Breaking promises in public

Councillors are having confidential talks about Tauranga’s urban future. Supplied photo.

Click the image above to view slideshow

The decision to hold a committee workshop on the city council’s urban strategy behind closed doors has been contested and highlighted by Councillor Catherine Stewart – who is not a member of that committee.

Committee chairman Larry Baldock denied Catherine speaking rights on the issue at Tuesday’s City Transformation Committee meeting.

“This council agreed to have workshops in the open and it’s not happening, Mr Chair,” says Catherine.

“That’s an issue for you to take up with the council, not this committee,” replies Larry.

Larry went on to say it wasn’t his decision, but that of the members of the committee. Larry’s request for any committee member to move the item out of confidence was not taken up.

“You are welcome to participate in all the items of business, but the decision about confidential business is one for the committee,” says Larry.

The reasons given on the meeting agenda for holding a confidential workshop on a non-confidential report are: to avoid prejudice to measures that prevent or mitigate material loss to members of the public; to enable the Council to carry out without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities; and to prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage.

“Seeing our city transformed involves the role of intensifying our living arrangements through the city and through city centres of various types and various forms,” says Larry. “That also leads to the exciting development of amenities across the city.

“As you intensify you don’t end up with a whole lot of boxes that people live in, but you have much better neighbourhoods and that is what incentivises the whole thing.

“And we have tried this before back in 2004/5 I believe. We embarked on some nodal development across the city and learned some very important lessons through that process of how easily this can get taken over by others – by investors, by speculators, the public getting the wrong idea about what we are about.

“So we are taking a very slow approach. We are going to go through this working document in confidence so we can get our heads around the direction we are taking and know that we have agreement among elected members to take the next step.

“There’s no intention to keep it confidential any longer than it needs to be, but if we were to release it I believe there are serious risks of all of the things I have read through there occurring in our community.”

The planners’ report in the open section of the agenda on the eight key moves that will underpin the going development of the Tauranga city centre can be found on the council’s website.

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Sollygirl, you are mostly incorrect, not NIMBY's at all.

Posted on 12-09-2017 16:39 | By Murray.Guy

Mid-2000 onwards in Tauranga City Council a ’new wave’ immigrant of town urban planners with one mission in life, being, to force their concept of living onto the residents of Tauranga. I recall vividly the efforts to dictate all most every aspect of our daily lives bar the toilet roll holder. Intensification was happening regardless of community opinion, designers would dictate, regardless of property rights. Around our city, Cherrywood, Arataki, Greerton. CBD, Cliff Rd/Elms area, we has TCC staff gearing up to totally undermine private property rights, democratic processes. Smartgrowth (the three Councils) was hard out manipulating residential land release to maintain profits by restricting supply. Bottom line, the community said ’bugger off’. By all means, for new greenfield developments, put in place a mix of housing with various intensities, BUT do NOT unreasonably erode the residential values presently enjoyed by existing residents. Residents RULE!


Posted on 10-09-2017 10:15 | By Papamoaner

Thanks - You said it all. Speaks for the majority. @Astex;- temporary removal doesn’t last long before it grows back again, but makes it safer to work near long enough to get the job done, simply because airborne spores are not present during the interim.

About telling porkies

Posted on 09-09-2017 08:43 | By astex

A small report in the other local paper last week stated that removal of the toxic mould in the TCC building had been completed in August to ensure the safety of the demolition workers. Excuse me! correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t the reason for replacing the building given to be that the mould COULD NOT be removed? Talk about transparency. Commissioner please.

Where is the Mayor?

Posted on 08-09-2017 14:23 | By Maryfaith

He was the one who promised ’open’ governance. Things were going to change - and we all thought Great!! - here is someone we can really trust. Yeah right!! They are all tarred with the same brush!

Once bitten twice shy

Posted on 08-09-2017 14:17 | By Sollygirl

Here’s the thing: TCC attempted a City Plan change ten years ago and was rebuffed by NIMBY’s. I read these proposals recently and believe they are excellent. If they had been implemented the city would not be struggling with traffic congestion and a housing shortage and would be well on the way to becoming one of the great cities in Oceania. Before you criticise councillors and the deficiencies of TCC can I respectfully ask that you educate yourselves to open your minds about what constitutes good city building. I don’t blame EM’s for their caution, after all they’ve got us to deal with, WE are problem.

Another confidential meeting?

Posted on 08-09-2017 10:33 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Good on you Catherine for challenging it. Baldock loves to hide in secret/private meetings endlessly. Not a good look at all.

Larry needs to listen to the people who pay

Posted on 08-09-2017 09:14 | By tabatha

Larry Baldock has a one tracked mind set, and it is what he wants not what people of Tauranga want. Spoke to him about the museum and he had in his mind what he wanted and no way was he going to bend. Mention the mess in Bethlehem Road and all he wanted to for the 10 year plan. I would challenge any EM or worker of TCC to come down Bethlehem Road after heavy rain to see the run off that has no curbing. Over 100 houses in Bethlehem Shores and all the rest along past the marae. Come on EM’s listen to your electors or potential electors.

Auditor General time Cr. Catherine

Posted on 07-09-2017 17:08 | By Murray.Guy

Auditor General time Cr. Catherine. Despite the repeat assurances PRIOR TO Larry BEING ELECTED, of that he would ’enhance democracy, the integrity of it’s application’, clearly that was misleading at best. (edited) We have seen NOTHING from Cr. Baldock and like-minded Councillors that they have any intention to meaningfully engage the community in the absence of predetermined outcomes.