Those saying that TECT should stay ‘as is' are living in a time warp. Times are changing and TECT's current charitable allocation is insufficient to meet Tauranga's needs. Ratepayers are tapped and alternate grant funders are limited.
To understand the funding problem you only need to get into the trenches of volunteerism in Tauranga. I currently serve on four boards. All have good people spending disproportionate hours scratching around for funds, rather than getting on and doing what they do best. The Papamoa Surf Club rebuild is a prime example – we have left no funding stone unturned, yet we still can't push ‘go' and while we wait, building costs keep going up.
Of course, we could opt for ‘user-pays' as one former TECT trustee suggested, but the reality is that crowd-sourcing for capital projects is nigh impossible, and that aside, his suggestion is insulting. Users often can't afford to pay, or are already serving their community through volunteer hours. Imagine the outcry if a hospice patient was turned down because they couldn't afford the service.
The TECT proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to triple TECT's contribution to Tauranga's growth forever. If people want Tauranga to go from good to great, then a yes vote is a must.
M Whitmore, Otumoetai (Abridged).