More than half the objectives of the Western Bay's 50-year development plan have been achieved - eight years after it was first devised.
A report card on the performance of SmartGrowth was released last week, showing 57 per cent of the plan's 220 strategy actions have already been achieved.
Adopted in 2004 by the Western Bay's three councils, the SmartGrowth strategy provides the long-term vision and direction for development in the sub-region.
In addition to the achievement figures, the report card shows 29 per cent of the plan's actions have been significantly progressed, while 14 per cent have not been achieved or significantly progressed.
The report card, like the plan, has been broken down into seven sections representing different elements of the Western Bay's growth.
The natural environment section has the highest level of achievement (75 per cent) of any section, thanks to council plans that protect outstanding landscape features, "view shafts" and indigenous habitats.
The report card says ongoing efforts are required in the reporting of natural and physical resources in the State of the Environment report, which has been discontinued because the SmartGrowth partners could not agree on specific measurable monitoring indicators.
Of the seven sections, the policy instruments section has the poorest score with 33 per cent not achieved and only 17 per cent achieved.
The potential for a combined District Plan for the sub-region was investigated but did not proceed because of the inability of the city and district to agree on the priorities, the report card says.
SmartGrowth programme manager Justine Brennan said the report card shows the benefits of collaboration between the partner councils and associated groups.
This collaboration had particularly paid off in being able to achieve efficient and affordable infrastructure and had been applauded by central government agencies such as the New Zealand Transport Agency, she said.
"SmartGrowth has allowed the Western Bay to get their ducks in a row."
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said the report card shows good progress, given that the SmartGrowth plan is a 50-year plan.
"The review that we're currently undertaking, I believe, will fine tune and advance the strategy, particularly with regard to the economic environment we find ourselves in, as opposed to when SmartGrowth was developed, it was a boom time."
SmartGrowth's biggest strength was the relationships that had been fostered among the three councils, tangata whenua, government agencies and the community, Mr Crosby said.
"It's weaknesses are its relevance to the world economy, that's changed dramatically, and that's what we have to turn our minds to."
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson said progressing the SmartGrowth plan was dependant on funding available from the three member councils and some projects had not yet been achieved because of lack of funding.
"SmartGrowth has certainly delivered well in the past and has been responsible for what we call job money from central government which is $150 million. It's helped us in our roading areas, so at this stage I'm quite happy where we are with SmartGrowth and it's very much time for a review.
"I think report cards are a very good way to keep track with where we are with our work, what we're achieving and what needs to be prioritised."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chairman John Cronin said he would give SmartGrowth a B-plus grade.
"It's still serving a tremendous purpose for the collaboration of the councils in the Western Bay of Plenty at the least cost."