Council: Fresh faces stepping up for new era

Cameron Templer. Photos: Supplied.

It’s 1pm on a Saturday and Cameron Templer has returned home for a lunch break after a solid three hours of pounding pavements and door knocking around his neighbourhood.

“Usually I can get to about 50 to 60 homes, but with people home on the weekend and happy to talk, I got to around 40 to 50 this morning,” says Cameron.

Despite nominations for the upcoming Tauranga City Council elections not opening until April 26, Cameron is already embarking on an ambitious “old-school” door-knocking campaign, fuelled by a meticulously planned strategy that encompasses everything from billboards to flyers and an eye-catching social media presence.

“Door knocking isn’t just about getting votes. It’s about connecting, really hearing what you all want and need from a councillor. When I’m at your doorstep, it’s not just a pitch—it’s a chance for me to understand your concerns, your hopes, and your vision for our ward.”

At 22 years of age, and with business and entrepreneurial experience under his belt, his early start running as a ward councillor should make for an interesting and lively Welcome Bay campaign.

Growing up in Tauranga, Cameron attended Selwyn Ridge Primary School followed by attending Tauranga Intermediate and Tauranga Boys’ College.

Heading to Otago University, he studied health sciences and medicine while also nurturing an interest in software and business.

“My dad has had a business all his life and owned the Bay Indoor Centre at Mount Maunganui – an indoor sports centre with trampolines and playground. Unfortunately Covid ended that business. It was difficult times going into lockdowns, so we shut up shop and put everything into storage.”

The Covid lockdowns occurred during his first year of university in 2020.

“So I flew back home and studied. While studying I wanted to make a bit of money so started my first business - drop shipping - which went well.  I could work on the online business and work on my study.”

The positive experience made him reconsider whether he wanted to be an entrepreneur and businessman.

“I continued at uni for two to three years with medicine. My next year I went from anatomy lectures to investor meetings with people around NZ and Australia.”

He also taught myself how to code, raised a significant amount of money and decided to leave university to pursue his startup business, hiring a team and running the company while still living in Dunedin.

“After raising that money I was approached by an enterprise and we got bought out.”

On selling and exiting the company, he decided to move back to Tauranga where he grew up.

“My dad was reopening the indoor sports centre, so I bought the assets off him, and opened Tauranga Indoor Sports on Chadwick Road in Greerton when I moved back in May 2023.

“Most of the people who play indoor netball and indoor cricket play there. It keeps me busy.”

While running the indoor one-court venue in the evenings, he started another software company - ScoredManager - with two others, focusing on indoor sport venue management.

“That’s going really well.”

So why run for council?

“Politics was always something I knew I was going to get into. With running the sports centre I found I had a lot of time on my hands, so in October I looked up the date for the next election.”

On discovering the local body elections are scheduled for July 20, he decided to run.

“I have never let age stop me from doing things I’ve wanted to do. It’s an opportunity.

“There are problems here in Welcome Bay. I’ve lived here for 18 plus years and have a pretty good understanding of the problems and the best way to solve them. I’ve put my name in the hat so here I am.”
The challenges of transport and community safety, and the lack of a supermarket and a high school are concerns.

He’s already spoken with Foodstuffs North Island CEO, Chris Quin, saying Welcome Bay’s need for a supermarket is more than a mere convenience.

“It’s about creating a self-sufficient and cohesive community. The absence of a local supermarket is a noticeable gap.”

With Welcome Bay boasting about 7500 dwellings, he still has around 7000 houses to door knock which he does during the day, while working at night.

“I plan to reach 75-100 doors each day over six hours.”

That’s Welcome Bay, Hairini, Ohauiti, and Maungatapu, where a five minute chat can end up being 25 minutes.

“I’ve noticed that action always wins. I’m here because I want to make a change, I’m not an all-talk politician.”

Also an organised individual, he has campaign material already lined up for social media, billboards and flyers.

“I have everything in place on social media, how many doors I need to knock on by when, have got billboards and flyers organised.”

He’s planned meetings in Maungatapu, and is booking the Welcome Bay Community Hall so people can come meet him. 

“A lot of my life I’ve been told I can’t do something, like get into med school or start a business or raise millions. I’ve believed in myself and know I can do it. I keep listening to the right people. I want to hear from experts, connect with them, and make the right decisions.”

Elections 2024

Prior to the 2023 General Elections, the former Minister of Local Government announced that the next Tauranga local government election would be held on Saturday, July 20 2024. The decision was also made to postpone the 2025 Tauranga City triennial election until 2028.

For the upcoming election, Tauranga City Council will have a new representation arrangement. The Local Government Commission determined Tauranga residents will elect nine councillors plus a mayor. Eight of the nine councillors will be from general wards, with one councillor representing the Māori ward.

The eight general wards are: Mauao/Mount Maunganui, Arataki, Pāpāmoa, Welcome Bay, Matua-Otūmoetai, Bethlehem, Tauriko and Te Papa. The Māori ward, Te Awanui, will cover the entire city.


Go Cameron!!!

Posted on 08-03-2024 10:41 | By Bruja

I'm not in that Ward but I wish I was. You are JUST what this city needs, just don't please 'sell out' to the 'local greedy money people'. All the best!

You have to walk the walk, Cameron!

Posted on 08-03-2024 16:20 | By LHem

So Cameron, you can definitely, 'talk the talk', but can you 'walk the walk'?...I've lived in Ohauiti for 13 yrs, and before that Welcome Bay for 12yrs and back then, they were talking about a Supermarket!...Never happened! ...I do wish you well Cameron, but it takes more than one person, it takes a village, and our village is sick of Commissioners spending OUR money on things we don't want or will never use! People are financially struggling and are now giving up their family pets. How are you going to get other Councillors on your side, Cameron? STOP trying to beautify Tauranga, and actually listen to 'the people' - Democracy! - Out with the old, in with the new! ..Goodluck, Cameron.

Cameron for civic engagement

Posted on 23-03-2024 15:27 | By Marcus Y Wilkins

Well done Cameron. You seem to understand that democracy requires genuine engagement with the citizenry. Surveys with biased questions and pre-determined outcomes or so-called consultation have received the cynicism from citizens that they deserve. We should learn from engagement processes offshore such as Melbourne or closer to home Wellington with its Citizens Assembly of 42 Citizens inputting to the LTP. What is apparent is that ordinary people are up to the task and rise to the occasion. We do not need to be held captive, as President Eisenhower warned, by a scientific -technological (and I would add bureaucratic) elite in local government any more than central government. Eisenhower said in that valedictory speech that he wanted democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow. Your mission is to take the insolvent phantom of democracy in Tauranga and restore it.

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