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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

Looking forward to 2017

At the start of a new year it is time to set some targets to achieve as an elected Regional Councillor. I will just highlight four.

My first priority is to improve our public transport system in Tauranga. We really do have a big problem here, and improving our bus patronage will also help our increasing road congestion. Short term it isn’t about encouraging different modes of transport, but more about developing a bus system that is affordable, time reliable, and time effective. One of our current KPI’s (key performance indicators) for our bus service is that taking the bus shouldn’t be more than twice as long as taking a car. This is plain nonsense, and we need to be much more ambitious than that if we want increased patronage. Watch this space.

My second New Year’s resolution is to crack down on farmers that continue to breach environmental standards. 95% of farmers uphold excellent environmental standards, and the few that don’t need the book thrown at them. Enough is enough, and we have to get tough on polluters. Breach your consent and expect to pay the consequences. I am sure I can get strong Councillor agreement to a “one strike and you are out” policy. I was a farmer for 17 years, and am a strong farmer advocate - but breaching consents and pollution has to stop.

My third resolution is to strongly back the building of a purpose built “Coastal Marine Research Centre.” This would be a huge boost for this region, and Professor Chris Battishill needs our support to increase the efficacy of his research. The potential of our Bay of Plenty coastal waters for pharmaceutical discovery alone is huge, and Tauranga needs to become a world leader in marine science.

My fourth resolution is to continue to advocate for a revitalised CBD for Tauranga City. The building of a university campus will be a game changer, but we have to go much further. I truly believe that a stadium on the Tauranga Domain would be another. Cardiff (in Wales) has proven that a downtown stadium doesn’t need carparking; and in fact it would be a detractor. We need attendees to visit our cafes and bars, both before and after matches – to boost our local economy.

Let’s all get behind these great examples of regional development. These ideas are affordable for New Zealand’s fifth largest city. Please support my vision. Be brave. Just do it.

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

Please note that views expressed in this column are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect Regional Council policy.

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