Plea for commissioners to stay in for another term

UTF Chairman Scott Adams

Tauranga’s Urban Task Force are pleading with Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, to keep the city’s commissioners for a further term.

UTF Chairman Scott Adams says the group is concerned that the same group of ineffective ex-councillors that the commissioners replaced could be re-elected at the local body elections, and that much of the progress and improvements made in the city in recent months is at risk of being repealed.

“This group of ex-councillors have indicated that their strategy is to reverse the decisions made by the Commissioners and promote rates freezes across their 2022 to 2024 term.

“The Commissioners have done their best to reverse decades of poor governance resulting in chronic underinvestment, and much of that work would be undone if this group were elected.”

The Commissioners Transition Strategy will see the four commissioners step aside next year to make way for newly elected councillors.

The UTF implored Mahuta to retain the Commissioners beyond October 2022, for a full three-year term.

“The next three years are critical for the city. Long term infrastructure projects such as the Te Papa Multi-Modal corridor are scheduled, as is the opening of land tracts for new housing developments.

“The work the Commissioners have started on regional co-operation is also essential. Mistrust between the three local councils, combined with a lack of relationship-building with central government, has resulted in New Zealand’s fifth largest and fastest growing city falling behind by some 15 – 20 years.”

Appointed in February this year by Minister Mahuta to replace the city’s elected officials after a period of significant dysfunction, the four commissioners have been tasked with identifying and remedying issues facing the city in the short, medium and long term.

“The UTF commend Minister Mahuta on her decision to appoint Commissioners. Their mix of background experience, the level of community engagement and the progress they have quickly made, has been overwhelmingly positive for our city. We believe this view is echoed by the majority of Tauranga residents.

“Our members see a positive future for Tauranga, a thriving city poised to become the commercial, cultural, and civic heart of the Bay of Plenty. The right leadership is vital to achieving this and is the only way to avoid a return to the mismanagement, under-investment and toxic relationships that characterised previous councils,” says Adams.

“The commissioners are prepared to make the tough decisions. Unlike elected councillors, their reputation as professionals relies upon their performance in the role. They are more driven to leave a lasting, positive legacy and we’re keen to support them in continuing that work.”

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Who needs any of them

Posted on 11-11-2021 20:46 | By Get our roads

Democracy in NZ is fast fading, will be an extinct word soon, who cares if you vote Councillors or get commissioners, very rarely do they listen to the people, they do what they want, usually in favour of the business owners and the rich, all decisions are based on consultants advice because they cannot think for themselves, they are persuaded, groomed by the rich who have their own agendas which is to make money for themselves, not create a strong, healthy, mobile community, ratepayers will always be the losers in a so called Council democracy, Councillors are nothing but puppets to their endorsers and never try to save homeowners money, just steal more to further themselves, Tauranga is a dead, unmoving city because the roads cannot handle the population, all thought to main purpose of having a Council is dead and buried.


Posted on 09-11-2021 19:35 | By Let's get real

There is absolutely no way anyone should be banned from standing in local body elections (unfortunately). Apathy is the biggest challenge that needs to be addressed and is one of the reasons that surnames in the upper half of the alphabet get additional votes(Crosby, Brown, Granger, et al). Maybe randomising the voting papers would result in a more appropriate response. I get extremely concerned when people who stand to benefit financially begin to dictate what is best for others. Sleazy business is being done in more than one area and maybe corruption isn’t far behind...?

Vote wisely

Posted on 09-11-2021 13:30 | By Bushpig

I personally think that the previous Councillors should be banned from standing. They have no interest in this city’s success and their threat to reverse the commission’s changes speaks volumes. We as the voters must do everything we can to prevent their return. We need a competent council, and in this case, "experience" is not a viable marker.

what a farce

Posted on 09-11-2021 11:42 | By an_alias

So govt is getting selected people to promote the un-elected stay on. Anyone advocating no elections should be boycotted. What a farce, the big decisions need to be made by who we say should make the decisions, no one else is smart enough.

Profits come before Democracy !

Posted on 09-11-2021 11:26 | By xenasdad

You don’t want anyone of the last democratically elected to stand again, so put your money where your mouth is and stand for council yourselves. Find out how much the citizens of Tauranga think your members can be trusted to democratically and fairly govern our city. The much loved "Mahuta Model" of democracy is a goldmine for the members of UTF, so why consider the rest of the citizens/work units.

It's easier

Posted on 09-11-2021 09:41 | By Accountable

To manipulate four commissioners than the eleven Councillors that actually represent the people that voted for them no matter what their reasons for standing were. I know personally that the Councillors had a constant battle with Paul Adams and associates over releasing more land for them to develope and make the type of money that makes them one of the richest people in the country. It’s not about whats good for Tauranga it’s about what good for them.

Clarity at Last.

Posted on 09-11-2021 09:18 | By Hardman

Excellent summation by Scott Adams. I agree that Anne Tolley and commissioners have done a very good job. Why not leave them all there? The rabble we have had over the last 20years proves we need these

Democracy is Dead

Posted on 09-11-2021 08:07 | By gincat

UTF should recruit suitable candidates to challenge ex councilors instead of denying ratepayers democracy. Still nothing to stop ex councilors standing after a further term of commissioners. My uncle gave his life in WW2 so that we all can be free and enjoy democracy no matter how imperfect

UTF? Who?

Posted on 09-11-2021 07:20 | By Shadow1

I can see the reason behind Mr. Adams’ plea, they never stop demanding more development land from Councils. These people will never be poor and they do nothing to produce low cost housing despite their claims.

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