Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

The issues plaguing the Western Bay, and what the new mayor will do

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Western Bay of Plenty District mayor Ross Paterson says there are a number of issues facing the Western Bay. Photo/file
Western Bay of Plenty District mayor Ross Paterson says there are a number of issues facing the Western Bay. Photo/file

The issues at the Western Bay of Plenty local body elections range from rates to job security, with a bypass in between.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council mayor Ross Paterson said the three big issues for the next mayor would be affordability, shared services, and adapting to new technologies.

"Affordability still remains a major concern, of how can we fund what we have to [do], but also keep costs reasonable."

You hear about a lot of people being let go at the end of last season because employers can't afford to keep on staff.
Katie Brennan, Tihoi/Western Bays Young Farmers chairwoman

He said there needed to be better efficiency in shared services of different councils, not just in the area but around New Zealand.

"We need to be able to come together and get better... at managing transference of knowledge and skills".

Mr Paterson said incorporating the digital age was an area that would be challenging to everybody.

He said that although it may have a cost factor to it, it would be an "exciting, whole new challenge".

Te Puke Economic Development Group managing director Mark Boyle said there was a high degree of focus on managing municipal waste.

"We've got various firm ideas on converting waste to fuel or energy, and we're talking with council on a biofuel plant which could be established in the Western Bay of Plenty."

He said making sure infrastructure was up to standard to adapt to the growing population and those in towns and rural areas was the goal.

Tihoi/Western Bays Young Farmers chairwoman Katie Brennan said the biggest issue facing the group was job security.

"You hear about a lot of people being let go at the end of last season because employers can't afford to keep on staff. It's always in the back of your mind whether or not you're going to have a job next week, next month with the payout being so vulnerable," she said.

Ms Brennan said many of the issues the candidates presented did not affect many young people from her group, aside from issues to do with farming or the environment.

"Local meetings that candidates put on is about a lot of talking, and generally about things that don't impact on us."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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