INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tenby Powell will establish community boards as Mayor

Published: Tue 17 Sep 2019 02:49 PM
SEPTEMBER 17th, 2019
Tauranga Mayoral Candidate Tenby Powell says the Tauranga community is lacking effective representation within Council and if elected he will establish community boards across the city.
“I believe our city needs a more inclusive approach to decision making that respects the insights of our residents. Community boards will recognise the diversity of Tauranga’s communities and will provide a stronger, more inclusive voice in council which, in turn, will better unite a city divided.”
This initiative follows five months of community engagement by Powell since announcing his bid for the Tauranga Mayoralty in early May.
“Everywhere I go, whether I talk to individuals, community groups, businesses and residents, their consistent message is that their concerns fall on deaf ears.”
Powell says community boards will also achieve a more efficient use of ratepayer funds.
“As an example, if we want to know the best way to fix the Turret Road (SH2A), ask the residents who live in Welcome Bay, they have the answers. The same goes for all Tauranga communities. Currently we hire expensive consultants and mostly we get it wrong. So, let’s ask the people living in our communities for solutions.” says Powell.
“If a Community Board had been established in Greerton, I doubt we’d have wasted money and inconvenienced business owners and motorists by installing a controlled pedestrian crossing a few metres from the Chadwick Rd roundabout, causing major traffic jams as far back as Barkes Corner and Church St.”
Powell says Community Board’s will also lift the governance performance of Tauranga City Council’s Elected Members.
“What has become evident is that 11 individuals are making decisions for our communities about issues on which they have little or no understanding.”
This new initiative would ensure that the Elected Members get solid community representation via a community structure which has worked successfully elsewhere.
While some council candidates have indicated they will seek to increase the number of wards across the city, Powell believes this isn’t the answer.
“For too long this city has suffered from Elected Members who don’t truly engage with their community and therefore they don’t represent residents effectively. Community boards will give our council greater community engagement and therefore a more representative view.” says Powell.
ENDS

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