September 14, 2021

Mahuta might cancel elections in Tauranga...again

Mahuta might cancel elections in Tauranga … again

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has refused to guarantee the return of democracy to New Zealand’s fifth largest city next year. 

Speaking to Q&A’s Jack Tame on Sunday, Mahuta was unwilling to comment on whether Tauranga’s elections would be cancelled, instead saying the Commissioners she appointed at the end of 2020 were doing a good job.

Tame prompted Mahuta to offer a “flat out guarantee” that Tauranga would have local body elections next year. She refused.

Mahuta went on to claim her appointees had increased Council’s connectivity with the community.

This comes just two weeks after the Council admitted less than 30 people attended their ‘drop-in’ consultation centres regarding proposed changes in the Representation Review, something the Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance says is unacceptable.

“The people of Tauranga have very limited means through which to communicate with those who make decisions in the Council Chambers. 

“The decision makers are unelected, aren’t there on a publicly supported mandate, and are unaccountable to the public. 

The Minister’s claim that the people of Tauranga have “appreciated” the work of the un-elected Commission is a fallacy too, says Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Ben Sokimi.

“The people of our city are suffering unprecedented increases to their rates bills and simply aren’t seeing the benefits

“Nanaia Mahuta should ask Winston Peters if she could borrow his ‘NO’ sign, because every time she’s asked about the prospect of democracy returning to Tauranga she doesn’t have much else to say

“A return to democracy is what is needed, and what is right for our city

“It’s time for the Government to end the charade and return democracy to the people