IT’S BEEN A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE
Kia Ora Koutou e te Whanau
Together - with the many communities that make up Tauranga Moana - we have achieved much over the past 15 months. It’s been my privilege to work for you and with you on many progressive initiatives.
I decided to step away following Tuesday’s council meeting after it became obvious that six councillors refused to recognise our collective failings. This was once again reinforced at the council meeting last Friday.
It’s time to stem the constant failures and blockages that have hindered progress in Tauranga for years; it’s time to enable a flow of success. Let me explain.
It is my sincere hope that my resignation will facilitate Government intervention and enable Tauranga to catch up on years of economic and social neglect.
Tauranga is of strategic importance to New Zealand and yet it is 15-20 years behind on infrastructure, housing and community amenity. Successive councils, over many years, have failed to have the courage to address the key issues to support New Zealand’s fastest growing city.
I said from the outset, I refuse to kick a can down a potholed road - it’s time to have the moral courage to say enough, and openly address the myriad issues impacting our high growth city. And this can only be achieved with deep-seated partnerships with government, iwi and the community. And therein lies the problem.
The fact of the matter is that a quorum of the current council do not have the vision, experience or moral courage to accept this, create enduring partnerships to solve the problems, and together, make the hard decisions to progress the city.
This is why I’ve recommended to government that we need a period of crown intervention. Tauranga is too important to let petty politicians dictate its future.
If the government agrees to intervene, I believe the next generation will look back on this period in twenty years time and say this was when the change was made and the stranglehold on our city was broken. I truly believe history will show that in November 2020, the DNA of incompetence was recognised and cauterised, and, after a period of Crown management, a governance team can be rebuilt with real leaders.
Sharon and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love since Friday - you have our heartfelt thanks and aroha.
I remain wholly committed to making a continued contribution to Tauranga and New Zealand in the future. For now, it’s time to focus on getting well and fit again following surgery tomorrow.
Please don’t lose sight of the power of ‘Kotahitanga’ - working together and positively supporting and looking after each other - this is how we got so much done!
Ka nui Te mihi Aroha ki a koutou katoa o Tauranga Moana. Kia Kaha tatou.
It has been my honour to serve you as Mayor of Tauranga. Putting my skillset to work for our great city.
Tauranga Together. Kotahitanga.