|Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris
Remember the old tv ad: ‘don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country’?
I don’t – I’m too young – but the point still stands; with a captive audience, The Mount is shaping up to be one of the most popular domestic tourist destinations this year.
Tens of thousands of Kiwis are putting their overseas holidays on hold and staying put in the relative safety of our antipodean Noah’s Ark, called New Zealand, during the COVID-19 storm. It’s encouraging to hear figures showing increased spending during the recent school holidays compared with last year. The Mount is always popular; just try finding a carpark on a sunny weekend! Between Mauao, Main Beach and Pilot Bay are our city’s showpiece, but it might surprise you to know there’s no vision for its future.
That’s about to change over the coming months. My fellow Mount-Papamoa Councillor, Dawn Kiddie, and I will be leading a mission to develop a vision for Mount Maunganui, by Mounties - and those that secretly wish they were Mounties, together with businesses and tangata whenua.
Why? Proposals for a visitor information centre/cruise gateway, a parking building, cycleways, May St Reserve, a cultural centre, hot pools, a new library and community centre, and Porotakataka Park to name a few, all struggle because there’s no vision for what goes where, when and why.
Much of Council’s energy is focussed on the Tauranga CBD and plans to revive it with tens of millions of ratepayer dollars. It’s time to balance both sides of the bridge. Watch this space.