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With the release of a small section of the damning Colgan report into the role TCC played in the failure of Bella Vista Homes, I believe it’s time for the Mayor to issue a public apology to the Bella Vista families and all others for their suffering.

If the Mayor won’t do it, and if I am successfully elected, I will.

The report highlights an abject lack of leadership from the top. The buck, it seems, does not stop there.

Respect is clearly lacking and I believe it underpins the transformation the council needs.

To develop high performing teams at all levels - which is what our city deserves - we need cultural change within the council.

Tauranga deserves a responsive, pragmatic and efficient council that listens to residents and engages with respect and compassion.

I question the Mayor’s comments on holding staff to account. It states in the article that, “he has been assured that any staff member assessed as having any culpability has been held to account". Yet the report cites “Council staff followed flawed processes when dealing with both the resource consent and the building elements of the subdivision.”

It goes on to say that “in those cases, those staff should not be held responsible for the flawed consequences of their performance of their roles”.

Good leadership is about being accountable and ensuring there are good processes and work practices in place. If there are human failings, as a consequence of flawed processes, it seems abhorrent to side-step responsibility for those processes and blame the staff.

When we have done wrong, the right thing to do - the compassionate thing to do - is to face up to it, acknowledge it, apologise for it and make a commitment to not repeat it.

This is what we need for the Bella Vista debacle and many others across the city.

Moving forward we need a demonstrative commitment to change. Without change there is no guarantee this will not be repeated, and we cannot let this happen again.


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