Tauranga City Council will pursue its investigation into banning begging in the Central Business District, but a decision to drastically increase parking charges in town will not proceed.
Mayor Greg Brownless' casting vote was required for both votes which took place at an extra-ordinary council meeting on Monday.
The motions were originally filed by Councillor Terry Molloy last week and were carried for further discussion.
The begging and rough sleeping issue will be reported back to the city council in the New Year.
“Hopefully by then this other plan to address homelessness and rough sleeping in a positive way might have kicked in,” says Greg.
Housing First, a multi-agency approach to addressing rough sleeping, is expected to be operating in Tauranga in the New Year.
A prohibition on begging in any public place will also be looked at through an amendment to the street uses bylaw.
Preventing begging does not prohibit busking, says Greg.
“Busking is playing a musical instrument with some musicality.
“To me there's a clear difference between someone asking you for money and potentially abusing you if you don't give it, and we have had reports of that lately.
“We've also had people saying they won't use buses because some of them hang around bus stops pan handling, so they are not just beggars but other people as well…drug dealing – just outside the office here actually.”
Terry's motion to massively increase all day parking charges in the central city has failed.
His suggestion that parking in the Tauranga CBD zone 1, be free for the first two hours – and $6 an hour after that will not go ahead, nor will extending the charging time to close of business instead of 3pm. The current ‘free after three' policy remains in effect.
Those policies were defeated on the mayoral casting vote.
“We've asked Mainstreet to give us their opinion,” says Greg.
What councillors did decide was to continue with the other points in Terry Molloy's original motion; encouraging ride sharing, looking for other places, the possible use of areas at Gate Pa, Sulphur Point for park and ride, and looking for temporary car parks, including the possibility of demolishing the sheds on the landward side of Dive Crescent for more parking.
It will depend on the returns and costs.
They are used for storage of council related items and are in a condition too poor to be leased out. Demolition will provide 38 spaces.
Demolition and replacing with car parks will cost about $145,000.