There are several local and regional initiatives underway that connect with the FACT project and its aim of developing better social services for Tauranga families.
The Tauranga City Council has developed a set of Community Outcomes, as required by the Local Government Act 2002. The Tauranga Tomorrow document detailing those outcomes was adopted in late 2004. This process not only informed Tauranga City Council’s own 10-year Long Term Community Plan; it has provided a guiding vision for Tauranga City to help the broad range of community and government agencies working to achieve social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing in Tauranga. The vision is of a city that:
is easy to move round in
is built to fit the hills, harbour and coast
has a clean, green, valued environment
is home to vibrant, healthy and diverse communities
has actively involved people
has a strong and sustainable economy
allows people to live well and waste less
is a great place to grow up in.
In September 2004, the Ministry of Social Development signed a formal agreement with the Tauranga City Council in which it undertook to support actions to achieve these goals. The FACT project is a step towards honoring that commitment, and sits alongside another regionally-focused initiative, the Central and Local Government Bay of Plenty Community Outcomes project.
Smart Growth is a project being undertaken jointly by the Tauranga City Council, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Environment Bay of Plenty and tangata whenua. It involves developing a 50-year plan to manage growth in the Western Bay of Plenty so environmental, social and economic goals of the whole district can be achieved in a sustainable way.
To date, the emphasis has been on achieving economic and environmental sustainability, mainly by focusing on land use, infrastructure and transport planning. Addressing the region’s social goals will require the active participation of local social service staff, who see at first hand the social problems caused by the area’s rapid growth and who can help plan sustainable solutions to those problems. Participation could be provided through the Smart Growth’s Strategic Partners forum, which has a wide membership base and a community audit role.
The FACT project can make a valuable contribution to Smart Growth and vice-versa, as both initiatives share a commitment to reaching effective co-ordinated solutions through government, business and community partnerships and collaboration.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board activity
The region’s district health board, which is based in Tauranga, has led much of the social research done locally over the past five years, particularly into the way social factors such as poverty and isolation affect health outcomes.
To help provide more holistic responses to local health issues, the Bay of Plenty DHB has appointed representatives of various local social service providers to its Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). These deal with health issues facing specific groups, for example children and older people. Throughout 2006, the first of these groups (the Child and Youth TAG) has been giving advice on projects to improve services to families in several of the priority areas detailed in this report. Many of the contributors to this report also advise the DHB, and it is anticipated there will be considerable synergy in the recommendations in some areas.