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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

What a great place we live in…

It is so easy to be critical, but let’s not forget that we live in the best city, in the best country in the world! Yes I know that our Green cousins criticise government agencies for promoting New Zealand as “100% Pure”, but that is exactly how we are viewed from abroad, and visitors to our country do not go away disappointed. Let’s celebrate what we have – yes it can still be improved, but we are a long way ahead of most places in the world. New Zealand is paradise, and Tauranga is a most special place within that paradise.

Again I should record my appreciation of what we are achieving in the Western Bay. I am looking for much more effectiveness and efficiency in our City, District and Regional Councils, but I do acknowledge the fact that the Bay of Plenty has the highest GDP growth of all regions in the past 12 months. The fact is that we currently still sit below the New Zealand average in GDP per Capita, and Tauranga (with its high retirement population) underperforms the rest of the Bay, so there is no room for complacency.

We have to be ambitious, and this takes vision. Our sub-regional development agency, Priority One appears to have that vision; and it seems to be catching. We have the biggest, and most efficient port in New Zealand; we finally have a signed MOU between Waikato University, BOP Regional Council, Tauranga City and TECT (Tauranga Energy Consumers Trust) to build a bricks and mortar downtown university – a game changer for us all. The Marine Precinct is slowly moving forward, but what we need now is to capitalise on the 2015 Budget initiative of $25m over three years to support the establishment of new privately led regional research institutes, by advocating to fund Chris Battershill’s fledgling Coastal Science Environmental Research Institute into a world’s best Marine Research Institute. The current work that Chris is doing needs funding to ensure that the Bay of Plenty becomes just that. The potential for marine based pharmaceutical discovery is huge, and Professor Battershill is extremely well placed to capitalise on this Budget initiative.

Come on Western Bay – let’s step up and accept the challenge. Good just isn’t enough, we have to always aspire to be the best. We have the climate and the environment, and now we need the vision and the passion to succeed.

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

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