Tolley: a sense of helplessness in Tauranga City

Commissioners Stephen Selwood, Shadrach Rolleston, Bill Wasley and Anne Tolley meeting with social agencies at The Kollective. Supplied photo.

“Tauranga's residents have a sense of helplessness about the overwhelming growth of their city.”

This is what commissioner Anne Tolley told social sector agencies at a meeting organised by The Kollective and SociaLink, the umbrella organisation for Western Bay of Plenty social agencies.

All four commissioners, Tolley, Bill Wasley, Shad Rolleston and Stephen Selwood, were present and discussed the council's Long Term Plan, which is open for submissions.

Tolley says the LTP includes providing better amenities, the ability to move around the city, providing land for affordable housing and revitalisation of the city centre.

"Devonport Road is a pretty sad place in its current state," Wasley says.

"We're incorporating a proposal for a civic administration building, an indication of the kind of development which will bring several hundred staff back into the city centre."

He says as well as managing growth it needed to provide for the people who already live here. The council would be an enabler of affordable housing, but would not be going out and buying up land.

"There is a need for balance,” he says.

Selwood says the city had not managed growth well. Transport would get the greatest percentage of the investment, totalling $1.9 billion.

Tolley says residential rates would increase 16 to 17 percent, about $1 a day for most, and they were looking to spread the costs, with higher increases in consents and development contributions, which would more than double.

The LTP aims to shift more of the load to the commercial sector, she says.

The commissioners heard from the social agencies that the LTP focuses on infrastructure and not people, and that those renting were left out. There also needs to be more consideration in the plan of the 27 per cent of residents with a disability.

Rolleston says they recognised there were gaps, but the LTP was intended to be inclusive and address broader social issues.

Tolley says families were at the heart of the LTP and they were working with partners such as the Regional Council so they could talk to the government with a single voice.

Asked what she thought was the biggest concern for the city she says people appeared overwhelmed by growth, and wanted stops put up at either end of the city to stop it.

"There's a sense of helplessness."

Selwood says when he arrived Tauranga didn't appear to have a 'story'.

"It's difficult to understand what the city is about."

The commissioners are urging people to make submissions on the LTP, and say they had made it as easy as possible for people to have their voice heard.

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A sensible suggestion...

Posted on 17-05-2021 02:59 | By morepork

... from Let’s get Real. Let Council publicly post ALL proposed projects, along with the projected costs, and have Ratepayers vote on the projects that people actually WANT. In this day and age it would not cost a lot to have a publicly posted annual list, and an online referendum, once a year. Priorities would be established, depending on the votes received for a given project, and then work could proceed. Council would post progress report summaries on each Project every 3 months. No backroom deals, personal agendas, or vested interests; just plain common sense and Democracy in action. Engage people easily and the hopelessness and helplessness can be overcome.

Community Boards

Posted on 16-05-2021 06:18 | By beejay8

The Commissioners have an opportunity to allow the community to become more involved in the decision making process. In a couple of months, in the representation review, they can provide for Community Boards to be established in Tauranga. There are 110 CBs in NZ, why not in Tauranga. Community Boards provide local solutions to local problems and the people’s insight into city-wide problems. The Commissioners can provide advice and training to the Board members that will benefit the city in the long term. Come on Commissioners, let us take part in planning Tauranga’s future.


Posted on 15-05-2021 10:50 | By

Well you’ve touched on an argument I have expressed before about politicians at both local and national level. But take Council elections - none of the candidates ever express any detailed policies. All you get is a pen portrait of how much they love Tauranga blah blah blah. National politics is not a lot better. You may as well stick a pin in. But do you think Ann Tolley and co are any better just because they were installed and given fancy titles and big bucks? Anybody could come in a put Rates up 20% year on year and claim to have turned the place around. At the end of the day the biggest issue is that democracy was stripped away and its a slippery slope. And what is clear from the article is Tolley thinks she can speak for all to validate a predetermined course.


Posted on 15-05-2021 10:44 | By

Greerton Roads, Cameron Road, Ngatai Road, Totara St, Hewletts Rd, infrastructure, water shortage, carpark building, wheeliebins, Maleme St. transfer facility, bike lanes, bus lanes, buses, transport system, homelessness, Devonport Rd City centre, thugs, filth of Devonport Road, miss spending of our rates money, listening but refusing to hear . . . Hopelessness - REALLY?

How about this

Posted on 15-05-2021 09:25 | By

Create a remote shipping terminal with a dedicated rail or road link to the port. Get those trucks off the city streets and highways. Make a safer and more efficient city.

