plan is a long term strategy that sets the direction for development, investment and conservation within a city or region.

It provides a visual illustration of where we expect development to occur along with the critical transport connections and infrastructure required to service those areas and any relevant environmental constraints.

It is also a way to align Council’s various strategies and plans so they provide a truly integrated framework for decision-making.

Spatial planning is a place-making process that is generally:

  • collaborative
  • focused on the long-term development of a city or region
  • used to guide the location and timing of future infrastructure, services and investment
  • evidence-based
  • integrated across a range of sectors such as transport, land use, housing, education, funding policy and regulatory policy
  • strategic – provides direction to regional funding policies, regulations and other implementation plans


Why are we doing this?

Tairāwhiti 2050 - Our Focus

Tairāwhiti 2050 will help us to build resilient and prosperous communities; communities that recognise, protect and build upon their natural capital; communities that anticipate, respond and adapt positively to the challenges facing our region. 
The Spatial Plan will do this by identifying:

  • areas, land uses and community assets vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural hazards
  • opportunities for supporting the restoration of degraded ecosystems and increasing regional biodiversity
  • landscapes and landscape values for protection and/or management
  • areas and opportunities for supporting urban residential development
  • opportunities for improving the efficiency of waste management practices
  • ways to deliver efficient core infrastructure and services in line with urban development opportunities
  • opportunities for enhancing the use of Gisborne’s Central Business District (CBD)
  • ways to align infrastructure, planning and service delivery with development opportunities within our rural townships
  • ways to optimise and enhance our regional transportation network. This includes exploring alternatives to road based freight and supporting cycling and pedestrian accessibility

In doing this, the Spatial Plan aims to:

  • foster community resilience / ability to adapt to change
  • support ways to build wider community prosperity
  • improve regional sustainability


What we've done so far

We have assembled the broad framework that the Spatial Plan will be based on. This includes the governance structure that we need to ensure political and technical oversight and support for the Spatial Planning process. It also includes the capture of information around seven key themes:

  1. Resilient communities (climate change and natural hazards, infrastructure, waste management)
  2. Protecting what we value (biodiversity, recreation and access, soils, freshwater and air)
  3. Sustainable land use (rural land use)
  4. Settlement patterns (urban development, rural townships)
  5. Connected region (our transportation network – road, rail, sea, air, active)
  6. Tangata whenua (aspirations, values, land use)
  7. Thriving economy (tourism, business, industry)

We have held workshops on five of these themes with Council staff to build a good picture of what the organisation knows collectively about them.

We will use targeted engagement with iwi and stakeholders to add and inform what we know.

We are also using external experts to provide information on the Thriving Economy theme and options for developing our CBD.


Key Questions

  • What is our region’s role in New Zealand?
  • What is it that we want to provide the rest of the country and the world?
  • What are our region’s strengths and advantages?
  • What, how and where do we need to develop to make the best use of them?
  • How should we sequence development to achieve our goals and make efficient use of our resources?
  • What are the main challenges to improving our region’s cultural, social, environmental and economic wellbeing?
  • What are our opportunities?
  • What infrastructure is needed to support future sustainable development?
  • How will we resource the work needed to implement these opportunities?
  • What are our principles for sustainable regional development?

 Why we need your help

This is a region-wide plan that involves all communities in how we look to and plan for the future. Our communities must have an opportunity to be involved in the conversation so the plan reflects their interests and aspirations.

Our communications approach aims to:

  • Enable the community to participate in decisions that affect them
  • Inform communities about the decisions and direction of council work in the future
  • Involve our communities in the development of the Spatial Plan

We need your help to make Tairāwhiti 2050 a true reflection of our collective aspirations. Share your ideas on what we need to do to make our place more resilient, prosperous and sustainable!