Bay of Plenty: Papamoa

This article is part of the Regional Hotspots report. To find out more about the report and other hotspots, click here


Highlights

  • Population growth 2013-2023: 74% (5,190 people)
  • The Tauranga Eastern Link has increased the attractiveness for businesses and households to be sited in Papamoa.
  • In the short-term, retail and other service growth in the area is likely to be dotted throughout neighbourhood centres in the area.
  • Over the longer-term, as residential construction spreads into the Te Tumu area, there may be scope for a more significant retail centre to be developed.
  • Business and job growth will take place over the mediumterm, particularly in the areas bordering the Tauranga Eastern Link.
 

Papamoa has undergone a transformation from a rural and holiday community to a suburb of Tauranga over the last 20- 30 years as the city has grown substantially and, particularly during the 2000s, the popularity of coastal property increased immensely. However, the area’s growth is far from finished, with development expected to continue spreading eastwards over the next decade and beyond.

In broader terms, Tauranga has undergone something of a transformation from a popular retirement destination to a more broadly based growth city. The success of the Port of Tauranga has coincided with strong business growth in the city, while Tauranga’s lifestyle has proved a strong drawcard for families. The spread of population growth across all age brackets has seen major expansion in Tauranga’s social infrastructure, businesses, and employment opportunities – a trend that has been largely self-reinforcing in terms of attracting more people to the city.

Papamoa is one of two main growth hubs in Tauranga, and we expect it to outperform the area south of Tauranga around Pyes Pa. Completion of the Tauranga Eastern Link last year has helped increase the attractiveness for both businesses and households to be sited at Papamoa, providing more direct access both into the city and towards eastern Bay of Plenty.

The more coastal nature of Papamoa also holds strong appeal from a lifestyle point of view for families as well as retirees. By June 2016, the area’s population was only running slightly ahead of Statistics NZ’s low projections, but with Tauranga City’s population recording one of the fastest growth rates in the country, we expect further acceleration in Papamoa’s prospects over coming years.

One of the challenges for growth in the Papamoa area is the relatively long and thin nature of the suburb. Currently, retail facilities are mainly located in the older Papamoa Beach area, with fewer services available further east in more recently developed areas. The “ribbon-like” nature of growth will make it more difficult to justify a single large urban hub within Papamoa East; instead, retail and other services are likely to be based around a number of smaller neighbourhood centres dotted throughout the area. Over the longer-term, as residential construction spreads further east away from the older Papamoa Beach area into the Te Tumu area, there may be scope for a more significant retail centre to be developed.

Industrial and commercial development is also planned around Papamoa. However, the area is probably less well-sited than the likes of Tauriko, for example, for freight and logistics-related activities, as it lies on the side of Tauranga that is away from the “Golden Triangle” growth areas of Auckland and Hamilton.

Nevertheless, Tauranga City Councils’ focus on ensuring that new residential development is accompanied by employment opportunities within Papamoa suggests that business and job growth will take place over the medium-term, particularly in the areas bordering the Tauranga Eastern Link.

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