To Slim Shady

Posted on 15-05-2021 07:44 | By

Yes, It would have to be said the residents of Tauranga are stupid. Why else would they have continued to elect the same old incompetent, blustering, selfish councillors and now support them in their various attempts to take back their power via various local interest groups> Neither the councillors or the interest groups have the best interests of the city in mind, only themselves.

Build it better

Posted on 15-05-2021 04:25 | By

Get creative and stop pinching pennies - then shake up the city workers so that projects are well thought out, tested, and validated by the community. All the bike ways are not connected, and most are so unsafe that they discourage use. What we are best at was low rates and even lower commercial rates. Ugly buildings - too many malls - and constant whining about traffic. People wanting to pave paradise and create parking lots. There’s a shortsighted sickness in our city that does not match it’s natural beauty. Build it better - unleash creativity.


Posted on 14-05-2021 18:15 | By overit

What’s wrong with Devonport Rd? Just about the only one that hasn’t been mucked about with. Oh that’s right, it’s got the Farmers building on it. Let’s restyle it in keeping with the new building. Chuck millions of dollars into it and Fark it up.


Posted on 14-05-2021 17:45 | By

I think the “screams” are for keeping Rates rises affordable. I know of nobody who thinks, expects or wants Rates to be “lower” than they are whilst maintaining essential services. And rises could be modest if it were not for wasted money on wish list woke projects, stuff ups and bureaucratic empire building. It is basically an article about an unelected former Napier Councillor who thinks they are a mind reader and can speak on people’s behalf because they are too stupid to express themselves.


Posted on 14-05-2021 14:48 | By

A helplessness of Tauranga City Council not listening to it’s Rate Payers is what everyone is upset about. Don’t go spending more good money after bad when you need to fix the problems TCC have already created. We want solutions to the city’s problems, not creating new ones to add to them. We want a voice & an opinion rather than being told what to do. We want accountability from our Council & ensuring that our money is spent wisely rather than on projects no-one needs or wants. What we want is a clear vision that we can see & believe in, a free flowing and moving city, and one with a positivity & vibrancy.


Posted on 14-05-2021 14:45 | By

This is the most sensible article I have read about Tauranga in a long time. The screams for lower rates, along with idiotic, incompetent councillors are the main the reasons for the problems we have. There hasn’t been an overall plan or even an overall look, for the city for decades as each of the extremely vocal but petty minded groups push their own barrows. Too many vested interests involved in the decision making and too little common sense has been the decades long theme.

Change of use

Posted on 14-05-2021 14:15 | By Johnney

We here of two big problems. A shortage of housing and a glut of vacant commercial properties in CBD’s. The solution is staring at us. Encourage more CBD development into residential. You fix the problem, have less need for people to commute etc. This would also add vibrancy. This happens effectively in many cities around the world.

Well you can start by....

Posted on 14-05-2021 13:22 | By Bruja

Stopping doing stuff like considering selling off the Hinau and Pita pensioner flats to make some short-term cash and put many elderly out on the street because THAT IS where they’ll be. FACT!!! Place them temporarily in places which are currently empty (air bnbs etc) - plenty at the Mount!!!, Bowl the units and build 3 times as many new one and 2 br apartments on the land. The site is perfect for elderly, close to shops, supermarkets, a walk on the beach etc etc etc. We need 1000% increase in pensioner housing not flicking off the stocks for what would be miniscule return. GET REAL!!! People come first not last!!!

Unelected that why its hopeless

Posted on 14-05-2021 11:33 | By

What a absolute farce saying it hopeless and you know the reason is in the next paragraph, WE WANT A 17% RATE INCREASE. I call for the 4 to step down.

Blame those footing the bill

Posted on 14-05-2021 11:21 | By

Tolley is probably correct in identifying a sense of helplessness in the ratepaying population of the city. I am sick and tired of being TOLD what we want and being TOLD what’s going to happen and what’s good for us (Whether we offer an opinion or not). We are TOLD we MUST have a public transport system, even though it’s wasteful and haemorrhaging ratepayers money and we’re TOLD that we MUST incorporate cycleways into existing transport routes and then wonder why millions of dollars are not being used by the people it was intended for (although often it’s to quiet a lone voice on a crusade finding a sympathetic ear). Ratepayers want involvement rather than a dictatorship. Post an annual list of proposed projects and let the ratepayers only vote on which get the green light.

Make that

Posted on 14-05-2021 11:07 | By nerak

a sense of HOPELESSNESS. Anne, many a ratepayer will say we have no hope with you and the other 3 with your heads in the clouds. I’ve yet to read a comment from any of you that is worthy of hope.


Posted on 14-05-2021 11:01 | By

Oh yeah, we are so stupid and have no idea how to manage growth and keep rates affordable. Thank goodness the Central Committee installed you four geniuses to tell us about the price of milk.