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About Tenby

Tauranga Deserves Better Leadership.

Hi everyone, my name is Tenby Powell and I am honoured to have been elected as your new Mayor. I'm married to the dynamic Sharon Hunter, a leading New Zealand entrepreneur, and we have two wonderful adult children: George and Charlotte.

Tauranga is my home and it's always held my heart. 

I went to school and grew up here, attending Matua Primary as a foundation student, Otumoetai Intermediate and Otumoetai College. I was a long serving member of Southern Cross Cubs and Sea Scouts, sailed the wonderful P Class yachts in the inner harbour, played junior rugby for Cadets, and trained in Martial Arts under Lin Hooker above Smiths Scooter House as a junior, and Stephen Kitson at the Boys High in my older teen years and as an adult.

A little-known fact is that, before attending the University of Waikato, I served an engineering apprenticeship at Edwards Engineering. I recall working on Sanford’s fleet of fishing vessels with men who demanded performance at every turn; great early experience for a young man.

Tenby Powell

I left Tauranga in 1993 to attend University, serve in the New Zealand Defence Force, work in large corporations, and ultimately, Sharon and I started our private investment firm. I have also served on a number of private and government boards as a Director and Chairman, including not-for-profit entities. Click here for my full resume.


Like many who grew up in Tauranga, its magnetic attraction has drawn Sharon and I home. My mother, a spritely 90 year old, lives independently at the Mount, as does my Father-in-Law. Sharon’s Sister, her husband and their family live in Otumoetai, and her two other brothers are planning to relocate here in the near future.


This is our home and we care deeply about its future.

I'm humbled to have been elected to serve you, to work for our city and to work for you, the citizens of Tauranga. I'm committed to bringing my private sector and government leadership experience to fix and grow this outstanding city of ours - a city which is of strategic importance to New Zealand.

Read testimonials from people I've worked with.

The role of Mayor of Tauranga will be my full-time job. 

I am resigning those central government roles that do not add direct value to Tauranga and relinquishing private business ownership. I take the role as your Mayor very seriously. In my work in the private sector, on government boards and in the military, I have been charged with safeguarding and caretaking investor value creation and advancing ‘Brand NZ’ internationally, leading organisational growth and culture, managing staff development, and on occasion having charge for the lives of my team.

Tauranga Port

As your Mayor, I will stand up and shout the virtues of our city. I will be that outspoken advocate for you, for our city and our region, locally, nationally, and internationally.

I bring a new level of leadership experience to the role of Mayor and I am put this experience to work for you:

My experience spans the private business sector at CEO and Chairman level, government entities as both a Chairman and Director, Not-For Profit and the Military. In terms of my current roles, I chair the Government’s Small Business Council and have advocated for Small Business for some 15 years – small business owners are a critically important ecosystem for NZ, and Tauranga is the flag ship of entrepreneurial innovation.

In terms of representing New Zealand internationally,  I also serve as a member on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and co-chair the Digital and Innovation Working Group. APEC comprises 21 nations that border the Pacific Ocean and ABAC meets four times a year to discuss how we can create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, and secure growth through regional economic integration. ABAC comprises three members of the private sector from each country and members are appointed by their respective Leaders to represent a range of business sectors, including small and medium enterprises.

I also serve on the Government’s Sector Workplace Engagement Programme (SWEP) which was established to strategically support businesses to invest and grow through better ways of accessing reliable, appropriately skilled staff across seven key sectors critical to New Zealand’s economic development: Tourism, Horticulture & Viticulture, Diary and Farming, Construction, Road Freight Transport, ARA (Auckland Airport) and Aged Care.


In addition to private investment and management roles, I am a professional director with governance experience in both the private sector and with government entities.

I have also served in the Regular and Reserve Forces of the New Zealand Army since 1983 and hold the rank of Colonel. Due to my mix of business, government and defence relationships, I was appointed by the Minister of Defence to serve on the 2015 /16 selection panel of the Chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force.

Tauranga Together. Kotahitanga.

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