Tauranga candidates turn to regional council

There are 17 people running for a Tauranga seat in the Bay of Plenty Regional Council election. File photo/SunLive.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has seen a surge in nominations for the Tauranga constituency compared to the last election when candidates were elected unopposed.

Nominations closed at midday Friday and as of 4.40pm there were 17 nominations for the Tauranga constituency, three times more than the 2019 regional council election.

Five people stood in 2019 and with five seats to be filled the candidates were automatically elected onto the council.

The Mauao Māori Constituency has one seat and two nominations for the upcoming election.

Local Government New Zealand president Stuart Crosby says the increase in Tauranga constituency nominations was 'always going to happen”.

'That in my view, is because there is no city council election and there's no DHB [district health board] election,” he says.

'So, the Tauranga constituency of the regional council is the last person standing … but it's a good thing.

'That's healthy and there should be more of it.”

In March, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced a commission would remain in charge of Tauranga City Council until July 2024, cancelling elections for the city this year.

The Government's health reforms on July 1 saw district health boards disbanded and replaced with Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, removing the need for elected health board members.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council chairman Doug Leeder says it is 'encouraging” to see the last-minute influx of nominations.

'Clearly there is a lot of interest from Tauranga residents in terms of contesting the Tauranga seats and the electorate will ultimately make the decision,” says Leeder.

Local Government New Zealand president Stuart Crosby. Photo: Supplied.

Crosby is a current Bay of Plenty Regional councillor and was the mayor of Tauranga for 12 years.

He says regional and city council are 'structurally very similar” because there is an elected body, chief executive and management team, but the issues were 'completely different”.

Regional councils look after the environmental management of a region, while city and district councils provide day to day services like wastewater treatment, rubbish collection, community facilities and roads.

In his role as LGNZ president, Crosby says nominations across the country for local government were behind, prior to confirmation.

He says the vacancies were particularly at the smaller council and community board level which was 'quite concerning”.

Crosby attributes the low number of nominations to a 'range of issues”.

'From the highest level, of the relevance of local government in people's minds, right through to people's time and ability to participate.”

He says LGNZ, Taituarā and other agencies were aware candidate turnout could be low many months ago, so the Vote 2022 campaign was formed.

Vote 2022 was in two parts, to make people aware of the election and their ability to stand as a councillor, as well as encourage more diversity of age, gender and ethnicity, says Crosby.

The other part will start soon and that is to encourage people to vote, he says.

LGNZ is a national body that supports Aotearoa's councils and Taituarā is the national membership organisation for local government professionals.

With nominations now closed, Crosby encourages people to take an interest in the upcoming election and vote.

Candidates will be officially declared by public notice on August 17.

Current nominations for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council

(As of 4.40pm August 12)

Tauranga General Constituency (5 Vacancies)

Baldock, Larry

Cooney, Matt

Crosby, Stuart

Deuchar, Bryan

Fogerty, Mark Adam

Guy, Murray

Love, David

Macmillan, Kat

Nagels, Jos

Nicholls-Faitele, Jason

Ross, Phil

Scott, Ron

Thompson, Paula

von Dadelszen, Andrew

Wassung, Mark

Wheeler, Stephen

White, Murray

Mauao Māori Constituency (1 Vacancy)

McDonald, Matemoana Janice

Mikaere, Buddy

Western Bay of Plenty General Constituency (2 Vacancies)

Fitter, Julian

Nees, Jane

Newland, Sean

Shirley, Ken

Rotorua General Constituency (2 Vacancies)

Dahya, Radhika

Gould, Mark

Paul, Katie Priscilla

Smith, Tim

Thurston, Lyall

Winters, Kevin

Ōkurei Māori Constituency (1 Vacancy)

Meha, Raina M.

White, Te Taru

Eastern Bay of Plenty General Constituency (2 Vacancies)

Campbell, Malcolm

Karetai, Mawera

Leeder, Doug

Orr, Russell (Independent)

van der Boom, Sarah Jane

Kōhi Māori Constituency (1 Vacancy)

Iti, Toi Kai Rākau

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.

You may also like....



Posted on 13-08-2022 14:53 | By peanuts9

Tauranga's list reads like "the same old" minus Andrew Hollis. What makes these people think they have something to offer the voters when they have been defeated time after time?


Posted on 13-08-2022 15:12 | By Let's get real

It seems that there may be only one candidate that admits to holding independent thoughts. Presumably other candidates will be following political party ideology and are not honest enough to identify their beliefs before being elected.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment.