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.
My commitment to you...
I have asked myself what will define me in this role?
I will be defined by my ability to draw together an inclusive, respectful, high-performing team that creates partnerships for success, cares for its people, governs with respect and empathy and remembers, every day, that this role is a privilege not a right.
The job of Mayor of Tauranga city is equally important. It also involves your money, your health and safety and, yes, even your lives; certainly your welfare as residents of Tauranga.
But it goes beyond that - as Mayor I will not only safeguard all those essential elements, but I will also be the biggest champion for our community and region. If the mayor cannot stand up and shout the virtues of our city, then who can? I will be that outspoken advocate for our city and region, locally, nationally, and internationally.
Under my leadership we will find better solutions to Tauranga's most pressing issues and, that too, will define me. Thank you for this opportunity.
I take the job of Mayor of Tauranga 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 organisation growth and developing high performing cultures and, on occasion, having charge for the lives of my team.