The city we leave to future generations
|Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris
I was seven when the Tauranga Harbour Bridge opened but I still remember that incredible feeling of being able to walk from the Mount to Tauranga for the very first time. Every morning commute I'm grateful for that bridge. It's a testament to the foresight of those who first mooted the proposal in 1954 and the tenacity of our city leaders to see through this major project in what was a small town.
It took more than 30 years and much bickering between the Mount Borough Council, Tauranga City Council and the Harbour Board before it was finally opened in 1988.
While celebrated as a milestone, there wasn't universal acclaim; former councillor Bill Faulkner was, as usual, ‘unhappy' about costs.
In a small way, the bridge saga reminds me of the absurd situation that is public transport in Tauranga.
The BOP Regional Council provides the buses, and invoices you to subsidise their operation. Tauranga City Council is responsible for providing the roads, bus stops and bus lanes and we invoice you to pay for those.
Both councils receive part funding from NZTA which owns some roads and of course receives their funding from you. Three entities, one taxpayer.
It begs the question, can we do better?
We must. Over the next 30 years Tauranga's population is going to grow to 190,000.
Will my grandchildren's generation applaud the decisions we make over the next few years? Will there be any money left to pay for their own aspirations?
Next week, my predictions about what Tauranga could be like in 2050.