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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

Regional Council’s planning process is a joke

One has to ask… What is the point of submitting to Regional Council Annual Plans?

In January I wrote a 13 page submission to the Regional Council’s Land Transport Plan 2015 to 2045. I wanted to be heard but was only given one date, with only one weeks’s notice. I couldn’t make that date, so my submission wasn’t heard in person. As a former Regional Councillor I know that if you want to have your submission taken seriously you have to be heard in person. In this case, not only was I unable to present my case in person, I now see that the committee has deliberated, and the Regional Council has resolved to accept the recommendations of the hearing committee, and yet the Regional Council hasn't even had the decency to reply to my written submission….

The Draft (30 year) Regional Transport Plan 2015-2045 was, in my opinion, one of the “lightest” pieces of work that I have read in a long time. It lacked real vision, and was not written in “plain English” which is a policy requirement adopted by the Regional Council. The full Council, in adopting this Plan, shows a lack of good governance, and confirms to me that this Regional Council needs a massive shake up. Yes they are doing some good catchment work for the rivers and streams that flow into the Tauranga Harbour, but the financial commitment to reversing the sediment that is daily increasingly destroying our beautiful harbour, is just a joke. This Council receives (via its CCO, Quayside Holdings) around $40m a year in dividend income from the Port of Tauranga, and yet will only commit a couple of million dollars back into the harbour’s maintenance. Instead the money is wasted on bureaucratic staff, who love to write reports, yet achieve very little.

If you think the proposed 8.5% rate increase is just for next year, then you need to think again. Your Regional Council has plans for even bigger increases in each of the next few years! Furthermore, Tauranga and Western Bay ratepayers, instead of having their rates spent in their area, continue to subsidise Rotorua and Eastern Bay ratepayers, year after year. I will get to the bottom of the actual amount of cross subsidisation, and report in a future publication. But for now, be assured that Rotorua ratepayers are bleeding Tauranga City ratepayers dry.

If you have a view on these or any other local government issues, I invite you to email me at

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