|Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris
You may have noticed when visiting the pools or one of our community halls that there's a sign on the wall emblazoned with the ‘Bay Venues' logo.
Bay Venues is 100 per cent owned by Tauranga City Council. It has its own board of directors, its own staff and runs the likes of Bay Park, ASB Arena and Baywave for Council. The board is appointed by and reports to the Mayor and Councillors.
That might seem an inefficient structure, but the truth is it works exceptionally well.
The chair is local man Peter Farmer (of Farmer motor group fame).
We all know that halls and public pools don't make money. That's why it's traditionally been up to councils around the country to provide them. Since Bay Venues' formation in 2013, the revenue from these facilities has increased 54 per cent to $17.9m a year.
Today, 90 per cent of the operational expenses of these facilities (excluding depreciation) is met by user-pays fees. Compare this with similar facilities in Auckland, which are only 62 per cent funded by user-pays and the rest subsidised by their ratepayers.
Bay Venues has some exciting proposals for the next ten years, one of which is the replacement of the Otumoetai and Memorial Pools with a large, new, covered aquatic centre in the CBD like Baywave to including outdoor hot-pools.
The facility is projected to meet its operational expenses from the opening day. This kind of performance is only possible when you have a professional, commercial board operating with and on behalf of the council.