Tauranga Chamber of Commerce yesterday appealed to Tauranga City Council to adopt a new vision statement to provide a new sense of purpose and direction.
CEO Max Mason was presenting the Chamber submission at the Annual Plan hearings when he made the appeal.
He compared Auckland's five word vision statement of 'The world's most liveable city,' with Tauranga's 67 words, which 'was designed by a committee and is bland and boring'.
Tauranga's current city vision statement is:
According to the people who live, work and play here Tauranga will be a place that is:
Easy to move around
Living well, wasting less
Built to fit our hills, harbour and coast
There will be:
Vibrant, healthy and diverse communities
Actively involved people
We will have a:
Clean, green, valued environment
Strong and sustainable economy
And it will be:
A great place to grow up
Mr Mason said Tauranga had been through a long period of hard infrastructure development, and now that was largely in place the city needed to change into a new paradigm of soft infrastructure development, and an inspiring city vision would help achieve it.
"First and foremost we need to grow our local economy to create good jobs and grow our quality of life. Unfortunately we have a thin economy, over dependent on a few big industries, with low wages, that is vulnerable to external economic events.
"The city needs to attract businesses and people who can create wealth. However they don't just come here for business opportunities, they are equally attracted by good educational provision, arts and cultural institutions, international quality events and sporting facilities, and an attractive urban environment with public art and great architecture. Add to that a strong sense of community vision and identity and it's a winning combination," said Mr Mason.
He said if Tauranga had an aspirational city vision such as 'New Zealand's best city,' Council staff and elected members would make better decisions looking through that lens.
"For example," he said, "Take a planner who is processing a pile of resource consents. If they had a mindset of us being the best city by having full employment, and one resource consent is likely to create more jobs than the others then they should be encouraged to deal with that one first."
"If you apply this attitude throughout the Council organisation there will be a culture change which will have far reaching results throughout our community," he said.
Mr Mason referenced a book with the title of, 'What got you here, won't get you there,' and said the city's past focus on infrastructure development and short term cost control now needed to evolve into a longer term investment perspective in economic and community development.
"This is less about money and more about leadership," he said, "And with a new CEO in Garry Poole, and new senior managers, the timing was perfect for culture change."