May 07, 2023

Clear Majority Of Tauranga Residents Want Democracy

A Curia/Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Tauranga residents support holding council elections this year.

With the Tauranga City Commission’s term currently scheduled to end in July 2024, 67 per cent of residents support ending the commission’s term early and holding an election for a new mayor and councillors on the same day as the parliamentary general election in October.

Polling shows that 55 per cent of Tauranga residents initially agreed with the commission being installed, but support has dwindled following the government’s decision to extend the commission and cancel last year’s council election. Only 35 per cent of residents say they supported the commission being extended compared to 56 per cent opposed.

Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesman Sam Hill says:

“Tauranga voters were fed-up with the council and a temporary commission had majority support. But the government’s decision to cancel last year’s election and extend the commission has seen that support collapse.

“The commission was only supposed to be in place until we had new elections - but the government decided our voting rights weren’t important. Voting is the most fundamental activity in a democracy and Tauranga residents should have been able to elect a new local council – just like people in every other city in New Zealand.

“We have put forward the idea of holding a local council election in October alongside the parliamentary general election and this poll shows most residents agree with us. The commission has over-stayed their welcome and it’s time for Tauranga to decide on our future.”