Mayor calling for promises to be kept

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless.

Tauranga City is looking at some tough times caused by the city's growth, which under existing law has to be paid for by the ratepayers.

Among the major works being shortlisted for the next long term plan are the $117 million Waiari Water Treatment scheme, plus $55m for Te Maunga treatment plant upgrades, and the millions and millions required for infrastructure for new housing projects at Te Tumu and Tauriko.

The government is prepared to loan the city $230m for the growth projects – but the amount may cap out the city debt ceiling, already expected to hit $400 million next year.

“The cost of infrastructure moving forward and providing for growth is probably going to be horrendous,” says Mayor Greg Brownless.

“But when we look at what we want to do, we need it. And we have to think, how do we fund it? Because we can't do it with rates, we just can't.

“It's going to be impossible. The government is clearly coming to the party in Auckland, and especially now that there is a new government, I'm expecting them to come to the party here too and in the same proportion.

“So if they are going to be funding big transport projects in Auckland, I want to see that happen here.

“We just want things to be fair. I am slightly worried that a new government may not take as much notice of us, but I'm hopeful on the other hand that we have got three MPs, albeit list ones, who are members of the ruling coalition

“At least we will be able to get to talk to them, but we do have a real problem here in that the major source of our income is rates.”

The government has enjoyed huge and increasing revenues over the last few years, says Greg.

“Unless that's frittered away suddenly, then some of that should be coming back to the regions which generated that wealth.”

Tauranga City is required to provide zoned and serviced land for housing, and it has to plan 30 years in the future.

“Now we have to pay for that as ratepayers, until the stuff gets sold,” says Greg.

“I don't really want to do that. The government has offered a loan but I would prefer that loan was a grant and even interest free. It still has to be re-paid and it goes on our balance sheet.

“They are the same old problems that have pretty well confronted us for the last year, but now we do have a new government and things have got to actually happen.”

He's holding New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to his promise that GST generated by regional tourism will be returned to the regions.

“I'm expecting that to happen,” says Greg. “People have been calling me naïve, but when you say something, I expect it to happen.”


Calling for promises to be kept bleating- really

Posted on 07-11-2017 22:02 | By ROCCO

What is this load of garbage. The head bling chainman is miffed only because TCC now can't apply any interest free grant toward reducing Tauranga's really serious debt to bring the rampant out of control financial beasty back into the debt ratio confines. Heaven help the TCC ratepayers with this mindset.How long to go 22months and counting the days to scupper this lot of dilettantes.

Bling and trinkets

Posted on 29-10-2017 22:58 | By MISS ADVENTURE

By the looks of it are way mor elikely to cut off the blood supply heading north more than anything. But I guess wearing teh bling that is all shiny and bright and sparkly will keep the simple of mind well and truly faithful blindly so to the end.

To all you's fella blogging here

Posted on 29-10-2017 22:56 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Well dont and certainly well sauid, it anything not blunt and hard enough for sure. Sadly the messge will be ignored by the Councilors and Mayor becasue they know best of course, what is best for us all out here in noddle land where everythign is so wonderful. Except we have to pay mushroom like rates ... The Councillors and Mayor are very clear that they know best, that they have always known this. he reason is simple, Council staff have told them that is teh answer, easy really isnt it. In fact it is sooooo simple that they dont even need to think at all, they just need to repeat parrot fashion what they have been told to say.

@ tabatha

Posted on 29-10-2017 11:51 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That wont happen, then borrow and spend on nice to haves then bleat about no money for essential stuff like water, roads etc. The hypocrocy has stretch to impossible lenghts. Funny though, the lack of anything meaningful as decisions from Councillors/Mayor thenselves, fail to make proper sound decisions and then bleat about Government keeping promises. Little bit two-faced if you ask me!

And what was..

Posted on 29-10-2017 10:25 | By Me again

The tcc promise. Oh yeah to spend, spend, spend on everything we don't need. You guys held hands with the last lot of councilors. .onkeys in a barrel.


Posted on 29-10-2017 07:10 | By Angels

That is a huge amount of debt required. For so few ratepayers it very alarming.Yet you councillors still have a stupid expensive museum in your plans as well.Time to listen to the ratepayers. No museum, sensible spending

Longtime local

Posted on 28-10-2017 20:37 | By Christine1965

Bullshit..why th hell should we pay

Grim Reaper

Posted on 28-10-2017 18:04 | By waiknot

But we have funds for a museum, a new council ivory tower, but we dont have funding in place for basic infrastructure.


Posted on 28-10-2017 17:24 | By phoenix

What!! A mayor asking someone else to Keep Their Promises. Is that the Joke of the century, Or Just taking the wee wee?

Pull back on other Spending

Posted on 28-10-2017 16:38 | By tabatha

At present too much spending on other things. Some of the Councillors and council workers need to be told to pull back on spending to pay for the necessary items.


Posted on 28-10-2017 15:22 | By overit

You lot a Council know how to fritter away money eh. Hope you can handle the heat in the kitchen.

I agree, Greg.

Posted on 28-10-2017 14:36 | By morepork

If promises are made they should be kept. Obviously, in Politics we know that is seldom the case, and that's why people are skeptical about statements from Politicians. Given that Winston has already reneged on several promises made before the election, there probably isn't a strong probability of this one being kept either, but it is worth rattling the cage of the new Government over it. You are 100% correct that the required finance for Tauranga cannot be raised from Rates alone.

Council Spending

Posted on 28-10-2017 14:34 | By PaulM

Stop dreaming Mr Mayor - your executive is like most others, out of financial control, and you can do nothing about it - Councillors get kicked out every three years but the executive continue with their pressure groups for as long as they want.Tauranga WBOP did not vote Labour so forget anything from this Government except a Petrol Levy (plus gst). Not a tax though.

Promises to be kept?

Posted on 28-10-2017 13:27 | By MISS ADVENTURE

TCC is the one breaking them and of course they haev to be constantly be reminded of what they actually have promised and later when it suits ignored it all

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

What are your thoughts on the council’s proposal to increase rates 40 per cent over the next three years?

Good, it will help pay to revitilise the city
Not good, rates are high enough now
I’m ok with an increase, but maybe not such a big one

Bay Today

Penumbra on Sunday. Photo: Joan King.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty.