Commissioners to be appointed beyond 2022

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: Alisha Evans/LDR.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has today announced her intention to appoint a Commission to the Tauranga City Council until July 2024.

The current commission, chaired by former National MP Anne Tolley, was installed by Mahuta in February last year after elected councillors were sacked by the Minister amid accusations that the authority had become “dysfunctional”.

“The current Tauranga Commissioners have accomplished some impressive achievements in their tenure including strengthening relationships with the community, producing a long-term plan for 2021-31, and improving culture within the Council,” says Mahuta.

“They have acted on many hard decisions that are essential to building a prosperous and sustainable future for Tauranga. But it is clear there is more to be done.

“Having a Commission beyond October will ensure that the Council have the stability needed to maintain its current pace. They will be able to deliver on several complex programmes of work, including plans for the new civic centre precinct and investment plans for future growth.

“I have taken on board the Commission’s exit plan and recommendations and carefully considered all available options. It became clear that the Council is still facing significant challenges and it is going to be necessary to continue to have a Commission at the Council to advance the progress already made.

Anne Tolley at today's announcement.

“I want to acknowledge Commission Chair Anne Tolley and thank the current Commissioners for the work that they have undertaken so far. They have worked effectively to understand the needs of the Tauranga and what is required to deliver significant and necessary change to a rapidly growing city.”

The current Commission’s term began in February 2021 and will end in October.

Following consultation with Cabinet, Minister Nanaia Mahuta will consider candidates for appointment to the next Commission.

“My intention is for a smooth transition back to elected representation for Tauranga in July 2024 with elections to bring in new councillors and a new Mayor,” says Mahuta.

“Today’s decision reflects the excellent progress made to date but also the work that remains to be done to ensure that Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty region are provided with the services and infrastructure they require into the future.”

Further announcements about appointees and Terms of Reference of the Commission will be made in the coming weeks.

Current Tauranga City commissioners Bill Wasley, Stephen Selwood, Anne Tolley, and Shadrach Rolleston.

Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the Government’s decision to appoint a new commission and delay local elections until July 2024 recognises the complex processes required to get Tauranga moving and the risks associated with introducing a new set of elected members mid-way through some significant decision-making processes.

“That extended timeframe will allow a Commission to continue implementing the workplan now underway to address the city’s severe housing shortage and underinvestment in community facilities and infrastructure.

“It will also mean a Commission can work with council management to develop the council’s draft 2024-34 long-term plan, engage with the community on the workplan and budget it proposes and cement-in a strong programme to guide the city’s future development.

“It’s gratifying to know that the Minister of Local Government has confidence in the commission model and recognises how much the council has achieved in the past 13 months.

“This decision provides time to make some real progress and put in place the building blocks which will allow Tauranga to become the great city it deserves to be.”

Priority One Tauranga Moana applauds the decision to re-appoint Tauranga City Council’s Commission until July 2024.

"We acknowledge that this would not have been a straight-forward decision for the Minister; requiring a balance between the importance of returning to democratic elections as soon as possible, against the demonstration of progress being made in returning confidence, trust and stability to TCC governance," says a statement released following Mahuta's decisoon.

 "On balance, we think the Minister has got it right. Strong, capable and trusted governance is extremely important in a fast growing city that needs to cater for its community in the future," says Priority One chair Simon Clarke.

"There are some challenging issues and significant opportunities ahead and the City needs strong leadership.

"We have been impressed by the professional, and action-oriented approach from the Commission so far and believe this additional time will allow them to continue their great work and position Tauranga Moana well for the future."

Nigel Tutt. Photo: Salina Galvan Photography.

Priority One notes strong support from its membership for the Commission to continue for an extended-term before returning to elections.

"We surveyed local businesses, community trusts, Iwi, social groups and environment groups in 2021 to gauge feedback on the Commission’s performance," says Priority One Chief Executive Nigel Tutt.

"Our members' backing for the Commission was overwhelming. In particular, the support for strong progress made in a short period of time and the extensive community engagement undertaken by the Commission on key matters."

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Posted on 13-03-2022 10:03 | By peanuts9

Best news I’ve heard this year.

Priority One

Posted on 11-03-2022 22:40 | By The Sage

Why is anyone even listening to these people? I doubt a single one of them has ever run their own business. All they have done over the years is attend meetings, do surveys, attend overseas employment expos and pontificate on how many businesses they are attracting to the area, no proof ever provided. All the while being funded by Tauranga City Council. They are a waste of resources and I rest my case.

Big business gets its way

Posted on 11-03-2022 20:47 | By Observer Tronn

Look forward to double digit rates rises continuing. Have to subsidise development somehow and an unelected group of Labour Government appointees is that way to do that.


Posted on 11-03-2022 19:43 | By dumbkof2

previous councilers need not re apply

Disagree totally

Posted on 11-03-2022 17:28 | By AuntyMinnie

What about democracy!! Most people don’t want commissioners. Listen to the residents of Tauranga. Vote labour out and goodbye to Mahuta. The government is just bullying the residents of Tauranga!

As usual, use the racist tactic

Posted on 11-03-2022 17:04 | By Get our roads

Tauranga has been in dire straits long before the Commisioners were put in place, Tauranga is a racist community at the best of times, one Maori ward yet so much land was stolen from the Maori here. The previous ousted Councillors are bitter and unrepentant for their mismanagement of ratepayers money and most of them want to run again to push their own racist agendas through, ha ha, wait till 2024, hopefully we will get some young innovative, qualified, leaders through, crusty, stale white men and women is not what we need, what have you done to be proud of in Tga, oh, that’s right, defunct carpark building, underfunded infrastructure and roading chaos, would just be more of the same old white brigade pushing their own agendas for their rich mates, ta ta

Why The Dictatorship?

Posted on 11-03-2022 16:03 | By Bob Landy

Surely this is a decision for the people of Tauranga.

Common sense prevails,

Posted on 11-03-2022 15:56 | By R. Bell

over misinformation and political deflection. Those who see a conspiracy to replace democracy with "rule of the chiefs" have yet again seen the majority ridicule those claims, and keep Tauranga on a the path to present and future prosperity. If the current government does fall it will be because of the long standing attacks by those who refuse to understand that democracy is never perfect and needs strong progressive adjustment to survive. Nania Mahuta should be congratulated for her strong leadership, and inspired understanding of Tauranga’s inability to elect mature, capable leaders.


Posted on 11-03-2022 15:16 | By Avman

The government knows that it’s racially-based Three-Waters asset-grab is a political hot potato that virtually nobody in this country wants (those that know about it that is) and that the majority of councils oppose it. It is looking like a major 2023 election issue. What better way for a government to shut down the opinions of the people of the 5th biggest city in the country than ordering that they no longer get a vote anymore on the 3-waters plan? Does anyone think that it is a coincidence that Mahuta has declared that there won’t be any democracy in Tauranga until after the next general election in 2023? Oh, and let me make another prediction, the commission appointed by Mahuta will vote in favour of anything that Mahuta proposes from here on in, including the 3-waters theft. Not hard to predict really.

You've had a slap in the face

Posted on 11-03-2022 15:04 | By bigted

Kiss democracy goodbye. If government had their way local council’s wouldn’t exist and the Wellington mobsters would run everything. Muldoonism has returned and we know what happened then.


Posted on 11-03-2022 14:49 | By Yadick

So we agree we are being stripped of our democratic rights and the Commissioners are grossly overpaid and most of us totally dislike Mahuta but I think this is a good move just committed wrongly. At the end of the day the Commissioners have done well in many ways. We may not agree with all the decisions but we never will no matter who is in. However we don’t want or need the old boys club, any of them, sitting in those seats again. I agree with morepork, the coming General Elections will be critical... have a voice and use it. Everyone’s comment here, in some way is totally justified.

A foregone conclusion

Posted on 11-03-2022 14:38 | By Avman

There was never any doubt about this decision, despite Mahuta’s blatantly obvious lies that she wanted a return to democracy, yet nothing that her government, or she as minister, have ever done supports anything to do with democracy. She was always going to say no to people having a vote, just as she did with eliminating democracy over the maori wards. It should be obvious by now that there will never be a return to democracy in 2024 either, you would have to be totally blind to believe that, unless this dictatorship government is removed in 2023.

Another broken promise

Posted on 11-03-2022 14:26 | By FRANKS

We should not be surprised................

Corruption beyond imagination.

Posted on 11-03-2022 13:43 | By Murray.Guy


Nanny knows best...

Posted on 11-03-2022 13:38 | By morepork

Priority One surveyed vested interests who were already biased. We need for the people of Tauranga to be "surveyed" (an election does this) and democratic choice to be restored. But it is painfully obvious that The Chief doesn’t think we are capable of administering ourselves and we would not have the same priorities that SHE has. I believe this action reflects the moral bankruptcy of this government and the policy that, unless you are on board with the Party line, you will have no say in anything. Latest polls are encouraging; the country is starting to wake up to the fact that it is being stolen, by a handful of manipulative politicians and academics who all have an eye to the main chance and support tribal tikanga over democracy. The coming General Elections will be critical... have a voice and use it.


Posted on 11-03-2022 13:16 | By HMG1

Good decision - local wannabe’s have to wait a couple of years till they can waste our money again.


Posted on 11-03-2022 13:11 | By john boy

Democracy dead

Lots of self back pats

Posted on 11-03-2022 13:08 | By an_alias

Well done, well done...your great, were great. Come on can we have some basic democracy that you said would happen before 2022 ? How about actually asking the people what they want rather than telling us. Sunlives POLL showed 65% dont agree with YOU. Can we get a costing to rates for ALL this fluff please.


Posted on 11-03-2022 12:17 | By dumbkof2

once again mahuta has vetoed any consoltation with the ratepayers. jobs for the boys at huge salaries

Great news

Posted on 11-03-2022 11:33 | By Informed

I hope that some or all of the current commissioners are retained.

What a loss of democracy

Posted on 11-03-2022 11:18 | By an_alias

So they are smiling for sure at $1800 a day till 2024. The intention is no democracy going forward. No accountability, while these 4 take Millions of salary when have no say and no one will say how much you rates will go up for the $300M to $1B plans

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