Tauranga’s Mayor elect Greg Brownless says he has a bit of catching up to do before he’s sworn in at the end of the month.
There’s two immediate issues, the previous council’s decision to pull the New Year’s Eve celebrations and the civic heart project.
“I would like to find out what’s behind it, I would like to find out what the police positon is, see what the appetite amongst the councillors is to see if we can change anything,” says Greg, who received 9046 votes in the preliminary result released on Sunday evening. Watch a video from Greg after he received the mayoralty news here.
“Of course we are not sworn in for a few weeks, I will have to look and see what I can find out about it.
“It’s counter intuitive to the whole idea of being originally told we needed to provide family entertainment there and that would help pout, and now to find that it’s the opposite,” says Greg.
“I probably would like to talk to the other councillors and try and see if there’s anything we can do. Unfortunately it’s all so late in the year.”
The civic heart project is another current issue he is eager to hear the new council’s thoughts on.
“It’s a big wish list. I would like to see that refined a bit, pick off something we can actually do, rather than too much dreaming,” says Greg.
“I think we also need to engage the feelings of the local architect and design people.”
Some of them have offered to donate skills and time, which would make it a more local project.
Greg’s been on Tauranga City Council for most of the last 20 years. He was first elected in 1995, but missed the 1999-2001 council. He was re-elected in 2001 and remained on council through the mayoralties of Noel Pope, Jan Benge and Stuart Crosby until 2010.
“All I can say is in politics its an interesting sort of a job in that you can be there one minute an gone the next – and you can be gone the next and be back again.
“I actually do feel for those who have lost their positions. I have rung them, because the first time I ran I never got into council. So I know what it feels like too,” says Greg.
“They all look a decent bunch of people. I think just about everyone who puts their name forward is a good person. And they have elected all good people.
“So I think by the looks of it we can all work together. There might be a few different opinions but there is nothing wrong with that, there need to be different opinions.”
Read here for a full list of Tauranga City Council’s preliminary results.