Donald Trump-alike quizzes mayoral candidates on plans for Tauranga

By Allison Hess, Sonya Bateson

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"Donald Trump", aka Matt Cowley, moderated a meet the candidates evening for those sitting for Tauranga's mayoralty. Photo/Andrew Warner
"Donald Trump", aka Matt Cowley, moderated a meet the candidates evening for those sitting for Tauranga's mayoralty. Photo/Andrew Warner

Tauranga's mayoralty contenders were quizzed by "Donald Trump" on everything from their stance on recycling to reopening a bar on Mt Drury.

"Donald Trump", aka current city councillor Matt Cowley, moderated last night's meet the candidates evening run by LINKT Young People in Business, hosted by Tauranga Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Bay of Plenty Times.

"Trump" started off the evening with some suitably wall-themed jokes, talking of plans to build a wall at the Bombays to keep the Ponsonby hipsters out of the Bay.

The evening began light-hearted with each candidate asked a quirky question, however it was not all fun and games and the audience did have an opportunity to grill the candidates on real issues.

A member of the public asked what particular project the voters could be assured would be delivered during the candidate's term as mayor.

Hori BOP Leaming said improving 15th Ave and Turret Rd was his priority.

Steve Morris said the completion of the Southern pipeline and upgrades to Te Manga to cope with extra sewerage coming from Tauranga.

Kelvin Clout said he would push for anything that would help get young families into affordable housing.

Graeme Purches said he would ensure the team supporting him as mayor would be cohesive and communicative.

Noel James Peterson guaranteed a multimillion-dollar movie to put Tauranga on the map.

John Robson promised to keep average residential rate rises below inflation for the entire budget period - and if he failed to deliver he promised to return his $300,000 mayoral salary to the city.

Larry Baldock said he would ensure the 10-year plan would deal with roading and congestion issues, Tauranga would get a hotel with conference facilities and he would sort out the mess over the new whereabouts of council offices.

Max Mason said public transport was needed and a good city centre - which was not just made up of buildings.

The candidates were also quizzed on what they would do to get more youth engaged in council decisions and whether or not council should have a Maori seat.

* Check out the live stream of the event on the Bay of Plenty Times facebook page.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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