Port ‘bludging’ off the city

A Bay of Plenty regional councillor reckons the Port of Tauranga is ‘miserly', a bit of a ‘bludger', and needs to do more for the city.

Andrew von Dadelszen's balcony overlooks Takitimu Drive. Every morning he sees the traffic congestion, especially the amount of trucks, and thinks the Port is to blame.

“Port of Tauranga is a huge asset for the Bay of Plenty and it's time for them to step up and support the community that has sacrificed so much to ensure the port's success. Tauranga traffic is creeping back towards gridlock and a lot of this is as a result of the big trucks that service our port.”

In his view, the Port's social investment is ‘plain miserly', and thinks they should be giving back more the community.

“Supporting the Half Ironman; a four year commitment to the TECT Rescue Helicopter ($62,000 per annum); sponsoring a scholarship for a handful of Maori tertiary students and a $6000 donation to foodbank just does not cut the mustard.”

He wants to see the Port investing a marine research centre, or a stadium in the Tauranga Domain, or even a museum.

“Put a million dollars into a stadium and we'll call it the Port of Tauranga Stadium if you like,” says Andrew.

“Tauranga City is New Zealand's fifth largest city and yet we lack the amenities of cities half our size. Our corporates need to step up and the Port needs to show leadership – and not just remain a bludger.

“Sooner or later, the city's residents will get fed up. The Port has a lot of good will at the moment, but they need to ensure they keep it.”

Mayor Greg Brownless thinks the Port has a positive impact on the area, and would welcome any extra public contributions they wished to make.

If the Port did seek to improve the city's amenities, the mayor's preference would be for a museum, rather than new stadium.

“I think people have been waiting a lot longer for a museum than a stadium. The big factor holding us up is the ongoing annual expenditure running a museum, which is where we would need the help.

“It would have been nice if the city council had received some shares at the time of local body amalgamation. If this idea addresses some of that unfairness, then great.”

Port of Tauranga CEO Mark Cairns has declined to comment on the matter.