National Party MP
It has been an amazing summer so far in the Bay.
The sun has shone and the beaches and cafes have been heaving, but a couple of things have got my goat. The first is rubbish and the second is water.
In regard to the first, I like to think my family of five is pretty careful and tries to conserve and be sustainable. But at Christmas time it’s inevitable that there is a bit more paper, cardboard, glass and other waste.
The nearest tip to me would have been Maleme Street in the past, but now there is only one in the entire Western Bay of Plenty, Te Maunga. What’s more, no longer is there anywhere for construction waste. It all gets trucked over to the Waikato, adding cost and compliance to building.
I could go on, but my simple point is that issues like these relating to rubbish are building up in our region that continues to grow population wise.
Yes, we want central and local government to be sustainable, but we also want them to be realistic. We need urgent plans for more waste disposal – bluntly, more rubbish tip capacity.
My second issue is also one about planning, really. All over the city there have been signs asking us to conserve water “please”. I appreciate the politeness, I really do, but Tauranga doesn’t actually have water shortages, or shouldn’t have.
Out of the peak of summer (and sometimes in it) we have an abundance of rain. What we actually have is a water storage shortage, which is very different.
I accept we are where we are, and there is no point crying over spilt milk (or water as the case may be), but central and local government must get on with more water storage urgently. Let’s see a clear, crisp, no-nonsense plan please.
Finally, council has outlined long term plans for CBD redevelopment and, broadly speaking, I support these - although I’d push for government to get on and make them happen even sooner and with a lot more parking, as families of five can’t always bus or lime scooter.
But forgive me if I worry that if neither arms of government can plan for the basics like rubbish and water, core to their remits, how on earth can we expect them to implement a grand and intricate CBD plan well? The phrase ‘get the basics right first’ comes to mind.