In 1989, Mount Maunganui Borough Council (MMBC), like a reluctant bride, was bequeathed to Tauranga City Council (TCC) by the Lange Labour Party. Prior to the amalgamation, MMBC had agreed with TCC to build the $22 million Tauranga Harbour Bridge provided that the $1 toll, each way, would be stopped when the bridge was paid for.
However, the Tauranga District Council (TDC), never finalised the $22 million bridge debt.
Instead, the tolls income reached $120 million which was used to finance the bridge debt in part and major structural works in Tauranga.
The iniquitous continued tolls paid by a minority of the population was wrong, as the bridge alone had taken significant pressure off most of the District's road networks.
Subsequently, there was an uprising from the bridge users which was essentially led by Tolls Action Group. The outcome was that the TDC, under Mayor Noel Pope's Council, were forced to end the tolling. Forced amalgamation had given TCC a life belt in the form of the goose that laid golden eggs. The MMBC was debt free, also they delivered an initial and ongoing dowry, and saleable property.
Later, because of unfortunate mismanagement, and pressures to call in a reducing debt, the Mount Maunganui valued football club was purchased by an eager TDC for 50c in the dollar. No doubt the monies paid were part of the proceeds from the amalgamation.
Within days of possession the exterior of the club was painted over, replaced with Tauranga's Football Club colours and signs. Also, a graphic Mount Maunganui logo was claimed by TDC to give themselves a national identify, something they previously never had rights to.
Was there a covert plan by TDC to gradually negate the unique history of Mount Manganui? When is enough, enough? Now the TCC want the goose to lay bigger eggs by putting parking meters in the Mount where visitors - holiday makers come; Tauranga doesn't compare. People are not stupid, they may even stop coming here.
However, there are always the residents to target.
D Wilson, Mount Maunganui.
** Tauranga City Council opted not to respond to this letter.
Posted: 06:00am Fri 27 Oct, 2023
TCC want the goose to lay bigger eggs