Effective Leadership | Financially Savvy Management | Regional Cooperation
My vision for Tauranga is a regionally, nationally and globally connected city. A bold, smart city that embraces partnerships, respects and connects our people through the generations, nurtures our environment with an active focus on sustainability, and celebrates our leadership position as New Zealand’s epicenter for culture, innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.
Why is vision important?
Increasingly, cities compete with cities. This dynamic has been evolving rapidly over the past twenty years as a consequence of globalisation and population flows.
It is important to understand how cities behave in the modern world. Cities are like magnets, in that they can either attract or repel new residents, visitors and business investment.
The city of Tauranga has a strong magnetic pull due to its beauty, resources, climate and central geographical position in New Zealand.
While Tauranga is currently New Zealand’s fifth largest city by population, it is a strategically important city due to its forecast population growth, as an epicenter for entrepreneurial innovation, as a key exporter, and the fact we have New Zealand’s highest performing port.
Cities that attract people are cities with a plan. Even a desirable city like Tauranga needs a vision and a plan.
For a city to develop a strong magnetic pull, its leaders need to make conscious decisions about how they want to manage the migration of people, ideas and investment. This can be achieved only if we have a clear vision, implemented by strong, inspiring leadership.
Without a vision, Tauranga risks continuing to fall victim to unmanaged forces like lack of residential housing and infrastructure, and locked up roads.
Tauranga, which translates as safe anchorage or resting place, naturally attracts both retirees and younger people, a dynamic that needs to be incorporated into a vision that ‘connects the generations’ in a planned and managed way that ensures we can all freely and safely cohabitate in our ‘shared safe harbour’.
I believe Tauranga’s retirees should feel embraced by a city that strives for greater accessibility and safety for our less abled residents.
We also need to attract young creative thinkers and entrepreneurs who choose Tauranga to incubate start-up businesses which, in turn, will attract new and skilled employees who will relocate to work with New Zealand’s leading entrepreneurs.
We can do this in Tauranga. Together we can create a city with a reputation as Start-up Central offering Slow-Down Comfort - ‘connecting lifestyles through the generations.’
New Zealand needs Tauranga as a strong, healthy and connected city, offering a pace and quality of life that differs from Auckland while acting as a Regional Center of Commerce, growing employment, and distributing wealth throughout our diverse communities.
Our connectivity and accessibility will attract diversity and stimulate innovation and growth. While Tauranga has grown due to its natural desirability as a place to live, it has lacked a vision and failed to deliver on plans.
It’s time for coordinated and decisive action to build new houses and attract new residents, while looking after our seniors and most vulnerable in a connected, safe and environmentally conscious city.
I bring three proven Leadership strengths to Tauranga as your Mayor:
● Strategic planning ability and a good understanding of large project management;
● A collaborative leadership style with past experience as a cultural change agent;
● An ability to develop high-performing teams. Tauranga City Council has lacked leadership. Together, with the new Chief Executive, I believe we have the ability to transform the culture of the Tauranga City Council into a customer service orientated organisation which delivers on its promises. This won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
Without this, Tauranga is going to repeat the mistakes of the past with a greater magnitude of impact on residents and visitors alike as it continues its rapid growth.
Financially Savvy Management
Being financially savvy is vital for the Mayor of New Zealand’s fifth largest city and fastest growing region. I have built a career of partnering with banks, financial institutions and private investors, and I understand project management and the prudent management of debt. It’s fair to say Tauranga is in a mess in this regard and I have the capabilities to work collaboratively, prudently and effectively to find practical solutions to fix and grow our city.
Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region and the epicentre of business, international trade, culture, horticultural and marine science. However, its relationships with surrounding Councils and the cities of Whakatane, Rotorua and Hamilton is lacking and bridges need to be mended, figuratively and physically.
Regional cooperation is critically important for planned growth and to access central government funding. The relationship with central government is equally important to foster and all such relationships need a collaborative style of leadership that only experience can bring.
Tauranga needs greater connectivity on a regional, national and global level. I will be advocating for strong partnerships with regional and district councils, and the Labour led coalition government, to ensure Tauranga has a mature and experienced voice on issues that are key to our future.
Infrastructure funding is critical for New Zealand’s fastest growing region and city of Tauranga. We can no longer accept a city and region whose roads are locked up. We also need a voice on environmental and sustainability issues and we need to foster our leadership position as New Zealand’s epicentre for innovation, entrepreneurship and investment. This can only come from greater regional cooperation.