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Tauranga Business Chamber Poll Reveals Community’s Key Priorities For Council Candidates

Tauranga Business Chamber’s business audience wants the incoming Mayor and Councillors to prioritise making it easier to get around the city, and to address housing supply and affordability.

Results of its poll on Chamber members and non-member customers has been released ahead of the local body election.

Respondents were asked a series of questions, including ranking its priorities in order. Behind traffic and housing, its business audience wants to see a thriving city centre supported and the cost and bureaucracy of compliance addressed.

Tauranga Business Chamber CEO, Matt Cowley, says: “These findings highlight the importance of investing in infrastructure, housing, and reducing red tape to support city's growth and economic prosperity.

“These are valuable insights for those running for Council. There is a real sense of eagerness to see progress, and quickly, from new elected members.”

Respondents were also asked whether the Council should continue the path set by Commissioners. 83 percent said they mostly agree with the direction set, and 15 percent mostly disagree.

“Decisions the Commissioners have made were listed as a reason some disagreed with the path.

“Nevertheless, the poll shows that our business audience is strongly supportive of the next Tauranga City Council carrying on the general path set by the Commissioners,” adds Cowley.

The survey also asked how the city should fund the infrastructure to support our continued growth. 60 percent of respondents wanted the next Council to explore all options, with 19.5 percent wanting Government to share its tax revenue gains generated from local growth.

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“Our business audience supports Council to prioritise the cost-effective delivery of projects, not just revenue. Others want Tauranga to strike a balance between delivery and being attractive to future business by keeping fees and rates down.”

When asked whether Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council should amalgamate to become a Western Bay Super Council (like Auckland), results were mixed. About a third said yes, a third said maybe, and the remaining third said no or prefer not to say.

Finally, the poll asked about the Government's "Local Water Done Well" legislation. 47 percent believe that Tauranga City Council should jointly manage its water services with Western Bay, while just eight percent said it should manage its water services on its own. The remaining either wanted to explore all other options to find the best business case or preferred not to say.

“The survey sends a clear message to our potential elected members: make the tough calls, push for continued growth and prosperity, and deliver. Our members and non-member customers are expecting a strong vision, a reduction in red tape, and a collaborative approach to managing the growth of Tauranga.

“I’d encourage candidates to take this survey, and its findings, into consideration as they shape their plans and engage with the business community,” Cowley concludes.

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