Commission to oversee Tauranga City Council following string of controversies

One of the country’s fastest growing cities will have a commissioner step in as the Government signals it has little confidence in the current crop of councillors.

Tauranga City Council. Source: 1 NEWS

Tauranga City Council has been plagued with issues including failed coups, infighting and unsavoury behaviour brought to light through a damning open records request.

In a statement a short time ago, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed a commission will be appointed, following a response from councillors.

“The council’s response has not presented me with sufficient evidence on how it is addressing its problems.

“I consider a commission to be necessary to deliver the strategic leadership that the council and city needs.

“I will be sending the commission a strong direction to ensure that the Tauranga community is engaged with and consulted on all significant decisions of the council, as is required in the legislation,” she says.

She says this appointment will remove the need to hold a by-election, following the resignation of councillor Jako Abrie and former Mayor Tenby Powell.

“The commission’s term will begin in early 2021 and end at the triennial local authority elections in October 2022."

The commissioner appointments will be announced in February, she says.

The minister acknowledges that this has been “stressful period” for council staff and ratepayers.

But this decision will pave the way for the future of the city.