Petition launched: Ratepayers demand the right to vote
The Tauranga Ratepayers' Alliance is calling on Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta to preserve the democratic rights of Tauranga ratepayers and residents by not cancelling local elections this year.
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The Minister promised to return Tauranga to full democracy in October 2022 and we think she should keep her promise. But if the Commissioners have their way, Tauranga will be the only Council not to have an election in October. Anne Tolley, Stephen Selwood, Shad Rolleston and Bill Wasley asked the Minister to cancel local elections in December without consulting Tauranga residents.
The Commissioners never consulted with anyone before asking the Minister to extend their high paying jobs for another year. They are paid between $1,500 and $1,800 a day plus expenses and Commission Chair Anne Tolley has claimed in excess of $300,000 over the last twelve months.
They don't have any incentive to leave. Our right to vote was won at a great price and we're not going to let them take it away again, that's why we've started this petition and we will be presenting it to Parliament. It's time for Tauranga residents and ratepayers to get their rights back.
Recently reported budget blowouts under the Commission's watch saw $30m more for Cameron Road and over $3m more for the Elizabeth St projects. If they've claimed twice as much as they were supposed to in expenses what hope is there that they can stick to a budget for a $300m+ museum?
The Commission's duty was to keep the city running until democratic elections could be held. They've gone far beyond their mandate and it's time for the people of Tauranga to decide what our priorities are, not Wellington.