Ousted councillors ponder future

By John Cousins

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Former councillor Murray Guy says he must have been ``living in a fantasy world''.
Former councillor Murray Guy says he must have been ``living in a fantasy world''.

Dumped Tauranga councillor Tony Christiansen's public speaking career has surged back with eight bookings already firmed up between now and Christmas.

Mr Christiansen, one of seven councillors swept from office on Saturday, was the only ex-councillor whose life has bounced straight back into where it left off before he was elected.

The one-term councillor spent yesterday confirming 17 world-wide invitations from conference organisers which he had put on hold until the outcome of the election was known.

He was amazed that ratepayers thought they had done such a bad job but it was this possibility of being voted out that vindicated his decision to keep doing a trickle of speaking engagements while he was a councillor - it kept his name in the marketplace.

"The sun came up on Sunday morning and a new day dawned," he said.

He was leaving his options open on seeking re-election: "I am a little bit done with it, to be honest."

Murray Guy said he was at a total loss about the result. Voters had lumped him in with those councillors with whom he had consistently rejected because of their processes and policies.

And the three councillors with which he was the most aligned were all successful: "It is very confusing ... clearly I was living in a fantasy world."

Mr Guy was keeping his options open for the next election and he would continue to comment and debate council issues on social media. In the meantime, the former bus driver was looking for a job and would like to get back into the tour bus industry. Terry Molloy said everyone got swept up in a tsunami of discontent. The defining issue was largely debt and anyone who tried to defend the debt was swept along by a surge that nearly took out Mayor Stuart Crosby as well.

"There was a lot of misinformation and scaremongering."

Mr Molloy, 69, was not looking at getting back into fulltime employment.

David Stewart, who joined Wayne Moultrie in being tipped out of the Mount/Papamoa Ward, said he would wait for a while to see what was out there and was not planning to get back into fulltime employment. His seat on the Bay of Plenty District Health Board would occupy some of his time and he would have "a bit of a look around" before deciding what to do next. He would not be running for election again.

Mr Moultrie, 69, called the election result "massacre in main street".

He was not sure what the future held for him, except that he would not seek re-election in 2016.

The last Mayor of Mount Maunganui looked back with a great deal of satisfaction on stitching together the joint venture with the Port of Tauranga that got the Pilot Bay boardwalk built.

Larry Baldock said "all job offers would be considered". He might apply to become a member of the local alcohol licensing committee and would be working hard for the "fastest growing political party in New Zealand" - the Conservative Party.

In hindsight, Mr Baldock said he was still asking himself whether shifting from the Otumoetai/Pyes Pa to contest the at-large election has been the right thing to do.

Bill Faulkner did not reply to a message left on his cellphone.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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