Editorial: Crosby 'vision' needed earlier

By Annemarie Quill

Great news that Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby - if re-elected - has promised the city a new vision. John Cousins reported in the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that Crosby will set aside the first hundred days of 2014 to restoring pride and identity to Tauranga.

Crosby told our reporter that the lack of pride in the city had bothered him for a long time. In my view, it is the council that has lacked drive and imagination to propel Tauranga from small town to city status.

We cannot blame just the council.

All the people who live in a city contribute to its heart.

I am not from here, but am proud of living here.

The Bay's bounties are considerable: the Mount, surfing scene, beaches, waterfalls, dolphin watching, water sports and hot pools, etc. The ASB Arena is attracting big shows - this year's inaugural Food Show, and Tarnished Frocks and Divas. The Bay is becoming known for its food scene, with the likes of Nosh and Love Rosie cafe attracting the attention of Aucklanders.

We are home to kiwifruit, Comvita honey, avocados and the seafood festival. We boast several local wine companies. A booming creative arts scene, theatres with local productions. The Jazz Festival, Garden and Arts Festival and upcoming Tauranga Arts Festival. Markets such as the Farmers Markets, Little Big Markets, the Kids Market and the Night Markets are becoming focal points where the community hangs out.

Fashion labels that started here have reached national acclaim such as Repertoire, Moochi, Augustine, Arielle Mermin, Blak and Chaos and Harmony.

Tauranga can't just rest on these laurels. The council has been criticised in the past for not being fully behind arts and culture or events. We missed out on the Rugby World Cup. Its parking policy in the CBD has come under fire for stymying the growth of businesses in the downtown.

Crosby is now talking about making the city relevant, growing its economy. He recognises that the value of the city and people's properties depend on its becoming attractive, rich and vibrant.

Crosby's 100-day pledge is dramatic. But he has been in office for nine years. What has he been doing for the past 3285 days?

- Bay of Plenty Times

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