By-election to be held for Tauranga Mayoralty

Tenby Powell. File image/SunLive.

A by-election will now be held for the mayoralty and the Pyes Pa/Otumoetai Ward after Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell announced his resignation at the conclusion of today’s extraordinary council meeting.

Tauranga City Council adopted a range of recommendations proposed by a Review and Observer Team to address elected member behaviour and performance and assist in addressing the city’s underlying growth and development issues through the development of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan.

At an extraordinary Council meeting today, the team’s report was received and discussed, following a resolution earlier in the week that the report should lie on the table to give members an opportunity to provide feedback.

Council voted to request that the Minister of Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta, appoint a Crown Manager and Observer to assist the council to address the behavioural issues and underlying growth management problems.

The Crown Manager is to assist in the development and adoption of its 2021-31 Long-term Plan and act as an observer to address elected member performance issues and restore community trust and confidence so that the council can continue to function effectively after the term of the Crown Manager has ended.

Other actions adopted today include:

• Governance training for elected members.
• A revised protocol for elected members to ask for information aligned with decision-making, outside of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act process.
• Establishing a more-effective and better-resourced Office of the Mayor which was passed on the Mayor’s casting vote.
• A shift away from detailed briefing sessions and an increased focus on key strategic issues.
• Streamlining the meeting schedule to provide more time for preparation and reduce the reliance on lengthy verbal briefings.
• The Council also agreed by a majority vote to convey the Review and Observer Team report to the Minister of Local Government and the Department of Internal Affairs.

Further to the council’s resolutions, a letter will be sent to the Minister of Local Government, requesting her intervention.

At the conclusion of the meeting Powell announced his resignation from his role with immediate effect.

He called for commissioners to replace the council and his resignation was met with loud claps from councillor John Robson.

"I will not stand and review a team report, I have asked the Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta to consider the appointment of commissioners," said Powell.

"Tauranga's future as a city, of strategic importance to New Zealand cannot be left to a small group of petty politicians who have a long track record of hindering, or even worse, stopping progress.

Recently Powell announced he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer but made it clear his resignation is not for that reason.

“My decision to resign is not about my cancer."

"It is my severe hope that my resignation will facilitate the government's intervention and I believe it is required for the future good of Tauranga Moana."

The council’s Electoral Officer has been advised by Chief Executive Marty Grenfell to initiate a by-election for the vacancy left by the resignation of Councillor Jako Abrie in October and for the mayoralty.

More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now

10B Gone!

Posted on 22-11-2020 17:07 | By morepork

"Ring the bells, the bells that still can ring. Forget your silent offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in..." Now is the time to let the light in and fire the lot of them. The ones that are blameless should have no trouble being re-elected and the rest of them deserve to go. I would acknowledge 10B for doing the right thing; better late than never.

A full election

Posted on 22-11-2020 14:48 | By Kancho

The cost of a by election probably isn’t that much different to a full election,so let’s not muck about. A government manager is still a good idea otherwise we merely stagnate and the serious issues remain. The out going Mayor has highlighted we are near insolvent and our council seems bent on personalities, and their egos. This is highlighted in the report that says they need governance training so they are not business like? . In other words stick with the real issues. Core business, maintenance and future planning. So where is the 3.4 billions going to come from? for the catch up of infrastructure and future growth . I must say I curse council quite often when snarled up in traffic trying to shop or pass through Greerton. Best wishes to Tenby, he tried better to focus on battles he can which is hopefully his health and recovery .

recycle bins

Posted on 22-11-2020 14:22 | By kiwigirl41

Does this now mean that the 4 recycle bins idea will be scrapped? I certainly hope so

get rid

Posted on 21-11-2020 14:22 | By

one gone, now the rest the whole lot a a bunch of no hopefuls they are not fit to run a kindergarten never mind a city like tauranga,

Be careful what you wish for

Posted on 21-11-2020 12:32 | By sobeit

Lucky break for Tauranga Ratepayers who are struggling /failing to pay their rates now. Powell has left an expensive memorial of his time here....but worse,much worse will come from a Crown Manager / or Commissioner. It’s possible Powell’s campaign was funded by business interests and those interests will lean heavily on any Government appointee.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 21-11-2020 12:16 | By

Bi-elections....another expense for the ratepayer I assume. Sack the lot. Last out turn off the lights.


Posted on 21-11-2020 12:03 | By

He couldn’t hack a mere three years in office before throwing all his toys out of the cot. Good thing about this is that it’s the end of his political career; and it probably hasn’t helped his private ventures either.

More info please

Posted on 21-11-2020 10:41 | By waiknot

This report claims bulling and worse. Before we voted id like to know who the protagonists are. As I’m sure not all councillors are guilty here.

We need more by-elections

Posted on 21-11-2020 09:53 | By Angels

This is hopefully the start, hopefully Larry !!!!!! is next, our election system makes it hard to get rid of bad apples. Let’s hope they resign toooo


Posted on 21-11-2020 09:23 | By Equality

I thought a commissioner was going to run the show and get things back on the straight and narrow. It appears not?With the ’boss’ gone hopefully civility will return to the unhappy bunch. I can’t imagine who would want to be mayor!! Whoever the brave person is, they will have to stick with basic infrastructural needs. No more ’nice to haves’ which turn into overbudgeted failures in the end.


Posted on 21-11-2020 07:11 | By nerak

Powell is leaving with a clear message: I have no blame whatsoever in this miserable debacle. Forty years of paying rates here, and I don’t recall ’toxic’ being used to describe council antics, until he took his seat. He’s pointing at everyone but himself. The rest of them can’t all be petty, can they?


Posted on 20-11-2020 20:13 | By dumbkof2

dear oh dear couldnt have happened to a nicer person. although i wish him all best with his medical problems

Adult Kindergarten

Posted on 20-11-2020 19:05 | By First Responder

Sad to see you go. Health is your priority over running that kindergarten. Tauranga is a poorly managed fast growing city, that needs some real iron at the top. Too many failed projects in Tauranga, and no one accountable.

By Election ?

Posted on 20-11-2020 17:50 | By Kancho

We should have a complete council election not a part one . The Mayor needs to concentrate on his health so good on him. He is a business man who couldn’t get our elected members to be business like and form a council and concentrate on business not personalities and their own egos. We need a new council as this lot have only just worked out they need training on how to be a council and they need a commissioner to hold there hand to stop bickering or fiddle as Rome burns. So get rid and start again of disruptive time wasters. So Morris, Robson, Clout, and Grainger you will no longer be needed for my vote. I will endorse Baldock, Salisbury and Hughes who at least tried to soldier on. Bring government manager and a new whole election