What are the Key Issues that need Addressing?

GROWING OUR ECONOMY, IMPROVING OUR CITY

Promoting Growth. The Bay is fizzing with growth and full of economic initiatives.  I will actively support them all. Priority One. Tourism BOP. Chamber of Commerce. Bay of Connections. Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Programme.

Bringing In Businesses. I will personally contact and persuade businesses, big and small, to relocate to Tauranga.

Sure About Smartgrowth. I am really impressed with SmartGrowth and so are Councils all over New Zealand. SmartGrowth is an extremely helpful plan for developing the whole Western Bay across specific chunks of time. I will continue to review and refresh SmartGrowth to keep up with the pace of change, while safeguarding quality of life for households and creating great opportunities for businesses.

Exciting Urban Development. I want you to feel really proud and excited to call Tauranga your city. That means hands-on urban development by me as Mayor and the whole Council. The Wellington Waterfront and the Auckland CBD are great examples of what a council can do. I want to set up an Urban Development Agency to manage the land we own – and buy parcels of land and buildings, particularly in the CBD, so we can modernise and maximise its potential for everyone’s benefit. I am a big supporter of the Civic Heart project, because it will kick start the creation of a really vibrant city centre for you to enjoy.

Clearing Traffic Chokepoints. Hairini Bridge/Turret Road/15th Avenue should be four lanes. I will champion that, along with rapidly advancing the Papamoa East interchange. This must be done far sooner than scheduled. People and productivity have suffered enough.

Promoting “Modal Shift”.  What does that bit of jargon mean? It means making it easier and more enjoyable to get out of the car and walk, bike or bus. Not because you’re forced to, but because that’s what you want to do.

City Trains and Ferries.  Catching the train to work? Yes, I want to investigate using the existing rails to run commuter trains. Plus, New Zealand’s most beautiful commute: a regular ferry service between the CBD and the Mount.

CBD Parking, Bikes and Pedestrians. Our CBD is going to grow, in very exciting ways. I will make sure we have enough car and bike parking, along with pedestrian areas to create a City Centre everyone can enjoy.

More Digital Delivery. I will push for online Council digital services where it helps customers and makes Council more efficient. You can find out more in the Council’s Digital Enablement Plan.

CITY LIFE AND CULTURE

There is rich history and culture here and I am keen to champion a greater awareness of our story and identity. Council has to help tell our stories.

Tauranga Needs a Museum. I am a bit embarrassed we have nowhere to experience and celebrate our heritage. I support a modern regional museum. That means a compact, flexible museum that you want to visit often, with something new every time you go. Let’s create a museum that makes you feel really connected to your city, which you are proud to share with your visitors.

BayPark Stadium. I support amending our city plan to give BayPark the opening hours and noise levels it needs to become New Zealand’s adrenaline stadium.

Cycling and Walking Paths. Let’s get the full city network finished and linked to all the regional routes. We’ll love using it ourselves and it will attract a lot of visitors.

Bay Oval. Like many people, I love cricket and I’m also a fan of all the tourism the Oval can bring our way. So I support Council contributing to the completion of all the Oval’s facilities, including the pavilion and lighting.

Historic Village. I want to see The Village revitalised so it becomes less dependent on ratepayer funding. More visitors, more customers, more artisan shops and unique businesses.

Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club. Papamoa will keep growing down the coastline, so we need modern facilities to serve residents and visitors. Papamoa deserves this.

Matapihi Beach and the Ski Lane. I remember the days … Let’s make access easy again.

Omanawa Falls. Any city would be blessed to have such a stunning  waterfall nearby, but this superb natural asset is closed and dangerous right now. I want to make the Falls a safe and sustainable destination.

Positive About Dogs. I believe in making our city more dog-friendly for responsible owners, including on-leash access to Mount Beach and Pilot Bay.

Family-Friendly Events and Facilities. We simply need more. I want this to be a city where something exciting is always happening and there’s never “nothing to do”.

 EMPOWERING AND SUPPORTING OUR IWI

This is the only Maori nation in the world. Let’s make the most of it.

Now that the Treaty settlements are progressing I believe we have a very positive road ahead of us. Honouring our heritage. Investing in the future. I will champion Tauranga as a city in which Maori are empowered to achieve amazing things.

Let’s do what we can to give Maori landowners the chance to use their assets to build homes and prosperous economic futures. For example, we are already seeing Maori-owned land becoming more productive and profitable by growing manuka, for some of the world’s most highly-prized honey.

Co-Governing Tauranga’s Treasures. The iwi in our area are very gracious and generous in freely sharing the natural and cultural treasures we all enjoy, such as Mauao, our iconic Mount, and the Kaituna River.

I want to pledge Council manpower, experience and expertise in continuing to assist iwi in co-governing these assets with us. We share the same goal: for the taonga/treasures of Tauranga Moana to be protected, enhanced and enjoyed by all of us.

Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant. Are you aware of the issues here? Not many people are. There are important environmental and cultural issues around the treatment of human waste from tens of thousands of people right in the heart of the Nga Potiki rohe. Most of us wouldn’t want that in our own backyard and I have been impressed with the grace and goodwill of iwi in this regard. I want to champion a result that restores their mana and protects our beautiful harbour.

DEMOCRACY AND COUNCIL CUSTOMER SERVICE

Cross-Council Co-operation, Not Amalgamation. There are eight councils in the Bay of Plenty. I will champion co-operation and collaboration, with all councils working together to maximise efficiency, high quality service delivery and economic growth.

Does this mean I am pushing for amalgamation into a Super Council for the Western Bay? No, I’m not, because even though I personally support it, many people are suspicious of this level of change. Plus, it needs to be done right and I have not seen council amalgamation done right anywhere in New Zealand in the past twenty years.

I do believe there is a lot to be gained from working more closely with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, but until the will of the people supports a merger, I cannot advocate it.

Electronic engagement and online referendum voting. We need your feedback and opinions. Do you know how we find out what people are thinking right now? We go to shopping centres and gatherings like social and service clubs. It could be so much more efficient and effective to use online surveys of our ratepayers and residents.

Modern digital facilities for TCC customers and ratepayers. New Zealand has some of the world’s best online government services. I want that to be true of Tauranga too. It is not about spending loads of money, it is about creating online services that are simpler and smarter – the Kiwi way.

Interns for Council Projects. Why pay expensive consultants when bright local university students can help? We will soon have many more students in the centre of Tauranga who will jump at the chance to supplement their studies with real-life experience of city government.

Consistent Charging for Halls and Facilities. Right now some groups pay full market rents, some pay very little. I want standard charging that is fair for everyone, along with transparent discounts and grants to reflect social value.

SOCIAL PROGRESS

Community Development. How long is it since you took part in an event to boost your local neighbourhood? I want every part of the city to have a sense of pride and a say in creating local character. If you have a great idea, I want Council to help you bring your community together.

Affordable Housing. The Council has a key role to play in bringing together local agencies and central government to develop the affordable housing programmes that are best for the families of Tauranga. Council won’t build homes, but we can facilitate the land supply and planning regulations to make sure more homes get built, more quickly. Do I support intensification and high-rise? Yes, I do, if development is considerate of neighbours and communities.

Helping with Homelessness. I want to set up a ‘Tauranga Homeless Action Group’ to develop creative solutions, including emergency housing prioritised towards women and children. I recognise this is an urgent problem and I don’t want people sleeping in cars, so I do believe we may need to establish some low-cost shelters with communal facilities.

A Big Response to Petty Crime. With your support I will drive the development of by-laws that eliminate the behaviours that spoil city life for all of us: vandalism, graffiti, public drunkenness, disorder, vagrancy and begging. I want you to have a city that looks great, feels comfortable and welcoming to all … and is very safe for everyone.

ENVIRONMENT

Like you, I prize the quality of our living place and I want to make it better. I take pride in the Bay of Plenty’s world leadership in renewable energy. I know there is a lot of good we can do to protect and enhance our environment.

I will champion Tauranga becoming a leader in sustainable environmental practice, including Council operations right across the city:  from “green walls” of attractive native plants to solar panels on council buildings.

Rising Sea Levels and Flood Risk. Here is my position. I understand why you would want to live at sea level, close to the water. It is beautiful and valuable. However, if you choose this kind of property, you must do so at your own risk. You cannot expect your fellow ratepayers to literally or financially “bail you out” if the sea or flooding inundates your property. I hope this never happens, but the fact is that Tauranga has a lot of flood-prone low-lying land. I want you to make your lifestyle decisions with your eyes open.

Mauao Predator Fence. I want to champion and spearhead the building of a barrier at the base of the Mount to protect its flora and fauna. Join me and the owners of Mauao in restoring “the cloak of Mauao.”

Pest Tree and Vermin Control. It would be simply unaffordable to expect Council to pay professionals to remove the blight of out-of-control pest species: from Taiwan Cherry, Wattle and Wilding Pines through to rabbits on the Mount. However, I believe we can all join together on this, forming an army of volunteers, students and community workers from Corrections.

So Long, Chemical Sprays. I want to look for alternatives so we can phase out the use of these sprays on Council reserves.

Permaculture Zones. Basically this means allowing certain areas of our parklands and reserves to go back to nature. Long-term this means lower maintenance costs for ratepayers, greater biodiversity, space for bees in the city, and the chance to experience and enjoy our environment.

Smoke Free Zones. Future generations will wonder why it took us so long to eliminate smoking. I want us to play our part by expanding smokefree zones to more areas such as outside restaurants and cafes, and in playgrounds.

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