Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga figures react to election results

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Greg Brownless is Tauranga City Council's new Mayor. Photo/File
Greg Brownless is Tauranga City Council's new Mayor. Photo/File

Tauranga leaders are excited about Tauranga's new city council and the opportunities the mayor and councillors will have to improve the city.

On Saturday afternoon, the votes tally gave Greg Brownless leadership of Tauranga city when he was voted in as mayor, winning with a margin of 1965 votes over runner-up Kelvin Clout.

Larry Baldock, Max Mason and Terry Molloy were the fresh faces of the new council while Steve Morris, Leanne Brown, Catherine Stewart, Bill Grainger, Rick Curach, Kelvin Clout and Gail McIntosh held their seats.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges congratulated the new council.

"I am looking forward to working with Greg Brownless. He has experience being deputy but he also has a fresh set of eyes on the issues Tauranga has."

Mr Bridges said he was looking forward to working on projects such a revitalising the civic heart, and wins for the city like a museum for Tauranga.

"It is a realistic achievement the city can do without Rolls Royce prices if regional and city councils work together."

Mr Bridges thought the mix of new and previous faces on the new Tauranga City Council would be advantageous.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller agreed the mix of new and experienced council members would be good for the city's growth.

"Tauranga is currently going through extraordinary growth. Hopefully, the new council will continue to capture opportunities in front of us and continue to respond in a way that encourages more growth in our region, because it is an exceptional place to live, work and bring up a family."

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said the new mayor would bring a huge amount of experience to the role.

"Greg Brownless will be no stranger to the council table and brings a good dose of commercial experience to go with it. He has a great track record of commitment to this city.

"You can rely on Greg to take a sensible, prudent approach, with his feet planted firmly on the ground.

"He's not one for getting carried away or able to be easily swayed and we think he will be a good steward and advocate for Tauranga City.

"The new council line-up represents stability, experience and leans to a somewhat conservative disposition."

Tourism Bay of Plenty head Kristin Dunne said the results were fantastic.

"We had the opportunity to meet with Greg as well as some of the other councillors during the campaign, and it was clear he shared some of the same views with us about the opportunities and challenges for tourism in the region.

"We're delighted to be working with him and the other councillors."

Ms Dunne said there were several live issues on the table that which needed quick decisions and she was looking forward to giving the new council a briefing to get them up to speed.

"I think Greg's depth of local government experience, including up to deputy mayor level, his previous business experience and his altruistic heart made all the difference.

"He comes across as a really genuine, straight-up person."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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