There is no doubt our city centre has a bright future with significant building investment occurring over the next 2 - 5 years.
The University of Waikato Tauranga Campus is mostly completed, the Farmers development, Latitude Apartments, Craigs Investment House and a range of new apartments and retail office developments will transform our city centre over time.
In time it will again become the cultural, civic and commercial heart of our region.
Downtown should be the engine that provides more ROI than an other area of our city. Investments in downtown come back to us many times over in the form of taxes, business investment, employment, consumer spending and good will.
However the current human face of Downtown Tauranga is sad. Those remaining business owners who are attempting to trade through this endless construction phase are struggling. Many have quit and we now have over 150 shop vacancies in downtown Tauranga.
Those business owners, many of whom are parents and are supporting families, did not sign up for this tsunami of construction projects, all coming at once. And they certainly did not sign up for the delays caused by the the ineptitude of our our Mayor, his Deputy and some of the Councillors, who effectively voted to all but close downtown Tauranga.
Where is the practical planning, the governance and management to mitigate the massive delays and budget blowouts we are seeing on, for example, Durham street? Is this our future? Is this what the next five years will look like?
Where is the respect for people? And why on earth aren’t there some immediate interim measures in play, including free parking and buses into the city centre, to get us through this challenging period?
Tauranga Deserves Better Leadership!
It’s time . . .